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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 the BLT classes if space is available, however participants must be currently employed at a Massachusetts library to register.
The BLTs are a series of four classes: Administration, Cataloging, Collection Development & Maintenance, and Reference.
BLT classes consist of two sessions: an online, self-paced class for 3-4 weeks, then attendance at one in-person session for assignment review and further discussion. Both sessions must be completed to receive a certificate in that topic.
NOTE: For Spring 2021, both sessions are held virtually due to COVID-19 meeting guidelines.
BLTs are still being held once per MLS CE period (spring & fall), but frequency may change once a sustainability plan is created for future offerings.
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.