by Pat Boze LTLS Consultant
Are you a public library administrator who has 3 or more years of supervisory experience? Are you interested in expanding your knowledge set and learning new management and administrative skills? Do you believe that library administrators and leaders must invest in self-education, training, and continual learning as their contribution to continually elevating the professionalism of librarianship?
If so, the Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) Program is a well-designed opportunity that you should consider. This program, which is national in scope, is designed for the working administrator who is interested in self-improvement and wants to learn new skillls that contribute to enhanced library service and administration. Begun in 2006 as a joint effort of the American Library Association's (ALA) 3 divisions - the Public Library Association (PLA), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) - the CPLA Program currently has 99 candidates from 30 U.S. states. An additional 300 students have taken courses from the program offerings.
The CPLA Program allows participants to learn proficiencies in nine competency areas. Four of these areas are considered core competencies - Budget and Finance, Management of Technology, Organization and Personnel Administration, and Planning and Management of Buildings. Five additional competency areas allow participants to choose classes in these areas: Current Issues, Fundraising and Grantwriting, Marketing, Politics and Networking, and Service to Diverse Populations. Classes are offered in an online environment, which allows flexibility for the working professional. The entire listupcoming list of classes, as well as course-offering institutions and costs, can be seen here.
The Graduate School of Library & Information Science, University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign, is one of two national university providers of the CPLA Program class offerings. Upcoming classes scheduled at UIUC for the spring semester include:
Serving Diverse Populations, January 7 - February 11
Organization and Personnel Management - January 27 - March 3
Fundraising and Grantwriting - March 2 - April 10
There are requirements to enter the CPLA Program, although classes can be taken by anyone not interested in the final certification. Those accepted for certification must have an MLS (Master's in Library Science) from an ALA-accredited institution and must have at least 3 years of supervisory experience. Applications to the certification program are here and are generally reviewed and approved quarterly. Once accepted to the program, participants have 5 years to complete the certification process.
Take a few minutes to review the CPLA web site about this learning opportunity. This program is offered to those who wish to better themselves and their job performance and at the same time care about the need to elevate the level of professionalism in libraries.