Accreditation Accomplished

Library director, Gayle Mattox, and the library board are pleased to announce that the Sargent Township Library is now accredited with the Nebraska Library Commission at the bronze level. This is an accomplishment to be proud of and to celebrate. Of the nine public libraries in Custer County, only Sargent and Broken Bow are currently accredited.

There are a number of steps required to becoming accredited.

First, the library director needs to be certified by taking at least 45 hours of continuing education classes every three years. The library board also must become certified by collectively taking 20 hours of continuing education classes every three years.

Next, the library is required to develop a Community Needs Response Plan. Our planning committee consisted of five members of the community who surveyed Sargent to learn the characteristics and needs of our area. We also looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the library. After compiling our information, we developed a five year plan on how our library could help address some of these community issues.

Finally, the Nebraska Library commission has a list of 67 guidelines that are helpful for excellent library service. We didn’t have to meet every guideline, but each standard is worth a certain number of points. In order to be certified at the bronze level, we needed 175 points.

There are many benefits of library accreditation. The first is of course, bragging rights. We will also get some additional state aid – not a large amount, but every bit helps. The biggest advantage will be that we are now eligible for more grants. Our facilities are over 100 years old, and hopefully we will be able to get some grants to make improvements.

Thanks to the director, board, and community members for all of the work required to make this happen. We had great teamwork.

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