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Public Library Certification

Public libraries are an important part of our society. ILS graduates hold leadership positions in public libraries across the country. The American Library Association notes that "there are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S. - a total of 16,776 including branches." [ALA Website]

Both the ILS MLS (Master of Library Science) and MIS (Master of Information Science) degrees are accredited by the American Library Association. Professional jobs in public libraries (particularly positions in larger libraries and as directors) normally require an ALA-accredited degree.

The Indiana State Library oversees certification for positions in public libraries that serve smaller communities. Contact the Indiana State Library - Indiana Library Certification Board (1-800-451-6028) with questions.

Experience in student chapters of various professional associations can help you prepare for a career in public libraries – consider developing skills in health, management, art, sports, languages, and more. Most states have chapters of the American Library Association. The ALA Chapter for the state of Indiana is the Indiana Library Federation. The Public Library Association of the national ALA national also has many resources.

Interested in youth services positions in public libraries? The ILS Children's and Young Adult Services Specialization with the Master of Library Science may be a perfect fit for your career plans.