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New York State Public Librarian Certification : FAQs by you

Frequent Asked Questions by RCLS member libraries

Frequently Asked Questions by RCLS member libraries

Who is required by New York State to have a Public Librarian Certificate?

The certificate is required for employment in professional librarian positions in public and association libraries and public library systems.  All graduates of accredited colleges who earn an MLS or MSIS degree and wish to have the Public Librarian Certificate may apply.  For more information see Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7 (http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/excerpts/finished_regs/907.htm).

When did I receive my Public Librarian Certification?

Please click NYS Certified Public Librarian Search and type your last name in the search box. Your name and issue date of your certificate should appear. The most important information is the date when your certificate was issued.

Who is required to complete 60 hours of professional development every five years?

Any librarian whose Public Librarian Professional Certificate was issued on or after January 1, 2010.
The New York State Board of Regents revised the Commissioner's Regulations regarding certification of public librarians in 2008. Public librarian Professional Certificates issued as of January 1, 2010 and thereafter shall only remain valid when 60 hours of professional development are completed every five-year period. Such periods will be defined as every five years from the initial certificate date.  For information on reduced requirements for those not employed in a library or library system, please see Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7(d) at

What topics are acceptable for professional development?

These topics are among suggested training opportunities offered by many providers.

Adult Services
Archives and Special Collections
Awareness & Advocacy
Cataloging & Bibliographic Control 
Children’s Services
Collection Development & Management
Customer Service
Digital Libraries
Diversity Training
Early Literacy
Grantwriting/Project Management
Human Resources/Personnel Management 
Information Commons
Intellectual Freedom/Censorship
Library Design
Management & Supervision

Planning and Evaluation
Program Planning
Project Management
Public Relations
Reader Advisory
Records Management
Reference/Virtual Reference Services
Resource Sharing
Social Networking & Collaboration
Special Client Populations
Subject Specialization
Trustee/Council Training
Working with Older Adults
Young Adult & Youth Services

Are meetings approvable for continuing education?

No.  Work meetings and professional organization meetings cannot be counted toward continuing education hours.


How do I prove completion of continuing education credits from New York Library Association (NYLA) workshops?

If you attended any pre-conference workshops offered by NYLA and you will receive a  certificate, if your do not please contact Lois A. Powell, Director of Membership Services, at membership@nyla.org or 518-432-6952, ext. 104. NYLA would also provided continuing education credit for attending the conference. You can access those credits by login into your nyla account via nyla.org.

If I have a public librarian certificate from New Jersey or any other state can it be transferred to New York State?

No. You must apply for the New York State Public Librarian Professional Certificate through the New York State Library.

Are continuing education credits earned prior to Public Librarian Certification acceptable toward the 60-hour requirement?

No.  Previous workshops are not applicable.  The 60 hours must be completed within each five-year certification period.

Are webinars acceptable?

Live webinars will be accepted if

•        they cover an appropriate topic (see list above for a sample of eligible topics) and

•        you retain your registration confirmation information and a description of the class for your records. 

Archived webinars will be accepted if

•        they cover an appropriate topic and

•        you have, at a minimum, a copy of written documentation from your employment supervisor confirming that you  participated. 

When webinar completion cannot be confirmed with a registration e-mail, supervisory verification may be requested.

If you are attending a vendor webinar that is primarily promotional and have questions about whether it is acceptable for credit, please contact the State Library.

In all cases, a continuing education certificate is preferred if available.

In all cases, the New York State Library reserves the right to approve/disapprove credits.

Is the Ramapo Catskill Library System going to keep track of my continuing education hours?

Yes, but only for workshops or webinars that are hosted by or at RCLS.

How is the New York State Department of Civil Service going to keep track of NY Public Librarian certification?

The New York State Department of Civil Service and the State Library will work together to verify public librarian certification.

What will happen if a librarian fails to meet the professional development requirements?

Librarians may apply to the State Education Department for a temporary certificate for a fee of $5, for a one-year time period. Within this one-year time period, the librarian must complete the hours missing from the previous five-year period as well as an additional hour per month.  At the end of the year, if all requirements have been completed, or earlier if requirements are completed earlier, the professional certificate will be reinstated. (See Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7 at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/excerpts/finished_regs/907.htm).

How do I submit my 60 continuing education hours to the New York State Library?

The certificate holder is responsible for obtaining and keeping all records of continuing education hours.  The State Library may request documentation at any time to verify completion of professional development requirements.  The certificate holder should not send records of continuing education hours to the State Library unless they are requested to do so.  The sample form (http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/cert/record.doc) on the State Library website is for personal record keeping only. 

May I earn contact hours for the RCLS Adult Summer Reading Workshop?
Yes.  Anyone that attended the workshop will be awarded 2 contact hours.

May I earn contact hours for the RCLS LibGuide training?
Yes.  Anyone who attends the LibGuide training sessions will be awarded 3 contact hours.

How do I request RCLS continuing education certificates?
At the end of each year, anyone who would like a record of their contact hours should fill out RCLS’s online request form http://guides.rcls.org/training

Can we received CE credits for attending Comic Con?

YES, you can but only for the sessions you attend that are relate to libraries, NOT for the whole day.
You will need to keep the following information to be submitted to New York State Library:
Date, time, program, session or panel's title and detail description
& add a line answering how the session, panel or program subject is relate to libraries.