Certification for Indiana Public Librarians

Click here to see the new changes that took effect January 1, 2023

ISL’s Certification Portal

Our certification portal, Indiana State Library: Certification for Indiana Librarians, is now available. The portal has a public look up feature (Verify Status) that anyone can use to verify an Indiana librarian’s certification status. In addition, an Indiana librarian with a 5-year certificate or a temporary permit can use the portal to update their contact information. A 5-year certificate holder can also use the portal to renew their certificate.

Instructions for using the portal can be found in this Guide to Using New Certification Portal. In addition, new and returning account holders may find helpful these detailed Instructions for Setting/Resetting a Portal Password (includes screenshots).

Accounts on the Certification for Indiana Librarians (portal) site are initially created by the Indiana State Library during the application process. After creation, a person who holds a librarian certificate or temporary librarian permit must access their account in the portal to print a copy of their certificate or temporary permit. Individuals are not allowed to access portal accounts other than their own. Employers and others who wish to verify another person’s certification status should use the public lookup function, Verify Status. The entire policy on access to portal records can be found here: Policy Regarding Access to Records on the Certification Portal.

Who needs to be certified?

Staff working at Indiana public libraries must be certified by the Indiana State Library if they spend at least 75% of their time on professional library work. Professional library work includes, but is not limited to, cataloging, copy cataloging, reference, collection development, reader’s advisory, and children’s or teen services. Library directors and staff classified as branch/department heads must also be certified. Certification requirements apply to all permanent (non-substitute) professional staff, whether they work full-time or part-time.

A public librarian certificate will be issued to any applicant who has demonstrated the prescribed qualifications. There are seven available librarian certificate levels (LC 1 through LC 7), each with their own minimum qualifications. Librarian certificates are valid for 5 years. Find more detail about certification requirements for each level here:

What level of certificate do I need?

The minimum required certificate level for your professional library position will depend on two factors: the library district size (based on service population) and the job classification. The second page of the Detailed Summary of Certification Requirements contains helpful tables showing (1) the minimum certificate required in each library district size and job classification, and (2) the minimum qualifications for each certificate level.

What if I don’t meet the requirements for the 5-year certificate I need?

You must apply for a temporary permit. A temporary permit lasts one year and is designed to allow a person who doesn’t yet meet the certification requirements for a position to hold the position for a limited amount of time while they complete the academic education, take the library science courses, and/or the accumulate years of experience required for full certification. A temporary permit may be renewed twice for a total maximum of 3 temporary permits per person, per job classification level.

What application should I use? 

There is one Application for Certification. Whether you apply for a temporary permit or a five year certificate, a first application or a renewal, an entry level or an advanced certificate, you will always use this application:

Application for Certification of Public Librarian

What do I include with my application?

Checklist for Submitting Librarian Certification Application

What library science courses do I need to take to qualify for an LC 4 or LC 5?

Library science courses taken at any state or nationally accredited college or university may be used to qualify for the LC4, LC5, or LC6. Courses may be undergraduate or graduate level. Distance learning is accepted if the course provider is a state or nationally accredited college or university. There are no longer specific library science courses/topics required; rather, the applicant must simply have completed the number of library science hours required by the Administrative Code for the level of certificate the applicant is seeking. Similar approved courses in library science may be accepted at the discretion of the Indiana Library and Historical Board.

For a summary of the rules and a non-exhaustive list of regional course providers, please view the Selected Course Options resource sheet below.

Selected Course Options for LC4 LC5 LC6

Which LEUs satisfy the Administrative LEU requirements for the LC 7 certificate?

The LC 7 certificate is designed for directors of public libraries with a service district population of 3,000 or less. The LC 7 certificate is earned by completing a 3-year training program. In addition to other requirements, candidates must take Indiana State Library-sponsored training courses each year in subject areas relating to library administration (also known as “Administrative Library Education Units” or “Admin LEUs”). View a summary of the program and a list of accepted training courses here:

LC 7 Requirements

How do I maintain my certificate?

Professional library staff must maintain their certificates and permits by completing approved professional development activities, called Library Education Units (LEUs). Successful completion of LEUs enables holders to renew their certification. If you hold a temporary permit, it expires and must be renewed one year from the date it took effect. If you hold a 5-year librarian certificate, your certificate expires and must be renewed 5 years after the date it took effect. As a certificate holder, you are subject to random audits of your compliance with LEU requirements. Learn more about these requirements here:

Certificate Renewals & Library Education Unit Audits

Archived Webinars on Certification

“Certification and LEUs: Getting and Staying Certified” (June 20, 2023)

“ISL Certification Portal: Introduction and Walk Through” (September 30, 2021)

Still have questions about certification? Contact the Certification Program Director at certification@library.in.gov, 317-234-6217, or toll-free in Indiana 800-451-6028.