Utah Library Association Paraprofessional Certificate
This program is designed to recognize the involvement and contributions of career-oriented library paraprofessionals in Utah and to acknowledge their support of libraries and librarianship. For the purposes of this program, a paraprofessional is defined as a library worker who does not hold a professional library degree.
Paraprofessionals support the mission of libraries by providing important patron and support services. They promote personal development through professional involvement. They share concerns about issues facing the library profession and work with professional librarians in addressing them. Through this program, paraprofessionals demonstrate a commitment to librarianship. Library paraprofessional service is recognized by library professionals and administrators as a valid career choice.
The ULA Paraprofessional Certificate is not a substitute for the Master of Library Science degree, the Utah Library Media Certificate, any other library degree, or other professional credentials.
REGISTERING FOR THE PROGRAM
A participant must submit the registration form (Form A – Anna will add in link to PDF) online or mail it to:
Utah Library Association Paraprofessional Certificate Program
P.O. Box 708155
Sandy, UT 84070-8155
- All registration information and forms are available for printing from the ULA website.
- Registration will expire five (5) years from time of submission.
- The participant should notify the Review Board of changes in business, mail, or e-mail addresses.
- Registration is in no way a guarantee of the final awarding of a certificate.
After registration is received, a confirmation letter will be sent by the Chair of the Review Board and a mentor will be contacted and assigned to the participant. Upon completing require points, the participant may then submit claims for points to their mentor. All participants are strongly encouraged to work closely with their assigned mentor to help maintain consistency within the program.
Participant must earn 500 points and demonstrate knowledge of library skills and competency. Completion of the Paraprofessional Certificate must show that the participant has an understanding of the four areas of Library Service, demonstrated by expertise gained through professional experience, education and development as shown in the following matrix:
[Anna will insert image of matrix]
Points are earned in three different Areas of Expertise and will be divided between the four areas of Library Service.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Professional Experience: Points for experience are based on Full Time Equivalency (FTE) of 40 hours per week, 12 months per year and include both volunteer and paid employment. It does not refer to experience in which an individual may use a library as a patron.
Claims for points must have information showing the number of hours per week worked for the length of time the participant was employed. If the work was not on a 12-month basis, that difference must also be reported. The participant must provide letters from employers which fully verify this employment. Points are granted for time on the job and do not consider the level of difficulty of the job. Experience points can be applied to areas of library service by stating how many hours are spent in different areas, e.g. two hours a day cataloging materials, etc.
Professional Education: Points awarded are based on higher education credit hours received. Credits do not need to be part of a matriculated program. Credits are verified by transcripts from the institution or by official grade notification slips with the participant’s name on the form. Credits transferred from one institution to another may be accepted on the transcript from the latter institution. Official transcripts are not required. Points can also be earned by attending non-credit library related workshops and classes, such as those offered at professional conferences.
Professional Development: Points awarded are based on the participant’s involvement in professional activities, expertise gained from special assignments beyond job duties, and other experiences which broaden the participant’s skills and knowledge. Committee work, presenting and teaching classes or workshops, and professional organization membership are included in this area.
AREAS OF LIBRARY SERVICE
Examples of sources for points in the four Library Service Areas are shown below. The list is not all-inclusive.
- Collection Development
- Book Talks
- Inter Library Loan
- AV Equipment Use
- Children’s Services
- Young Adult Services
- Government Documents
- Circulation Services
- Teaching or Using Databases
- Cataloging skills
- Processing Authority Files
- Circulation Functions
- Standing Orders
- Government Documents
- Data Entry
- Computer skills
- Word Processing/Spreadsheets
- Creating Databases
- Web Writing skills
- Social Networking
- Technology Training
- ILS Administration
- Personnel Accounting/Bookkeeping
- Public Relations
- Inventory Control
- Committee Chair
Points may also be obtained in other ways. Examples are:
- Public Speaking
- Assertiveness Training
- Interpersonal Relations
- Technical Writing
- Book Reviews
The participant may claim points for a topic under a different library service area than is shown here by justifying that claim in her/his submitted paperwork. For instance, assertiveness training for the purpose of dealing with problem patrons could be claimed under Public Service. The Review Board makes the final decision of application of a claim to a service area.
- 500 points are required to earn the ULA Paraprofessional Certificate.
- Points may be counted back five years from the date of registration, and the applicant may take up to five years more to complete the requirements.
- A participant has an opportunity to show, through accumulated points, specialization in one of the four Areas of Library Service.
If an area of specialization is selected, 200 of the points must be in that Area of Library Service, with the remaining points distributed between the other three Areas. If no Area is specialized, the points may be divided, with no Area of Library Service receiving less than 50 points.
- 200 total points must be earned in Professional Experience.
Points are based on Full Time Equivalency (FTE) of 40 hours per week, 12 months per year.
80 points a year for paid experience
40 points a year for volunteer experience
- 200 total points must be earned in Professional Education.
15 points per credit hour for library related courses taken from an institution of higher learning
2 points per credit for non-library related courses
5 points per 1 hour for non-credit library related related workshops/classes
- 100 points must be earned in Professional Development.
3 points per year for membership in a library related organization
5 points per year for attendance at a library related conference
1-15 points for service to a library related organization (Justified in writing)
5-12 points for publications, presentations or teaching a class or workshop that must be library related (Justified in writing)
SUBMITTING CLAIMS FOR POINTS
The program is designed to identify achievements within the service areas of the library. This is achieved by assigning point values to the various activities of the participant. Participants should submit all their forms and documentation to their mentor or Chair upon completion, rather than in small batches.
Making as many copies as necessary, use [Anna will create form] Form B – Claim For Points Submission Form. Use a separate Form B for each type of activity and its verification.
Each activity for which the participant wishes to claim points must have A completed Claims Form (Form B) indicating the participant’s identification The Area of Expertise and Library Service Area identified The number of points being requested All documentation for that activity attached to Claims Form. (For example, for points requested in Education, the participant’s course transcript could be attached to FORM B as documentation.) A completed matrix with points requested
REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPETENCY STATEMENTS
Competency statements allow the participant to claim points for learning gained through experience beyond the participant’s required job parameters. They must also be used to justify a claim that learning is library related when it is not readily apparent to the Review Board.
The participant must be able to verify the learning experience through documentation that can be gathered from various sources. Documentation may include the following: Job descriptions, awards, letters of commendation, letters of corroboration from supervisors, samples of work produced, explanation of tasks performed, conference/workshop programs, handouts or notes, licenses, and newspaper or magazine clippings. The participant should remember that these are not all-inclusive and other documents which can verify the learning experience may be used. The participant should include statements and comments about what was learned and/or how it did enhance their work. The Review Board will consider each statement on an individual basis.
The number of points given will be based upon the written statement of the participant. A competency statement includes the following: Participant’s name, address, library, library address Library service area(s) to which the activity applies Narrative Verification
The participant is not required to specify the number of points he/she wishes for a particular activity. However, the participant can specify and request that an activity be awarded a certain number of points. If points are specifically requested, the Review Board may award the final number of points to an activity up to, but not beyond, the number of points requested.
The narrative states how the learning experiences benefit the participant in librarianship. Why this statement fulfills the indicated library service areas(s) must be explained.
ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE
Upon submission of the necessary forms, the Review Board will meet and approve or reject the statements, forms, and/or documents. When approval is given, the Review Board will return forms to the participant. It is the responsibility of the participant to retain all forms returned. Once requirements are met, a certificate, signed by the President of the Utah Library Association, is presented to the participant at the Annual ULA Conference. Full notification of all certificates awarded will be made in the annual ULA Program.
PROCEDURE FOR APPEALS
A certificate of Achievement Program candidate who does not agree with a decision of the Review Board may appeal the decision by writing a letter to the Review Board within 30 working days of the decision. The candidate may appear before the Review Board at the next regularly scheduled Review Board meeting to state a position.
The Review Board will review its decision and the position statement and give the candidate a final decision. If the candidate is not satisfied with the Review Board’s decision, they may write a letter to the Executive Committee of the Utah Library Association (ULA) within 30 working days of the Review Board’s final decision and appear at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the ULA Board of Directors to state a position. A member of the Review Board may present an opposing view at the same meeting, with the ULA Board of Directors deciding the matter.