Role Of Library Directors

Librarianship is an ever changing field and individuals who work in libraries, no matter the job, need to continually advance their skills, knowledge and abilities in order to successfully serve the community. Continuing education for library staff is primarily the responsibility of the library director. The director can assess both the training needs of staff members and the library's resources available for staff to participate in CE activities.

The role of the library director in the certification program is expanded to an oversight role and in that way provides local direction that reflects specific needs and resources. The library director is asked to take on the following roles:

Support continuing education for all staff and encourage participation in training events

Include planning for training in scheduling and budgeting

Promote staff CE with library board or administrative body to get support

Approve participation in CE activities that are both library-specific and relevant to staff needs

Use the Continuing Education Credits: What Counts, What Doesn't? Section of the certification manual to help determine the relevance of training

Contact the State Library for assistance in approving CE events or in selecting appropriate credits or continuing education categories

Assist staff in locating appropriate training events

Verify staff participation in training that qualifies for library certification

Help staff track CE credits with the goal of achieving certification

Give special recognition to staff who achieve certification

Remind staff when it is time to certify again

At the time a staff member meets the requirements and applies for certification, the director will sign the continuing education tracking form. The director's signature verifies that the individual has successfully completed all of the training activities listed on the form and that the training meets the library's needs.

If a director leaves a library, staff CE accomplishments up to that time can be verified by using the Montana Certification Program For Library Directors, Staff And Trustees - Interim Verification Form. The form can also be used if a staff member leaves the library and wants to continue working toward certification. In this case, the form can be issued and signed by the director. The Interim Verification Form guarantees that the CE credits earned by staff will qualify for certification, even though the individual has a new director or a new position.

Certification is required for all public library directors. The role of planning for and verifying CE activities for these directors is filled by the library's Board of Trustees. For other library directors who elect to participate in the certification program, this can be done by the body or individual responsible for the library director position. This could be a school principal or district superintendent, an academic dean, or a corporate officer.

Montana State Library staff will continue to assist both directors and all certification program participants with the certification process.