by Mychal Ludwig, Head Editor, INALJ New Mexico
New Mexico State Librarian Certification
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)
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.