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Librarian & Librarianship Certification

Certification is mandated by statute in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA), Chapter 18, Articles 2-8 through 2-18. You can find the statute using the New Mexico Compilation Commission website

18-2-8. Certification of librarians. The state librarian is hereby authorized to issue certificates to librarians. He shall have authority to prescribe and hold examinations, or require submission of credentials to establish the qualifications of those seeking certificates as librarians, and to issue certificates of librarianship to qualified persons, in accordance with such reasonable rules and regulations as he may provide.

18-2-15. Certificates required. It states that certification is "required for the chief librarian of any library" in communities having a population of 3,000 - 15,000+ as shown by the last federal decennial census.

To be eligible to receive public funds under the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) 4.5.2 library directors in communities with a population of 3,000 - 15,000+ are required to obtain certification. Library directors in communities with a population of fewer than 3,000 are not required to obtain a certificate.

***The Grade I and Grade II certification exam is not intended to be a "teaching tool" for library staff. The purpose of administering such exams is to certify that current public library directors serving a community of 3,000 - 15,000 who do not hold a MLS/MLIS have an understanding of how to manage a library. If you are not a library director, but would like to learn more about librarianship, the Dona Ana Community College offers online library science courses to obtain various certificates as well as an Associate of Applied Science. This would best prepare an individual for working in a public library as it is a structured program, rather than a general one time exam.***

Types of Certification

  • Permanent Professional Certification is required for the chief librarian in communities having populations of more than 15,000, as shown by the last federal decennial census.
  • Grade II Certification is required for the chief librarian in communities having populations of 10,000 – 15,000, as shown by the last federal decennial census. Certification without examination is issued with either graduation from an accredited college or university with a minor in library science OR twenty-one (21) semester hours of library science courses beyond the requirements of Grade I Certification (30 hours).
  • Grade I Certification is required for the chief librarian in communities having a population of 3,000 – 10,000, as shown by the last federal decennial census. Certification without examination is issued upon completion of two (2) years of undergraduate work plus nine (9) hours of library science courses from an accredited college or university.
  • Temporary Certification is issued for a one year period by the State Librarian in special cases upon written recommendation from a library board or the governing body of the community.

How to Obtain Permanent Professional Certification

  1. Submit a completed application to the Development Bureau, with $10.00 fee.
  2. Request Official Transcripts from the American Library Association accredited college or university you received your MLS/MLIS from and submit with application. Official transcripts can be sent directly to the Development Bureau from the college or university.

How to Obtain Grade I or Grade II Certification Through Coursework (No Exam)

  1. Submit a completed application to the Development Bureau, with $10.00 fee.
  2. Request Official Transcripts from the college or university attended and submit with application. Official transcripts can be sent directly to the Development Bureau from the college or university.

How to Obtain Grade I or Grade II Certification Through Exam

The New Mexico librarianship exam is intended to be administered to public library directors.

  1. Submit a completed application to the Development Bureau, with $20.00 fee.
  2. Attend a study session (not required, but recommended).
  3. Take the exam at the New Mexico State Library and complete portfolio component(s).

Grade I

Completion of certification exam with a passing grade of 70 or above; and submission of one (1) portfolio piece within 30 days of taking the exam, receiving a passing score. Portfolio piece information will be attached to the exam.

Grade II

Completion of certification exam with a passing grade of 80 or above; and submission of two (2) portfolio pieces within 30 days of taking the exam, receiving a passing score. Portfolio piece(s) information will be attached to the exam.

How to Obtain Temporary Certification

  1. Submit a completed application to the Development Bureau, with $20.00 payment.
  2. Include the written recommendation for temporary certification with application and payment.

Certification Exam Application Process

IMPORTANT: Beginning January 1, 2017 all Grade I and Grade II exams must be completed at the New Mexico State Library.

Note: Applications for obtaining a Permanent Professional certificate or obtaining a Grade I or Grade II certifcate through coursework are not subject to the quarterly schedule.

Applications are accepted every quarter within a 2 week timeframe. The applicant has until the end of the quarter to take and pass the exam. Under one application and paid fee, the applicant may take the exam up to three (3) times in order to attain a passing grade.

  • Application and fee must be mailed and postmarked on or before the deadline. Any application/fee postmarked after the deadline will be placed in a file for the next quarter application process.
  • Quarterly applicants may register for the study session once they mail their application and fee. Only those who submit their application and fee before the deadline may register for the study session. Study sessions will be scheduled and held each quarter, as schedules allow. Dates TBD.
    • October through December (Deadline October 17, 2016)
    • January through March (Deadline January 16, 2017)
    • April through June (Deadline April 17, 2017)
    • July through September (Deadline July 17, 2017)

Study Sessions (approximately 6 hours)

Certification applicants may take the exam without attending a study session. However, participation in a study session is strongly encouraged. While the Library Foundations guide covers many areas of librarianship, it is not intended to be the only source used when preparing to take the certification exam. Applicants are encouraged to seek other quality materials to develop further knowledge and background needed for working in a New Mexico public library.

Study sessions occur on a quarterly basis as schedules allow. All dates are tentative until 6 weeks prior to the date, at which time the date will be confirmed or modified and the registration link will become available.

Date

Location

Registration

Wednesday October 19, 2016

Santa Fe - New Mexico State Library
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Closed
January or February 2017 - TBD

Santa Fe - New Mexico State Library
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Coming soon as schedules allow

NOTE: Only applicants who have submitted an application and fee within the alotted time-frame may register for this study session

April or May 2017 - TBD

Santa Fe - New Mexico State Library
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Coming soon as schedules allow

July or August 2017 - TBD Santa Fe - New Mexico State Library
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Coming soon as schedules allow

Exams – Grade I & II Information

  • Location
    The Grade I and Grade II certification exams must be completed at the New Mexico State Library.
  • Time Limit
    The exam is designed to take the applicant an average of 2-4 hours. Applicants will have no more than 5 hours to complete the exam.
  • Closed Book
    The exam is designed to be “CLOSED BOOK.” Outside sources of any kind (flash drives, personal notes, the Library Foundations Guide, and web access of any kind including smartphones, etc.) are not permitted in the testing area while the applicant is taking the exam
  • Portfolio(s)
    Information regarding the portfolio piece(s) will be attached to the exam. Applicants will have 30 days from the time of taking the exam to complete and electronically submit the piece(s) to the Development Bureau.

Certification Exam Information

  1. Certification Application
  2. Library Foundations (Version 1.0)
  3. Portfolio Grading Rubric
  4. Study Session Agenda
  5. FAQs about the Certification Exam
  6. Core Competencies for New Mexico Library Directors and Staff

For more information, contact: The Library Development Bureau @ 1-800-340-3890 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

School Library Endorsement is available through the New Mexico Public Education Department.