The term “Professional Librarian” – for the purposes of a Texas public library’s state accreditation status – is defined in the Texas Administrative Code.
If you live in Texas, the answer is provided in the Texas Administrative Code, as follows (with added highlighting and underlining for quick reference – but be sure to read surrounding text for full details):
TITLE 13 CULTURAL RESOURCES
PART 1 TEXAS STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES COMMISSION
CHAPTER 1 LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT
SUBCHAPTER C MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR ACCREDITATION OF LIBRARIES IN THE STATE LIBRARY SYSTEM
RULE §1.84 Professional Librarian
“(a) A professional librarian is defined as a person holding either a fifth year degree in librarianship from a program accredited by the American Library Association or a master’s degree in library or information science from a program accredited by the American Library Association or a higher credential from a library school offering an American Library Association-approved program in library or information science. Upon the written request of persons holding degrees in library or information science from schools outside the United States or Canada, the state librarian may certify them as professional librarians if their program of study is deemed comparable to that of a library school accredited by the American Library Association.
“(b) Individuals who were issued a Grade I – Special County Librarians Certificate may be designated a professional librarian for the purposes of §1.81 of this subchapter (relating to Quantitative Standards for Accreditation of Library). This designation is valid only for the library where the person was employed on June 15, 2007. The individual must still comply with the annual requirements of §1.83(4) of this subchapter (relating to Other Requirements). Grade I – Special County Librarians Certificate were previously issued under the terms of a now-repealed rule (§5.5 of this title, relating to Special Provisions for Certifying County Librarians).
“Source Note: The provisions of this §1.84 adopted to be effective April 30, 1985, 10 TexReg 1228; amended to be effective August 4, 1988, 13 TexReg 3633; amended to be effective September 2, 2007, 32 TexReg 5365”
Note that, unless you hold a degree in library or information science from schools outside the United States or Canada or you were “employed on June 15, 2007,” the underlined information in (a) above probably holds the answer to your question.
If you have additional questions about your status as a professional librarian or need clarification regarding the meaning of Rule §1.84, we recommend that you contact one of the following people at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission:
- Stacey Malek, Program Coordinator (512-463-5532)
- Valicia Greenwood, Library Statistics Specialist (512-463-5466)
- Deborah Littrell, Division Director (512-463-5456)
In each case the person’s email address is firstName [dot] lastname [at] tsl.texas.gov
The contact information above plus much more information relative to completing your library’s annual report – including a link to the Minimum Standards for Accreditation of Public Libraries in the State Library System – is available at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/pubs/arsma/index.html#contacts .