The Office of
Dept. of Libraries
Division OLD Division Director
200 NE 18th St
Cathy Van Hoy
continuing education consultant
Services to Libraries
Public Librarian Certification
The certification program has been developed by the Oklahoma Library Association and ODL to fill a library education "gap" in the state. Professional standards are established for librarianship in larger public libraries and school library media centers, but the majority of Oklahoma's smaller public libraries have no standards established for librarian training. The limited funding of smaller libraries and the inaccessibility of library education programs to many areas of the state are the major contributors to this educational gap.
It is the vision of OLA and ODL that public libraries in Oklahoma be administered and staffed by trained personnel. Continuing education is necessary to assure that librarians keep abreast of developments in the information age. This, in turn, upgrades the library profession, enriches the individual librarians and promotes quality library services.
Oklahoma's voluntary certification program was officially begun in February
1996, when the Institute in Public Librarianship offered its first semester
Although OLA and ODL's Office of Library Development have long offered continuing education opportunities to the state's librarians, it was determined by a joint OLA/ODL committee that the state would benefit from an official program, one which offered specific courses of study (through an Institute of Public Librarianship), and one which would officially certify that librarians have completed various levels of training. ODL's board has the authority to certify public librarians.
Following months of work and a series of local hearings, the joint committee presented its proposal for a state certification plan to the OLA Executive Board and the ODL Board in Spring of 1993. Both boards approved the plans. ODL appointed a certification specialist at this point. Another joint OLA/ODL committee prepared an implementation plan, which was approved by the OLA and ODL Boards in November, 1995 and February, 1996 respectively.
A certification board oversees the certification process and the work of the certification specialist. Current certification board members are:
- Lois Bannister
Garland Smith Public Library, Muldrow
- Terri Crawford
Watonga Public Library
- Diana McMahan
Chickasaw Regional Library System
- Kathy Megli
Western Plains Library System
- Cathy Van Hoy, ODL
- Pat Williams, ODL certification specialist
You can find out much more about certification in Oklahoma by following the links below:
Oklahoma Certification Manual for Public Librarians
Explains how the certification process works, and details the levels of certification. The appendix section provides an overview of the courses offered through the Institute of Public Librarianship.
Oklahoma Program Approval Manual for Certification
Information for library educators and practicing professionals who wish to develop a program for the Institute in Public Librarianship.
Institute in Public Librarianship Calendar
Certification Classes Registration Page
Back to Library Development Links on the ODL Website
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Oklahoma Department of Libraries