ALA Announces approval of LSSC

This news comes from: http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/july2009/lssc_apa.cfm

Just what is LSSC?  Library Support Staff Certification.

You can find more information here: http://www.ala-apa.org/lsscp/

But the main idea is that the ALA has found that 69% of library workers do not hold a MLS, and would like to “standardize expectations for LSS”.

What do you think?  Should the LSSC make its way to Canada soon?  Should we leave well enough alone?

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5 Responses to ALA Announces approval of LSSC

  1. clemeshine says:

    Would it make the pay rate go up and therefore less LSS be hired? I wonder what the reasons for this were- I guess training new staff is costly so send them to school and therefore less training at the library end? I am being critical but if there is a need for it, and it seems like there is, then it might be a good idea.

  2. sfelkar says:

    I think it would be to standardize pay… but it’s still so new, who knows if it will catch on. Maybe it will crowd us out? : )

  3. buzza says:

    The certification is a matter of standardizing competencies for support staff at the national level (within the U.S.). It is strictly voluntary, but if you get the certification, you have documentary proof of your qualifications for library-related support positions not requiring a Master’s degree. Currently, the Library Technician’s Diploma serves to provide this level of certification in Canada, although I am not sure if there are national competency standards the various programs are required to meet (perhaps CLA’s “Guidelines for the education of library technicians”?)

    • Christina says:

      At IFLA in summer of 2008 I had the apparent audacity to ask the two key organizers of this certificate if there is a plan to actually standardize educational practices in the are of library assistants / techs and they looked at me as if I was Mars. It appears that this is a way for library workers to “feel good” about their accomplishments with no teeth to improving standards or education. As for jobs, who knows? In a country where one of the biggest library systems (i.e. Free Public Library of Philidelphia) is threatenting to close its doors to the public on Oct. 2nd, I suspect pay is the last thing on the minds of administrators!

      In Canada schools follow the outdated CLA Guidelines and are offered little support from this association to creating a better system of continuing education and standardization.

      If we want to see better pay, we need to look at an accreditation for techs, like librarians, where training is standardized and expectations are such that techs must engage in participation of professional development activities. In addition, the voice of assistants and techs must be more vocal and assertive.

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