ULA Paraprofessional Certificate Program FAQ

Q: I took library-related classes more than 3 years before I applied for the paraprofessional certificate. Do they count?
A: No, all relevant classwork must have been undertaken within 2 years of application for the program.


Q: How do I submit documentation for my badge requirements?
A: Documentation for badge requirements is submitted directly in the Canvas course. The course will accept documents (Word, Google Docs, PDFs, etc) and images (jpegs, png). Once documents have been submitted and approved by your mentor, the badge will show as completed in the grade book. Participants will have to scan and upload their documentation as the program does not allow document sharing via cloud based drives.


Q: Do I have to complete all the badges?
A: Yes. There are three competency sets – Professional Experience, Professional Development and Professional Advocacy. Each set has required and elected badges. You may choose what you wish to learn, skills to develop or projects to do, but you must complete all badges.


Q: What kind of verification is required for work experience?
A: All participants, full-time, part-time and volunteer library workers must spend two years in the program. Those who work 20 or more hours per week must provide two years work experience. Those who work 10 to 19 hours per work must provide three years work experience and those who work less than 10 hours per week must provide four years work experience. All participants must provide evidence of hours worked in the form of a letter from the supervisor. The letter must state the hours worked and some of the duties performed.


Q: Do Spanish classes, or other language learning classes count?
A: Any classes you take that can benefit your library can be counted as either a project or skills training and would fulfill a badge requirement.


Q: Do UPLIFT classes offered by the Utah State Library count?
A: Yes, they represent professional education and could count towards a skills training or project badge.


Q: What is the difference between Paraprofessional Certification and UPLIFT?
A: Paraprofessional certification is designed to recognize those who contribute to Utah libraries and want to demonstrate proficiency in a wide variety of library responsibilities and gain additional training opportunities. UPLIFT is primarily oriented toward small public library directors and others who don’t have a graduate degree and need to develop mastery in specific skills.


Q: What if I have attended conferences, workshops, etc, in the past, but have no documentation?
A: Contact people who have sponsored the event or presented sessions to see if they can provide copies of handouts; often information about older conferences and workshops are available on the web (e.g. ULA Conferences). Remember, documentation is important so save receipts, programs, certificates of completion, handouts and notes. Keep track of sessions you attend, what you have learned and your key takeaways.


Q: Can I choose my mentor?
A: The program coordinator will assign a mentor to you based on your interests and job experiences.


Q: Some of the badges require participating in webinars on Niche Academy. How do I access that?
A: Access to Niche Academy is provided by the Utah State Library. Visit the Library Professional Development page and create a free account that will be approved by the State Library.