Philippines have it right: license librarians like CPAs or Lawyers

mdoneil writes “I was talking to a Filipino friend tonight and he has a relative sitting the librarian certification boards in the PI.

They recently amended their laws and require certain specific qualifications before one is allowed to practice librarianship. The practice of librarianship without the proper license is a crime, just as the unlicensed practice of law is in this country. The full text of the law is available from the PI government website .

It must be a somewhat hard examination as the Manila Standard newspaper reports that 174 examinees of 599 who wrote the certification exam passed.

Perhaps they should do that in the States, it would certainly make it quite apparent that it is indeed a ‘professional’ career not simply someone who shelves books. It would also help salaries -especially if the pass rate were a similar 29%. If libraries were required to have licensed librarians to get state and federal funding (a policy some states now follow for library management) the licensed librarian : position ratio would improve; thus providing for better prepared librarians providing library service and improved salaries for licensed librarians.

I think it is a wonderful idea (I hold licensure/certification from NY, NC, KY and IA already). I am afraid that many librarians will not find the idea as appealing as I even though there are provisions for librarians who have been practicing for years to be grandfathered.

N.B. I have a more than casual interest in this, as it is similar to my Ph.D. research proposal.”