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Librarian Certification Regulation

NEW JERSEY PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIAN CERTIFICATION

Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 15:23
Proposed: February 2, 2015, at 47 N.J.R. 417(a).
Adopted: May 7, 2015, by Mary L. Chute, State Librarian (with the approval of George A. Pruitt, Ph. D., President, Thomas Edison State College).
Filed: May 7, 2015, as R. 2015 d.092, without change.
Authority: N.J.S.A.  18A:73-26, 18A:74-10, and 45:8A-1; and Reorganization Plan No. 003-2004.
Effective Dates:          May 7, 2015, Readoption;
June 1, 2015, Amendments.
Expiration Date:          May 7, 2022.

SUBCHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

15:23-1.1 Purpose, scope and applicability

This Chapter is adopted by the New Jersey State Library in order to state the preparation necessary for those librarians required by their positions to be certified previously under N.J.A.C. 6:11-12.7; to state the procedures governing the licensure of these positions; to codify the reorganization of this function from the Department of Education to the State Library; and to update rules related to librarian certification. The rules delineate the organization, powers and duties of, and proceedings before the Board of Appeals. This chapter applies to all public libraries, including county, municipal, joint-free public libraries and association libraries and to librarians working in New Jersey applying for a certificate. The chapter serves to improve the quality of service in New Jersey public libraries.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-1.2 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Accredited” means an institution that has a professional education unit that has successfully completed a review process and been certified by the American Library Association or the appropriate national body analogous to and recognized by the American Library Association as having the overall capacity to prepare professional librarians.

“Certificate” means a valid New Jersey Professional Librarian’s Certificate

“Professional Librarian” means those librarians holding a valid New Jersey Professional Librarian’s Certificate.

“Registrar’s Office” means the office of the Registrar at Thomas Edison State College

“State Library Aid” means the aid as described in N.J.S.A. 18A:74-1 et seq. and includes per capita, audiovisual, emergency and incentive aid.

“State Library” means the New Jersey State Library, which is affiliated with Thomas Edison State College, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:73-26.

“Valid certificate” means a Professional Librarian’s Certificate issued by the Department of Education prior to April 24, 2004, or the Thomas Edison State College thereafter.

SUBCHAPTER 2. PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIAN CERTIFICATION

N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.1 Public library professional librarian requirement

(a) Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:8A-3 any municipality or group of municipalities having a population of 10,000 inhabitants or over shall require that any person employed in a public library in any professional office or position that requires, for adequate performance, the knowledge and techniques of library science as taught in accredited library schools to hold a Professional Librarian’s Certificate.
(b) Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.3 and 2.4, a library serving any municipality or group of municipalities having a population of 7,500 inhabitants or over, N.J.S.A. 45:8A-3 notwithstanding, will employ, in all professional librarian positions counted for State Library Aid purposes, librarians holding a New Jersey Professional Librarian’s Certificate.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.2 Administration of professional librarian certification
(a) The State Library, affiliated with Thomas Edison State College, is responsible for certification of professional librarians as required by N.J.S.A. 45:8A-1. Pursuant to Reorganization Plan 003-2004, this function was transferred from the New Jersey Department of Education to the New Jersey State Library.

(b). On behalf of the State Library, the Office of the Registrar at Thomas Edison State College shall issue a Professional Librarian Certificate to librarians to serve in public libraries based upon the requirements in this chapter.

(c) All actions taken by the Registrar’s Office shall be taken pursuant to this chapter.

1. The Registrar’s Office shall issue one category of Professional Librarian Certificate: permanent.

2. Professional Librarian Certificates are permanent; they cannot be suspended or revoked.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.3 Requirements for certification eligibility

(a) A candidate for certification shall hold a master’s degree in an approved professional librarian education preparation program from:

1. A program accredited by the American Library Association for the preparation of librarians; or

2. A program accredited by an appropriate national body analogous to and recognized as having a formal accreditation process by the American Library Association.

(b) Under no circumstances may the degree requirements for certification be waived; Alternative education and/or experience may not be substituted for degree requirements.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.4 Certificate issuance

(a) On behalf of the State Library, the Registrar’s Office will examine the candidate’s application for a Professional Librarian’s Certificate for completeness and conformance with N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.3.

1. If approved, the Registrar’s Office shall issue a Professional Librarian’s Certificate to the applicant.

2. If not approved, the Registrar’s Office shall issue a written evaluation that identifies the deficiencies for the certificate. Deficiencies may include failure of the candidate to:

i. Provide an official transcript from applicant’s college or university regarding their academic record;
ii. Complete the required application form;
iii. Meet the applicable requirements of N.J.A.C.15:23-2.3 and/or
iv. Pay the required fee.

(b) The Registrar’s Office shall issue a replacement certificate providing there is proof that the Department of Education prior to April 24, 2004, or Thomas Edison State College thereafter had previously issued the certificate, that the holder has completed the appropriate application, attached a statement of loss and submitted the required fee.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-2.5 Certification Fees

On behalf of the State Library, the Registrar’s Office shall issue a permanent certificate for a non-refundable fee of $75.00 and issue a replacement certificate for a non-refundable fee of $40.00.

SUBCHAPTER 3, PUBLIC LIBRARY RESPONSIBILITIES AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

N.J.A.C. 15:23-3.1 Public library responsibility

The director of the employing public library shall require every newly employed librarian to exhibit her or his Professional Librarian’s Certificate before the librarian assumes any responsibility for the performance of her or his duties. It shall be this director’s responsibility to ensure that the certificate is valid.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-3.2 Public library reporting requirements

The director of each public library system shall report the names of all librarians to the State Library and provide copies of their certificates, as the State Librarian shall require.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-3.3 Penalties for public libraries for failure to comply

If a library system fails to employ certified professional librarians as regulated by N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.3 and 2.4, the State Librarian may reduce State Library Aid to such public library system pursuant to N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.7.

SUBCHAPTER 4. APPEAL PROCEDURES

N.J.A.C. 15:23-4.1 Board of Appeals for professional librarian certification

(a) The State Librarian shall appoint a Board of Appeals as needed. The Board will serve for such term as the State Librarian designates.

(b) The Board will consist of one professional librarian from the State Library and two additional members, as the State Librarian shall appoint.

(c) The professional librarian from the State Library shall be the chair of the Board of Appeals.

N.J.A.C. 15:23-4.2 Responsibilities of the Board of Appeals

(a) Upon request and in conjunction with the State Librarian, the Board will monitor and evaluate those aspects of college academic programs that lead to librarian certification.

(b) The Board will maintain and report data as required by the State Librarian.

(c) The Board will review the decision of the Registrar’s Office upon the request of a candidate for a Professional Librarian’s Certificate who has been denied that certificate

N.J.A.C. 15:23-4.3 Appeal procedures

(a) If an applicant is denied a certificate by the Registrar’s Office, such individual may appeal the decision to the Board of Appeals established under this subchapter.

(b) The candidate is required to file four copies of the appeal in writing to the State Librarian within 60 days of the date of the decision of the Registrar’s Office. The appeal shall take the form of a written petition accompanied by a sworn statement attesting to the facts in the petition and shall include evidence that proves that the candidate meets the requirements to be issued a certificate under this chapter.

(c) The State Librarian shall appoint the Board of Appeals within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, and shall provide a copy of the appeal to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office may submit additional information regarding the candidate and the appeal for consideration by the Board of Appeals, and provide a copy to the candidate.

(d) The Board of Appeals shall review the information provided by the candidate, and the Registrar’s office. The Board of Appeals shall convene within 30 calendar days after the Board’s receipt of the appeal materials, and shall render a written decision. The Chair of the Board of Appeals shall forward a copy of the decision to the candidate, the State Librarian and the Registrar’s Office.

(e) If the candidate’s appeal is denied by the Board of Appeals, the candidate may send, within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision of the Board of Appeals, a written petition to the State Librarian explaining specific objections to the Board’s factual findings or legal conclusions. The State Librarian shall review the appeal materials presented to the Board of Appeals, the Board of Appeal’s written decision, and the petition, and shall render a written decision within 30 calendar days. The State Librarian may remand an appeal to the Board of Appeals and request that additional information be submitted by the candidate and/or the Registrar for reconsideration by the Board of Appeals. The decision of the State librarian granting or denying issuance of a certificate to the candidate is deemed final. A candidate may not reapply to the Registrar’s Office for certification following a denial on appeal under this section unless the candidate certifies that the reapplication includes new evidence of completion of the degree requirements for certification.

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