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) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its 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. INALJ has had over 20.5 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians 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 one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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