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Class materials and resources for those participating in Basic Library Techniques courses

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The Basic Library Techniques (BLT) classes are required for Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) certification of libraries serving populations under 10,000, if the librarian does not have a Masters in Library/Information Science degree. Other library positions may attend as desired.

PLEASE NOTE: participants must be currently employed (paid, not volunteer) at a Massachusetts library to register.

The BLTs are a series of four classes:  Administration, Cataloging, Collection Development & Management, and Reference.

Classes are being reformatted into online, asynchronous courses consisting of two sessions:

Part 1 covers the main information in the topic, including some topical questions to check knowledge. Part 1 is available to any MLS member library staff. A participant certificate is available to all who finish.

Part 2 includes assignments to apply current knowledge and assess content analysis and gaps. Assignments are submitted for feedback from MLS Consultants and considered against a standard rubric. Once completed and reviewed, a BLT Certificate is issued to the participant. 


Massachusetts State Requirements

The Basic Library Techniques (BLT) are a group of four special training courses designed for public library directors who do not have a master of library science degree. The intent of the BLT program is to provide practical training in library administration, reference, cataloging and materials selection.

BLTs are required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (MGL Ch. 78 Section 22) and overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The Massachusetts Library System administers the courses. Upon completion, participants must apply to the MA Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) for certification. The MBLC issues certificates for the completion of the Basic Library Techniques. 

The BLT requirement to receive State Aid to Public Libraries applies only to municipalities with a population under 10,000, and within that group, only to library directors who do not have a master of library science degree. Currently library directors taking classes for certification have five (5) years to complete the classes. There is no time requirement for other library staff taking BLT classes. 


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Terry McQuown
33 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough, MA 01752
508-357-2121 x 302