New Mexico State Librarian Certification

by Mychal Ludwig, Head Editor, INALJ New Mexico

New Mexico State Librarian Certification 

updated 6/25/13 

18-2-8 Certification of librarians.  

The state librarian is hereby authorized to issue certificates to librarians. He shall have authority to prescribe and hold examinations, or require submission of credentials to establish the qualifications of those seeking certificates as librarians, and to issue certificates of librarianship to qualified persons, in accordance with such reasonable rules and regulations as he may provide.   



For anyone, from in or outside of the state of New Mexico, who is interested in either moving from one library job to another, or obtaining their very first library job in the state as a community’s “chief librarian”, participating in the New Mexico State Library Certification Program is required by law – under the New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA), Chapter 18, Articles 2-8 through 2-18 (see the first section above).


I won’t fully reiterate just why the New Mexico State Library requires certification; it acts as an attempt to maintain a statewide consistency in library service levels, verifying and encouraging the skills and education of everyone from a rural librarian to a library director in a bustling branch system. The “why should I get certified” comes down to “you have no choice if you want to be a chief librarian in New Mexico” or if a particular job opening requires it, so the more important question is what type of certification should you obtain?


The type of certification you need comes down to the breadth of places you want to be able to work:


Types of Certification


  • Permanent Professional Certification (required for the chief librarian in towns with more than 15,000, and requires and MLS/MLIS).


  • Grade II Certification (required for the chief librarian in towns with between 10,000 – 15,000, and requires either an exam or minor/coursework in Library Science).


  • Grade I Certification (required for the chief librarian in towns of 3,000 – 10,000, and requires 2 years of undergrad work plus 9 credits of library science).


  • Temporary Certification (issued for one year by the NM State Librarian in special cases)


Getting Certified


Now that you’ve decided on the type of certification you need, how do you go about actually getting certified? Well, for all four types, you must apply by printing, filling out, and sending in the application to the state library. The Permanent Professional Certification, which requires an official college transcript, and the Temporary Certification, don’t require an exam, but do have a $5.00 fee. The Grade I and II Certifications can be obtained by exam, or by particular library science coursework, therefore can either cost $5.00 or $10.00.




For additional information and detail on New Mexico State Librarian Certification, such as passing exam scores, or where to take the exam, visit the New Mexico State Library page on Certification For Librarians.


For more of New Mexico Statutes Annotated, search 18-2-8, 18-2-9, and so on, at the New Mexico Compilation Commission.




Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 19.5 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website,, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


  9 comments for “New Mexico State Librarian Certification

  1. David Hurley
    June 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Mychal, just to clarify, the certification is only required of library directors.
    Where you have “required by chief librarian in towns…” it should read “required *for* chief librarian in towns…”
    Full info is here:

    • June 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Fixed! :)

      • June 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        Naomi, I think we need to fix that for all levels of certification, and I/we should probably make it more clear that this is for directors (I don’t want people spending money they don’t necessarily need to).

    • June 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      That’s for the clarification, this must be a case of regulatory jargon being outdated and unnecessarily ambiguous. In any case, at least I now know I’m prepared to become a library director.

  2. Heidi
    June 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks Mychal. I submitted my application in mid-May and received my certification certificate in the mail yesterday.

    Rod- This certification program is not well known. I noticed the certification requirement on a few job applications but was unsure what it meant. Unfortunately, the HR Department would not respond to my requests for clarification. I found info about the certification program only weeks before I read this article.

  3. Rod
    June 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve been a librarian here for a year and this is the first I’m hearing of this!

  4. Heidi
    May 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’m interested in anyone who has a New Mexico State Library Certification, how long did the process take once you submitted your application? Thanks.

    • May 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Hoping we get some responses here. Good question!

    • Mychal Ludwig
      June 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Once I sent my application and materials to the state library in Santa Fe, it only took a few weeks.

Comments are closed.