Why is it important for your library to be accredited?
Receiving accreditation means that your library is meeting the high standards set by AJL. It means that you, the librarian, are qualified and able to manage an up-to-date collection. It signifies that you know the community you serve and that you take pride in serving that community.
Among the comments offered by librarians who reached this goal, a number of key points were made:
- Accreditation elevates the library in the eyes of the synagogue board members and congregation
- Accreditation adds credibility to the fact that we maintain a professional library, and thus adds value to the institution as a whole
- Working on the accreditation process allowed us to evaluate our policies and procedures and to review how well we run the library and meet the needs of our patrons
- Being awarded accreditation is an effective tool for publicizing our library and its activities
The Association of Jewish Libraries Synagogue, School and Center Division (SSC) offers a certificate of accreditation to libraries that qualify. Accreditation is encouraged to help libraries achieve a high professional level in accordance with the SSC Guidelines.
The Accreditation Committee is composed of librarians who are prepared to mentor and assist applicants in achieving accreditation. In accordance with AJL’s professional objectives and standards, the following is the mission of the Library Accreditation Committee:
- To design and set model standards for effective synagogue, school, and center libraries.
- To advise libraries in their pursuit of and achievement of these standards.
- To create an accreditation certificate that serves as the standard measure by which effective synagogue, school or center library facilities and service may be judged.
- To review, re-establish and recertify a library’s progress and standing on a regular basis.
Applying for Accreditation
Please note: The librarian or the library/media center must be a member of AJL (not just your local or regional chapter) to receive accreditation.
Accreditation is offered at the basic and advanced level. Initial accreditation is good for five years, then upon renewal, for another five years. If there is no lapse in renewals, a short update is all that is required to renew.
The deadline to apply for accreditation is February 14, 2022, and final decisions regarding accreditation will be made in early May.