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Certificate of Public Librarianship

The Certificate of Public Librarianship is designed for individuals without formal library training who are directing small Vermont public libraries. Other library staff, volunteers, and trustees also may pursue certification. Enrollees must live in Vermont or be associated with a Vermont library in order to participate in this program.

2023 Certificate Recipients

Certifcate requirements:

  • Four core courses, each 25 Continuing Education Units
    • Basic Public Library Administration:
    • Cataloging
    • Collection Development
    • Reference
  • Electives: 40 Continuing Education Units
  • Library Technology: 10 Continuing Education Units

Online Application for the Program

Continuing Education Record - This form may be used to document your continuing education activities. Please only submit this form to the Vermont Department of Libraries twice a year, May and December: PDF format | Word format

Conference Attendance Record - This form may be used to document conference attendance: PDF Format | Word Format





Certification is achieved through attending 150 credits worth of workshops and courses. For further details on the Certificate of Public Librarianship program please read the following information and contact Joy Worland, the Consultant for Continuing Education, with any questions.


The Certificate of Public Librarianship is directed by the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB). The program is designed to meet the Minimum Standards for Vermont Public Libraries which state that the library director, "possesses a library science degree, a Vermont certificate of library training, or has actively worked toward one of these in the past twelve months." 

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Basics of Certification

A Certificate of Public Librarianship is awarded upon completion of 150 Continuing Education Units. These credits are accumulated through participation in classes offered by the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) and/or approved public librarianship courses offered by other organizations. Candidates may substitute credits from an independent study or internship project for course work with approval.   

Records related to an individual's credits are maintained by VTLIB. Credits are recorded from workshop attendance sheets in consultation with the instructor. 

School Library Media Specialist certification and Public Librarianship certification are not equivalent or interchangeable. Each case of a school librarian wishing to obtain public library certification will be considered individually. At a minimum, school librarians will be required to attend classes on collection development and public library administration. 

No other state automatically accepts Vermont's certification. In turn, Vermont does not automatically accept certification by other states. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis. Some states require certification of public librarians but this is not the case in Vermont.

Anyone who has completed all program requirements by May 1st will be awarded a Certificate of Public Librarianship at that year's Vermont Library Conference. At any time of the year, if you are eligible for certification, you may request a letter for the Library Consultant - Continuing Education stating that a preliminary review of their records indicates all requirements have been met, but the official certificate will not be awarded until the conference.

Once you have received the Certificate of Public Librarianship you are not required to become recertified on an annual basis. However, librarians are encouraged to continue their training with additional classes and workshops. 

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Credit Requirements

To be certified, you must accumulate 150 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) within five years. CEUs are generally calculated by the length of a training: 1 Contact Hour = 1 CEU. Core courses, college or other extended trainings, and conferences are an exception to this. Core courses each earn 25 CEUs; college courses earn 12 CEUs, and conferences earn a maximum of 12 CEUs. If the course or workshop was not taught by the Vermont Department of Libraries credit must be requested from the Library Consultant - Continuing Education. Credits will not ordinarily be given for the same workshop, even if taken several years apart. 

Four core courses are required as part of the certification program. These courses are taught by the Department on a rotating basis. They are: Basic Public Library Administration, Cataloging, Collection Development, and Information Services/Reference.

Additionally, 10 CEUs need to be earned in library information technology, and 40 CEUs in Electives. 

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Classes and Workshops

Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB)

The Department teaches a variety of classes. One-day workshops are assigned five credits. Multi-day workshops are assigned credits according to attendance. In general, with the exception of the first day, each additional day of class counts towards an additional five credits. If you only attend the first day of training no credit will be given. 

The Department of Libraries offers a variety of workshops designed for the untrained, working librarian who needs skills immediately to provide responsive, effective public library service. Two of the four basic required courses are taught each year. Other specialized workshops are offered on a regular basis throughout the year.

Mini-workshops will also be offered periodically on a variety of subjects. Credit for mini-workshops is dependent on the number of contact/instructional hours provided in the course. The Department also offers Materials Review Sessions which count towards two credits. A maximum of 15 Materials Review Sessions credits may be applied towards certification. 

Most VTLIB workshops are held at VTLIB offices in Barre or at public libraries. The workshop schedule and registration information will be updated on this site, and upcoming classes can be found on the Events Calendar. Pre-registration is required and will be available online.

Outside Organizations

Pertinent courses, workshops, and seminars may apply toward certification. Candidates for certification may receive credit for courses only if they have been taken in the last five years. The maximum number of credits allowed for each academic course is 30. All library courses from an American Library Association institution, the University of Vermont or the Vermont State College system will be automatically approved. Approval for any other current course work must be obtained in advance from the Library Consultant - Continuing Education. 

Once you have completed a course, you should supply the Library Consultant - Continuing Education with documentation such as a grade report, transcript or a letter from the instructor.

Meetings that are skill-oriented and presented in a workshop-like format may be granted a maximum of two credits. Organizations planning meetings should request a form from the Library Consultant - Continuing Education for advance approval of certification credits.

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Internships and Independent Study

An internship is practical, on-the-job work experience in public librarianship. The internship must take place in a library other than your own. Close supervision by an advisor/mentor is a required aspect of the experience. 

Independent study is research in public librarianship or completion of a special library project supervised by an advisor/mentor. This usually results in a written report. Suggested projects might be but are not limited to: developing a long-range plan, designing special programming, and services for specific populations.

Anyone who is working toward certification may apply for internship or independent study credit. However, the individual must have completed the four basic required courses as well as a course covering the topic of the purposed internship or independent study. Up to 25 credits may be granted for each internship or independent study as determined by the Library Consultant - Continuing Education. Credits will be based on the number of hours. One working day will equal five credits, one week of work equals 25 credits. 

Credit is not given for attending library reading/discussion programs. You may however earn credits for coordinating such a program if it is an original project implemented with the help of a mentor. Prior approval for the project by the Library Consultant - Continuing Education is also required.

The individual seeking certification is expected to initiate all necessary arrangements for their program. This includes gaining the written consent of your advisor. Any expenses incurred must be assumed by you or your library.

An advisor is critical to a successful learning experience. A signed agreement indicates a commitment by both parties to the project. No credits toward certification are awarded to the mentor. The agreement should also clarify how expenses will be handled. 

Applications for an internship or independent study should be submitted to the Library Consultant - Continuing Education prior to starting the project. The application should outline the proposed study/project objectives and the name of the advisor/mentor. You will be notified in writing within four weeks after submitting the application if you will be granted credits for the project. 

Upon project completion you and your mentor must submit evaluations of the project to the Library Consultant - Continuing Education. Credits toward certification will not be added to your record until both evaluations are reviewed by the Library Consultant - Continuing Education. For an independent study a written research project may be submitted in lieu of an evaluation.

All necessary forms for this process are available from the Library Consultant - Continuing Education.

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All questions about the certification program or should be directed to the Library Consultant - Continuing Education  at the Vermont Department of Libraries