The Montana State Library offers a certification program and a variety of continuing education and training opportunities for Montana librarians, library staff, and trustees.

The  Montana Library Certification Program was established to promote continuing education and to recognize librarians and trustees who continue to expand their knowledge and skills to provide improved services for patrons and communities. Public library directors must be certified in order for the library to meet the current standards and receive state aid. Certification is voluntary for all other librarians and trustees.

Certification is mandatory for all public library directors (including those with MLS/MLIS degrees) in order for the library to receive state funding.
Directors must complete the Library Administrator Track which involves the following:
  • 60 continuing education credits earned in a 4-year period
    • Minimum of 20 credits earned in the Library Administration CE category
    • Minimum of 10 credits in each of the other CE categories: Collection Management and Technical Services, Library Services to the Public, and Technology
    • Balance of credits are electives
Certificates are valid for 4 years. All public library directors must continue to participate in continuing education activities and apply for certification every 4 years to remain certified.
Newly hired directors will have 4 years to earn a certificate. The State Library will send the director and board a letter with information about the certification program and the date the requirement must be met.
Library trustees must always be aware of the issues, opportunities and challenges facing public libraries. Providing high quality service to patrons is the way to assure Montana's public libraries remain successful. The Montana library community needs well-educated trustees to sustain this success. The skills developed through voluntary certification allow trustees to fulfill their responsibilities to their library and its patrons.
  • 15 continuing education credits earned in a 4-year period which includes:
    • Minimum of 10 credits in the Library Administration CE category
    • Balance of credits are electives and can be earned in any CE category (Library Services to the Public, Collection Management and Technical Services, and Technology)

Download this information sheet for more details.

For library staff, the skills developed through continuing education and voluntary certification can contribute to job satisfaction, advancement, and improved quality of services to patrons.  Work with your supervisor to create a plan that will help you reach your goals.

  • 60 continuing education credits earned in a 4-year period which includes:

    • Minimum of 10 credits in each of the 4 CE categories (Library Administration, Library Services to the Public, Collection Management and Technical Services, and Technology)

    • Balance of credits are electives

Login to ASPeN to access the Continuing Education (CE) system to keep track of your continuing education credits and to apply for certification. 

CE events are added

  1. automatically if you register for an event within ASPeN
  2. added from the continuing education list in ASPeN
  3. input as an independent learning event

Once you have the requisite number of credits, you can submit your certification record through ASPeN.  A supervisor will be contacted to verify your certification record after the MSL CE Coordinator reviews the submission.

Access ASPeN Help for more information.

MSL Learn - take courses offered by MSL on our own online learning platform (COMING JANUARY 2023)

Great sites for FREE on-demand learning for librarians.  Unique logins or accounts may be required.

Directors, Staff, and Trustee Opportunities

Library Directors

Library Staff

Trustees

  • WebJunction - hot topics in library land from OCLC. Courses, webinars, newsletters, and more!
 
  • TechSoup - webinars in a wide variety of topics.
  • ABLE & SABLE - self-paced library basics from the Idaho Commission for Libraries. 
  • OCLC - Training - get training on basic copy cataloging, interlibrary loan, how to share and obtain resources from libraries across the globe. 
   
  • WebJunction's Public Library Directors 101 - a self-paced 4-part course that serves as an introduction to the essentials of being the top executive at a public library in America.  Need-to-know information for the library director's first week on the job.
  • InfoPeople  Training formats include 2-6 week asynchronous online courses, as well as free one-hour webinars.

 

 

The Task Force will be sharing its recommendations with the Network Advisory Council and MSL Commission in spring 2023.  Please visit the ASPeN event calendar for more information.


Task Force

  • Jennifer Ball, Stillwater County Library Director
  • Colet Bartow, Continuing Education Coordinator, Montana State Library
  • Carmen Clark, Bozeman Public Library Staff
  • Miranda Evenson, Sidney-Richland County Library Staff
  • Pam Henley, Statewide Consulting Librarian, Montana State Library
  • David Ingram, ImagineIF Libraries Trustee
  • Tina Peterson, Harlowton Public Library Director
  • Robyn Scribner, Montana State Library Commission Member

The task force members are charged with the following:

1.    Participate fully in the activities of the task force as a representative of library sizes, types, geographic location, and staff roles
2.    Review and consider continuing education needs and priorities as identified by MSL Core Services Committees and the Network Advisory Council
3.    Review and consider continuing education needs and priorities as identified by public library trustees, directors, and staff
4.    Understand the 2022 Public Library Standards and changes to CE requirements
5.    Evaluate the current Goals for the CE Program and make recommendations for changes to the MSL Commission
6.    Evaluate the current Continuing Education (CE) program requirements and make recommendations for changes to the MSL Commission

ASPeN Committee Page – all committee information, including meeting details and materials can be located from this convenient page.