Submitted by Anne K. Abate, ASCLA Interface Editor, and Member CPLA Certification Review Committee

Did you ever wonder what goes on in one of those “closed” committee rooms at the annual conference? In 1996, the Executive Boards of two ALA divisions, PLA and LAMA, approved a proposal to develop a “Certified Public Library Administrator” program; that proposal was also subsequently adopted by the ASCLA Executive Board.  This program provides an important and useful service to ASCLA members.  Because of that, ASCLA seats an official members on the ALA/APA CPLA  Certification Review Committee.  I have the privilege of serving on the Committee.

This is a WORKING committee.  When I attended my first meeting at the Annual Conference in 2009, I was cautiously admitted into a closed conference room with several people working diligently at the table.  Around them were reams of paper, computers, files, not to mention large cups of java and snacks.  The work of the committee at conference and midwinter takes several hours.  In addition, the committee meets several times throughout the year by conference call.

The charge of the committee is to oversee the CPLA program including the following:

  • Review and approve the requirements for certification and re-certification.
  • Establish guidelines for education programs offered by providers.
  • Review and approve education providers based on the provider’s self-attestation that the provider’s program fulfills the guidelines. ALA-APA will develop, with advice from legal counsel, a disclaimer that says that ALA-APA does not “endorse” a specific provider.
  • Oversee the process for development and validation of the certification exam.

The committee plays an important part in the professional development of our members.  I have included a photo so that you can see one of these “closed” committees at work.  The photo was taken during the committee meeting at Midwinter in San Diego.

If you would like more information about the CPLA program, or the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSC), I encourage you to check out the website: