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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

Roberts earns state library certification

Thursday, December 6, 2012

(Photo)
Spencer Librarian Mandie Roberts earned a Level 6 certification from the State Library of Iowa in October. Roberts, who is additionally certified in Indiana, hopes to help earn the library an Iowa star and the title of Best Rural Library from the American Library Association.
(Photo by Kate Padilla)
Spencer Librarian Mandie Roberts earned a Level 6 certification from the State Library of Iowa in October. Though she is certified in Indiana, librarians must be certified in each state they work in within two years of becoming employed in that state.

Spencer Library is accredited as a "Tier 3" library, according to the state, the highest level of accreditation in Iowa. Ideally, the director of a Tier 3 library would be Level 6 certified. Roberts' Masters in Library Science degree helped earn her the certification.

"The standards are different in every state," Roberts said.

While the certification was rather easy for Roberts to earn, to retain her certification she will need to complete 50 credits of continuing education. She has completed 25 in her time at the library.

"Out of the 262 graduates in my graduate class, only 64 have library jobs," Roberts said. "I'm lucky to be where I am."

In the next three to five years, Roberts hopes for the library to become a starred library and to earn the title of Best Rural Library from the American Library Association.

Additionally, though, Roberts hopes to increase the library's influence within the Spencer community. This next year, she hopes, will bring more adult programming and social outlets to the library's patrons and community members. For example, the library is partnering with the Spencer Area Activity Center and the 4-H Extension Office to create "Connect," a program that pairs 4-H students with senior citizens.

In addition, Roberts hopes to become a place for hobbyists to gather socially.

"Our job is to provide the best service to our patrons and community members," Roberts said. "We want to become a more social place for people. It's important to be viewed as a hub of the community, and we're trying to make the library into a place that appeals to all generations."



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