Monday, September 13, 2010

2010 NLA/NEMA Fall Conference

It's not too late to register for the 2010 NLA/NEMA Annual Conference in Grand Island, on October 15-17.

The Paraprofessional Section is sponsoring a whopping seven sessions this year:

  • Workshops, Meetings…Webinars, by Christa Burns, Thursday, Oct. 16, 8:00 am.
  • Why is Weeding So Hard and What Can We Do About It? by Laura Johnson, Thursday, Oct. 16, 8:00 am.
  • One World, Many Stories: Summer Reading Program 2010, by Sally Snyder, Thursday, Oct. 16, 3:45 pm.
  • A New Basic Skills, by Laura Johnson, Friday, Oct. 17, 8:00 am.
  • Digital Talking Books and BARD Book Downloading Service, by Scott Scholz, Friday, Oct. 17, 9:00 am.
  • Google Secrets, by Michael Sauers, cosponsored by ITART, Friday, Oct. 17, 10:45 am.
  • Best New Youth Books of 2010, by Sally Snyder, Friday, Oct. 17, 3:05 pm.

There's a little of something for everyone in that mix. And if that's not enough, check out the full conference program. There are over 60 different sessions, to say nothing of the other exciting activities.

The Paras are sponsoring a scavenger hunt again this year, so be on the lookout for hidden smileys at both the for-profit and the non-profit vendor booths.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Library Support Staff Certification Program

From the Para Section Chair's inbox . . .

The announcement below is supplied by Karen Strege, one of the directors of the LSSC Program, and is provided "as-is" purely for your information. Neither the Nebraska Library Association nor the NLA Paraprofessional Section are in any way associated with the Library Support Staff Certification Program, nor should this blog post be considered an official endorsement. 

We don't know anything about the LSSC Program beyond what is supplied on their website, but the Para Board and I thought it might be of interest to some Paras, so we're passing it along.--Angela Kroeger, NLA Para Section Chair

For more information, see the Library Support Staff Certification Program website.



Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program Welcomes Candidate Applications

The American Library Association’s Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is accepting applications from potential Candidates interested in achieving the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC). The LSSC Program is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff. Over forty Candidates have applied since the program opened January 25, 2010.

Why are library support staff across the country applying for LSSC candidacy?
  • Eva Fiffie is excited that the LSSC program “will give me the opportunity to strengthen my supervisory skills, become familiar with new aspects in the library field and allow me to provide better services to library patrons and my staff.”
  • Candidate Kathleen Laurente agrees: she is confident that the LSSC “will give credence to the knowledge that I [already] possess, and will also advance me to the forefront at my current position.”
  • “At this time, I wish to focus on having a family but also improve my career prospects and so, the LSSC Program is an excellent fit for me,” shares candidate Shirley McCoy. “I believe it will give me the opportunity to demonstrate that I am eminently qualified to be a member of any library support staff.”
  • Molly Moore is excited to begin LSSC course work on Collection Management. “A better understanding of this department in our library would allow us to be better informed . . . and to provide better information when decisions are required.”
The LSSC Program is open to any library support staff person with a high-school diploma or its equivalent and at least one year of full-time experience in a library with the last five years. Applicants do not have to be a member of ALA. The application fee is $325 for ALA members and $350 for non-ALA members. Candidates who choose to take an approved course may have to pay a fee set by the course provider. There is no cost for submitting portfolios. Candidates have four years to complete the program.

The LSSC Program website,, has complete information about the competency sets, approved courses, and how to develop a portfolio. The Program has adopted ten competencies sets; Candidates are required to show achievement of three sets -- Foundations of Library Service, Communication and Teamwork, and Technology – and must choose three additional sets from Access Services, Adult Readers’ Advisory Services, Cataloging and Classification, Collection Management, Reference and Information Services, Supervision and Management, and Youth Services.

The LSSC offers Candidates two ways to demonstrate achievement. The first is through completing approved courses from library education providers across the county. These providers set the course’s fee, schedule, and requirements. Recently, the LSSC Program approved a Supervision and Management course from the State Library of Louisiana. Michael Golrick, one of the course’s instructors, was pleased by the “level of enthusiasm and interest” demonstrated by the seventeen students who completed course. The LSSC Program encourages interested education providers to contact the program to find out more about course approval.

Candidates can also develop portfolios that demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and experience in a competency set. The LSSC Program offers help to Candidates who wish to develop and submit portfolios. Librarians with expertise in the competency set will evaluate portfolios and the Program is seeking more librarians who wish to do so. The application to become a Portfolio Evaluator is available on the LSSC website.

Candidates may wish to complete courses in some competency sets and submit portfolios in others.

The LSSC Program was inspired by many years of discussion and by needs assessments with library support staff. In 2007, the American Library Association received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to fund the development of such a national certification program.

More information about the LSSC Program is available online at Direct questions to or call 312-280-2424. The LSSC Program is being managed by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA).

LSSC Accepting Applications for Course Subsidies

Last Two Weeks

The Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program is accepting applications for 55 subsidies of $200 for LSSC Candidates to complete LSSC-approved courses. Candidates who receive a subsidy award will receive a $200 reimbursement.

To apply for a subsidy, candidates must be enrolled in the LSSC Program by September 15, 2010. Subsidy recipients must agree to complete an LSSC approved course by April 1, 2011.

Interested? Check out the course subsidy FAQ and application information. The LSSC Program staff will select recipients using a random selection process and announce subsidy awards on September 27.

LSSC is a national, voluntary certification program administered by the American Library Association-Allied Profession Association (ALA-APA). The LSSC Program is partially funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information, please contact LSSC Program staff at