Director Certification

  • Questions?
  • Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification
  • Levels of Certification
  • Certification Forms

To suggest additions, please email Marla Sepnafski


Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification

Librarian certification for public library directors has been a part of Wisconsin law since 1921 when the legislature passed the first comprehensive state public librarian certification law. The concern was then, and continues to be, that the public libraries of the state be headed by qualified library personnel, assuring a high level of professional management and administration of Wisconsin’s library resources, programs and services.

There are three (3) grades of certificates for public library directors and detailed information about grade requirements are found in the Certification Manual for WI Public Library Directors, 2011.

Source: Wisconsin Public Library Director Certification– Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

WVLS Director Certification Consultant

Please contact Marla Sepnafski with any certification questions at or 715-261-7251.

Certification Forms

Levels of Certification

  • A Grade I certificate is awarded to a public library director with a master’s degree in library studies.
  • A Grade II certificate is awarded to a public library director holding a bachelor’s degree along with a minor in library science if the minor includes or is supplemented by 3 semester credits of coursework, or the equivalent, in advanced public library administration.
  • A Grade III certificate is awarded to a public library director
  • A Temporary and Lapsed 

Certification Requirements

  • Coursework requirements for grade II and III Public librarian certification changed in some areas to reflect changes in the nature of public library operation. The total number of credits required to be completed is 12; the rule provides flexibility as to how those 12 credits may be earned.
  • Require certification renewal to include at least 10 hours of technology-related training.
  • Modify the temporary certification requirements for grade II and III certification to reflect the new coursework required to get a public librarian certification and require at least one course to be completed annually until the certification requirements are complete.


bullets for

temporary certification

4 maximum

4 courses

Regular certification

5 years 100 and 10 tech

activities and summation

paperwork to WVLS and DPI






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Wisconsin Valley Library Service

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Wausau, WI 54403