Archive for October 2009

Pay us and we’ll think about letting you teach

Is it just me or does anyone else find this weird? I ran across this press release from ALA-APA re: looking for course providers for their library support staff certification program.

On October 1, 2009, ALA-APA will begin accepting applications from education providers interested in offering courses for candidates in the Library Support Staff Certificate Program (LSSC). The LSSC is the first national, voluntary certification program for library support staff.  Course providers may be organizations or individuals with the expertise, training, and resources to offer courses online or face-to-face.  The ten competency sets for which courses are needed are in the areas of foundations of library services, technology, communication and teamwork, access services, adult readers advisory, cataloging and classification, collection management, reference, supervision and management, and youth services.

Potential providers complete a course approval application, and submit a course syllabus, a description of the course’s teaching methods and assessment plan, and the instructor’s resume.  The course must cover all the competencies in a competency set.  The fee to be considered for approval is $100 each of the first and second courses submitted, and $50 per class for each additional course.

Candidates will have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, and have worked in a public or academic library for at least one year.  Candidates have the option of completing approved courses or submitting online portfolios that demonstrate their achievement in six of ten competency sets.

The application will be evaluated by a committee of American Library Association member volunteers using a course evaluation rubric.  Reviews will be held periodically throughout the year and ALA-APA will notify applicants of their status.  Approved courses will be publicized and available to all LSSC candidates.  Courses that are approved will maintain that status, barring major changes, for four years.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the LSSC Program is in a testing phase in five library organizations across the United States.  The program will begin accepting candidates in January 2010.  Based on survey information and other expressions of interest, project staff estimates that at least 300 library support staff will participate in the LSSC program in the next three years.

The LSSC Program was approved by the American Library Association to be an official certification of ALA in July 2009.  More information about the LSSCP is available online at  Please direct questions to Jenifer Grady at or 312-280-2424.  The program will be managed by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association.

ALA-APA: the Organization for the Advancement of Library Employees is a service organization to the American Library Association and has as one of its missions supporting salary improvement initiatives for library workers.

Now, I don’t mean to be snotty, because I like a lot of what ALA-APA does. But is it strange to request a $100 fee just to be considered to teach one of these courses? Or is it just me?

Perhaps the best headline ever

Oak Brook man hates libraries, children, puppies. Here’s more about him in the Daily Herald.

Telling her mother that she wanted to come to the aid of a library under attack, 11-year-old Sydney Sabbagha stood at the podium before the Oak Brook village board.

“I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book. Now there is no one to help me,” Sydney said solemnly. “It will never be the same without the people you fired.”

Sydney nestled back into her seat, but that didn’t stop 69-year-old criminal attorney Constantine “Connie” Xinos from boldly putting her in her place.

“Those who come up here with tears in their eyes talking about the library, put your money where your mouth is,” Xinos shot back. He told Sydney and others who spoke against the layoffs of the three full-time staffers (including the head librarian and children’s librarian) and two part-timers to stop “whining” and raise the money themselves.

“I don’t care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books,” Xinos told them.

“Don’t cry crocodile tears about people who are making $100,000 a year wiping tables and putting the books back on the shelves,” Xinos smirked, apparently referencing the fired head librarian, who has advanced degrees and made $98,676 a year. He said Oak Brook had to “stop indulging people in their hobbies” and “their little, personal, private wants.”

Sydney was upset and “her little friend was in tears” after Xinos spoke at the meeting last week, says mom Hope Sabbagha.

I applied at this library once. Kind of glad I don’t work there now! Oy. What a classy guy — he’s like a Disney villain.

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