Certification of Librarians

Librarian Certification Application Process

The certification process differs depending on which of the above groups you fall within:

Applicants with an ALA accredited library program degree

  • Submit the Application for Librarian's Certification Adobe Reader - Click to Download, along with a $20 check to cover administrative costs to the address given below.
  • Official transcripts sent directly from the issuing school verifying your degree must be submitted to the address below. Official transcripts sent to us by the applicants are not considered valid and will not be returned. If pending graduation, do not request transcripts until degree is conferred. Also, it can take time after graduation for degree conferral to show up on official transcripts, so please confirm before initiating a transcript request. 
  • You can expect to receive your Librarian's Certificate or be contacted by us within 4 weeks from when we receive your application, or from your date of graduation, whichever is later. Recent graduates: timelines for verification are dictated largely by how long it takes for your University to release grades. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Applicants without an ALA accredited library program degree

Applicants whose professional library degree was issued by an institution outside of the United States or who has otherwise attended an institution that is not accredited by the American Library Association, are advised to visit the American Library Association (ALA)'s Foreign Credentials Evaluation Assistance page.

If your degree is from a foreign institution listed on the ALA website as recognized by the American Library Association as equivalent to an ALA accredited masters’ degree, then follow the steps as outlined under Applicants with an ALA accredited library program degree. If the institution which issued the professional degree is not listed on ALA's Foreign Credentials Evaluation assistance website, then the State Library requires applicants to have their degrees evaluated by an independent agency. A list of several credential evaluator associations may be found on the Foreign Credentials Evaluation assistance website together with questions to ask when choosing a credential evaluation agency.

Once the evaluation has been completed, if the credentials meet the qualifications for a MLIS degree program, please have the institution submit their proof directly to the address below. Following accreditation, the applicant should submit the application for librarian’s certification together with a $20 check as described under Applicants with an ALA accredited library program degree.

Address for materials

All materials become the property of the Washington State Library and will not be returned. Please mail applications, fee, transcripts, and any additional materials to:

Washington State Library
Attn: Librarian Certification Program
PO Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504

Certified electronic copies of transcripts and accreditation materials may be received at [email protected]. Please note that applications should not be submitted via email but instead should be sent with payment to the address noted above.


The necessity for certification of librarians in Washington is established in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Section 27.04.055 and further detailed in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Chapter 300-12.

State law requires that “no library serving a community having over four thousand population, nor any library operated by the state or under its authority, may have in its employ, in the position of librarian or in any other full-time professional library position, a person who does not hold a librarian's certificate issued by the state librarian.” (RCW 27.04.055). This law does not apply to the State Law Library or to county law libraries. The State Library has the authority to grant librarian certificates to:

Graduates of library schools programs accredited or otherwise officially recognized by the American Library Association for general library training. ALA has a list of accredited degree programs on their website.


For additional information regarding the certification process not found in our FAQ, or to check on the status of your application, please contact:

Librarian Certification
Washington State Library
PO Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504-2460
[email protected]
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