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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. There are three (3) grades of certificates for public library directors and detailed information about grade requirements are found in the Certification Manual for WI Public Library Directors, 2011.

  • A grade I certificate is awarded to a public library director with a master's degree in library studies.
  • Grade II certificates can be issued to applicants holding a bachelor's degree along with a minor in library science if the minor includes or is supplemented by 3 semester credits of coursework, or the equivalent, in advanced public library administration.
  • Coursework requirements for grade II and III Public librarian certification changed in some areas to reflect changes in the nature of public library operation. The total number of credits required to be completed is 12; the rule provides flexibility as to how those 12 credits may be earned.
  • Require certification renewal to include at least 10 hours of technology-related training.
  • Modify the temporary certification requirements for grade II and III certification to reflect the new coursework required to get a public librarian certification and require at least one course to be completed annually until the certification requirements are complete.

Note: Word documents, with the exception of the signature and date, can be completed online.

For questions about this information, contact Terrie Howe (608) 266-2413