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 PAralibrarian Recognition of Achievement   Guidelines

REGISTRATION for PARA is now online.  Register here

Changes and Clarifications to Previous Guidelines


 Assembling your Notebook- Notes and suggestions

 Deadlines for PARA Submissions

"Is there a deadline for PARA submissions?"

New: PARA portfolios submissions are rolling! You may submit your PARA portfolio when you have gathered all materials, please allow 2-3 months for review. You will receive a notification when we receive your completed portfolio. If you'd like to receive your PARA certificate at the MLA conference, submit your portfolio by March 1.

 Contacts and mailing address:
Gerry Deyermond, Chair Career Development

 Send completed portfolio with application fee  to:

 MLA PARA Certification c/o Gerry Deyermond

 Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main Street, Andover, MA 01810

Or through delivery N2 Andover

 Education Resources at MLS
 MLS webinars- recorded

 Past PARA Recipients 

About the PAralibrarian Recognition of Achievement Certification

What is PARA? PARA is a voluntary program to formally certify paralibrarians of Massachusetts who demonstrate breadth of knowledge in up to seven areas of expertise.

What are PARA levels? Paralibrarians may achieve PARA Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. These increasingly challenging achievement levels represent points earned for education, experience, and professional activities.

Why did the Paralibrarian Section of MLA create PARA? Not everyone wants to (or is able to) obtain an advanced degree to further their library career. MLA wants to encourage professional goals and career development in paralibrarians.

Where did the idea come from? Several other states have similar programs, including the New York State Library Assistants’ Association. These programs have been very popular, and successful to build morale, for networking, and to promote the careers of paralibrarians. In 2008, the American Library Association (ALA) initiated the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP), a national certification for paralibrarians/library support staff.

What’s in it for me? Along with the satisfaction of accomplishment is the added bonus of recognition by your peers and your library director. Library directors recognize the value of the certification, include PARA Certification in job qualifications, and take into account a person’s initiative in achieving this goal when evaluating their staff.

How do I get started? The PARA Guidelines  and  the Changes and Clarifications Document will give you specifics about how to document your education, your work experience, and professional activities such as the workshops you’ve attended, and the presentations you’ve made, etc. The Guidelines will also explain how points are assigned, and contain copies of the registration and application forms.  

What if I have questions? The Paralibrarian Section of MLA schedules meetings and roundtables.  Visit the MLA calendar of events for dates and locations or contact Gerry Deyermond.


A complete list of Paralibrarian Section Library Support Staff of the Year and Paralibrarian Section Advocate of the Year award winners and PARA recipients.



The deadline to submit an application for consideration is 7 days prior to the scheduled Review Board meeting. Applications submitted within 7 days of the meeting date will be held for consideration at the next scheduled meeting. Applicants may email the Review Board to verify timely receipt and review of their application. The Review Board will contact the applicant by email within 30 days of the meeting with a preliminary decision.

PAralibrarian Recognition of Achievement

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