Meeting of the Board of Regents | July 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Cultural Education Committee
New Professional Development Requirements for Public Librarian Certification
July 9, 2008
Issue for Discussion
Should the Regents support a new policy implementation proposal that would strengthen professional development requirements for public librarians?
Reason(s) for Consideration
The leadership of the New York Library Association (NYLA) will present a proposal to require sixty (60) hours of professional development for public librarians every five years. The proposal would impact all individuals who are certified by the State Education Department as public librarians beginning on January 1, 2010. After the presentation, the Cultural Education Committee will have the opportunity to question NYLA leaders and discuss their recommendations in detail.
Regents policy calls for a highly skilled library workforce. Recommendation nine of “Meeting the Needs of All New Yorkers: Library Service in the New Century: Final Report of the Regents Commission on Library Services,” which was adopted as Regents statewide policy for libraries in 2000 and reaffirmed in 2004 and again in December 2007, recommends establishing “a certification process to promote excellence in New York’s library workforce at all stages and levels.”
NYLA, in consultation with the New York State Library, has developed a proposal to address this recommendation. Implementation would require changes to Education Law §279 and amendments to Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7 certificates for librarians in registered public, free association and Indian libraries.
In September 2007, NYLA leadership began discussing a variety of options to improve the skills of the library workforce in New York State in order to address Regents policy. During the past ten months, the NYLA Continuing Education Committee has worked with NYLA members, the New York State Library and with the statewide library community to develop a new proposal that would equip New York State’s new public librarians to meet the changing information needs of New Yorkers and continue to provide first-class library service throughout their professional careers.
NYLA leadership has officially adopted the proposal and is seeking Regents support for implementation. Implementation would require the Board of Regents to amend Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7. In addition, in the 2009 legislative session, NYLA will seek necessary changes to Education Law §279 that would increase the fees for public librarian certification to cover in part the increased program administration costs.
Staff recommends that the Regents support the New York Library Association’s proposal to require professional development for public librarians and that the Regents direct the State Library to move forward with implementation of the proposal.
Timetable for Implementation
Implementation would begin immediately. Amended regulations would be discussed at the October 2008 meeting of the Regents Cultural Education Committee and presented for adoption at the December 2008 meeting.