Belmont College

Belmont College Library Graduates Eligible for National Certification

ALA-APA Approves Online Library Paraprofessional Degree Program

St. Clairsville, OH (November 13, 2012) – Belmont College has recently completed an agreement with the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) whereby graduates of the Library Paraprofessional Associate’s degree program are eligible to receive ALA’s national Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) with no additional proof of competency.

Belmont College and the ALA-APA believe that the Library Paraprofessional degree coupled with the LSSC will benefit the graduate, the library in which they work, and library users.

“We’re especially proud of this agreement because ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and promotes leadership in library information services,” said Cathy Bennett, Associate Dean of Learning, Information Services, and Technology at Belmont College. “ALA’s approval means that individuals have two potential pathways to national certification – obtaining the Associate’s degree or taking the six required LSSC-approved courses that Belmont offers.”

“Our fully-online library program has been training current and aspiring library employees since 1999,” Bennett said. “As we started planning to convert our program to semesters for Fall 2012, we saw the opportunity for our graduates to obtain national certification along with a college degree, and this led us to re-structure our courses to match the ten LSSC competency sets for national certification.”

The ALA-APA proposed an agreement after reviewing Belmont College’s curriculum and finding that the graduates of its library program completed coursework that meets the majority of LSSC’s competency requirements.

Lorelle Swader, Director of ALA-APA, said, “These graduates will be recognized for their acquired skills and knowledge with this national certification, which is quickly becoming a standard for the profession. The LSSC will show employers that these graduates have made a commitment to furthering their own continuing professional development and future.”

The Information Services/Library Paraprofessional program at Belmont College is intended for those interested in employment or are already employed in a public, academic, K-12, or other types of library or information technology organizations. Libraries increasingly need employees who can use computers effectively and present information electronically. Belmont’s courses focus on the skills needed to assist and train information seekers in defining, finding, evaluating, using and presenting information.

Graduates from this program are currently working in libraries all throughout the state of Ohio.

Carolyn Rose is a local graduate of the program as she completed her degree in August. Mrs. Rose currently runs the library at Martins Ferry’s Ayres Elementary School. “The Library Paraprofessional program at Belmont was very challenging and I benefitted greatly from it,” she said. “With the integration of technology into library settings and classrooms today I found this program to be a tremendously worthwhile experience for my career.

To find out more about the Information Services/Library Paraprofessional program or about Belmont College, please call Cathy Bennett at 740-699-3829 or visit the Information Services/Library Paraprofessional degree page.

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Attached Photo: Mrs. Carolyn Rose is an August 2012 graduate of Belmont College’s Library Paraprofessional program and currently runs the library at Martins Ferry’s Ayres Elementary School.

Attached Photo: Mrs. Carolyn Rose is an August 2012 graduate of Belmont College’s Library Paraprofessional program and currently runs the library at Martins Ferry’s Ayres Elementary School.

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