About the PAralibrarian Recognition of Achievement Certification

What is PARA? PARA is a voluntary program to formally certify paralibrarians of Massachusetts who demonstrate breadth of knowledge in up to seven areas of expertise.

What are PARA levels? Paralibrarians may achieve PARA Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. These increasingly challenging achievement levels represent points earned for education, experience, and professional activities.

Why did the Paralibrarian Section of MLA create PARA? Not everyone wants to (or is able to) obtain an advanced degree to further their library career. MLA wants to encourage professional goals and career development in paralibrarians.

Where did the idea come from? Several other states have similar programs, including the New York State Library Assistants’ Association. These programs have been very popular, and successful to build morale, for networking, and to promote the careers of paralibrarians. In 2008, the American Library Association (ALA) initiated the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP), a national certification for paralibrarians/library support staff.

What’s in it for me? Along with the satisfaction of accomplishment is the added bonus of recognition by your peers and your library director. Library directors recognize the value of the certification, include PARA Certification in job qualifications, and take into account a person’s initiative in achieving this goal when evaluating their staff.

How do I get started? The PARA Certification Guidelines  will give you specifics about how to document your education, your work experience, and professional activities such as the workshops you’ve attended, and the presentations you’ve made, etc. The Guidelines will also explain how points are assigned, and contain copies of the registration and application forms.

What if I have questions? The Paralibrarian Section of MLA schedules meetings and roundtables.  Visit the MLA calendar of events for dates and locations or contact Karen Horn.

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PARA Application and Review Board Deadlines

The PARA Review Board will meet to review applications and materials for the PARA on the following dates:

November 10, 2017
 March 2, 2018

 

Send completed portfolio with application fee  to:

MLA PARA Certification c/o Karen Horn

 Sturgis Library 

PO Box 606 3090 Main Street 

Barnstable, MA 02630


The deadline to submit an application for consideration is 7 days prior to the scheduled Review Board meeting. Applications submitted within 7 days of the meeting date will be held for consideration at the next scheduled meeting. Applicants may email the Review Board to verify timely receipt and review of their application. The Review Board will contact the applicant by email within 30 days of the meeting with a preliminary decision.

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