Director Certification

To suggest additions, please email Marla Sepnafski at msepnafski@wvls.org.

Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification

Librarian certification for public library directors has been a part of Wisconsin law since 1921 when the legislature passed the first comprehensive state public librarian certification law. The concern was then, and continues to be, that the public libraries of the state be headed by qualified library personnel, assuring a high level of professional management and administration of Wisconsin’s library resources, programs and services.

Source: Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification– Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Levels of Certification

Find more information about each certification grade level in the Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public LIbrary Directors (2011).

Grade 1

  • A Grade I certificate is awarded to a public library director with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a master’s degree in library studies from an accredited library school.
  • Administrators of municipal, joint, and county public libraries with a municipal, joint municipal, or county population of 6,000 or more, and administrators of public library systems, are required to hold grade I certificates.

Grade 2

  • A Grade II certificate is awarded to a public library director holding a bachelor’s degree from a college or university approved by an accrediting association of more than statewide standing, including or supplemented by 12 semester credits 8 Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public Library Directors of coursework or the equivalent, approved by the division, in each of the
    following areas:

    • Basic public library administration
    • Advanced public library administration
    • Organization and management of collections
    • Public and community services
      OR
      Individuals who obtain a bachelor’s degree with a minor in library science may be certified at the grade II level upon completion of the Advanced Public Library Administration course.*
  • Administrators of municipal, joint, and county libraries with a municipal, joint municipal or county population between 3,000 and 5,999 are required to hold at least grade II certificates.

Grade 3

  • A Grade III certificate is awarded to a public library director with 54 semester credits, half of which must be in the liberal arts and sciences, at a college or university approved by an accrediting association of more than statewide standing, including or supplemented by 12 semester credits of coursework or the equivalent, approved by the division, in the following areas:
    • Basic public library administration
    • Advanced public library administration
    • Organization and management of collections
    • Public and community services
  • Administrators of municipal, joint, and county libraries with a municipal, joint municipal or county population under 3,000 are required to hold at least grade III certificates.

Temporary 

  • A Temporary certificate is awarded to a public library director to enable who must complete the library education requirements.
  • Only four temporary certificates may be awarded to a director.
  • Temporary certificates are valid through the last day of the month in which they expire. Applicants must apply for temporary certification within three months of employment as a library director in order to be eligible for such certification. Temporary
    certificates shall not be granted to allow applicants to complete the general education requirements for the applicable grade level.

Lapsed

A temporary certificate may be awarded to an applicant for certification who was previously certified and whose certification has been expired for at least one year and who has not served as the administrator of a public library or public library Types of Certification Available 11 system in Wisconsin during that period. The applicant must meet the basic requirements for initial regular certification at the appropriate grade level. An applicant who receives a temporary certificate under these conditions shall complete at least 20 contact hours of continuing education during the temporary certification period. The certificate is valid for up to one year and is not
renewable. The applicant will be eligible for regular certification upon completion of the 20 contact hours of continuing education.

Provisional Certification

The Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning may grant provisional certification at the appropriate grade level for a five-year period, and renewal every five years thereafter, to the following applicants, provided they continue to work at the same library and comply with continuing education requirements for recertification. Certificates are valid through the last day of the
month in which they expire.

  • An applicant who is employed as the administrator for a public library in which he or she was originally certified at the appropriate grade level but is no longer properly certified due to the population growth of the jurisdiction in which the public library is located. Administrators of public libraries affected by a population increase will be notified by the division
    when the new federal decennial census figures are available, and the upgrade will be effective at that time.
  • An applicant who was already employed as the administrator for the public library in which he or she is currently employed at the time the library, became a member or part of a public library system or a joint public library, or who was employed as the administrator for the public library.

WVLS Director Certification Consultant

Please contact Marla Sepnafski with any certification questions at msepnafski@wvls.org or 715-261-7251.

Certification Forms

  • Please send a copy of your certification application and materials to Marla Sepnafski at msepnafski@wvls.org.
  • Application for certification can be found on the WI DPI website.
  • Continuing Education (CE) Activity Report can be found on the WI DPI website.
  • Annual Summation of CE Activities Report can be found on the WI DPI website.

Continuing Education Requirements

As defined in the Wisconsin Public Library Certification Manual (2011), once a public library director has completed the four core courses (director’s holding master’s degrees are exempt from the four core courses), directors must:

  • complete 100 contact hours of continuing education in a five-year period.
  • 10 hours of the continuing education contact hours must be technology training.
  • WVLS continuing education webinar and workshop descriptions include the number of contact hours awarded.

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Wisconsin Valley Library Service

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Wausau, WI 54403

715-261-7250