Members and staff of the American Library Association (ALA) worked diligently over more than a decade to develop a certification program for public library managers. Spurred by a long-standing trend in many other terminal-degree professions that have post-degree, voluntary certifications, the Certified Public Library Administrator Program was born. Legal authority recommended the establishment of a service organization, a 501(c)(6) to manage the program, which has become one of several programs that will be offered to library employees under the imprimatur of ALA. After the American Library Association–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) was instituted, advocacy for salary improvement initiatives was appended to the mission. One means of salary advocacy was to improve available data by expanding the scope and usefulness of the ALA Survey of Librarian Salaries, which resulted in the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS—Public and Academic, conducted in 2006 and 2007 to collect salary data from more than sixty positions in the field that do not require a master's degree in Library Science. The experience of establishing two certification programs, the Certified Public Library Administrator Program (CPLA®) and the Library Support Staff Certification Program, has been a study in creating new national models of professional development. This article will also discuss the insights that have emerged from fulfilling elements of ALA strategic plans concerning the needs of support staff through certification and the salary survey.


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