Official State of Iowa Website

Endorsement Program Frequently Asked Questions

How do I take classes?

The first step will be to complete the application form. The CE Team will review your application and enroll you in the appropriate courses in IA Learns.  You'll receive an an email notification from that system once you're enrolled.

Complete the Application Form

How are courses graded?

You must pass all course quizzes with a perfect score. You can review the content and take the quiz as many times as you need to to earn that passing score. The discussions sections are graded on if you attend and contribute to the group conversation.

How do I renew/maintain my endorsement?

Those certified with a director endorsement need to earn 45 hours of CE credit every 3 years. For a staff or youth services endorsement, it's 30 hours

I renewed my endorsement, but my IA Learns Dashboard is still showing my previous credit hour count. What's up with that?

After you renew your endorsement, the "Total Credits" number on your IA Learns dashboard will not zero out, but will continue to count all hours learned since the system launched. To view hours associated with the current renewal, please use the "Print Transcripts Report" option (along the left hand side of your dashboard). The hours applicable in your current renewal cycle will be highlighted in green, and counted at the top of that report.

What if I have my Master's in Library & Information Science?

If you have a Master's in Library & Information Science from an ALA-accredited school:

  • You qualify for a gold-level endorsement at the Director level
  • You qualify for a staff-level endorsement
  • You may skip the "Core" component of the Youth Services Endorsement courses

How do I find out my current Endorsement Level?

You find your current endorsement level by logging into IA Learns. Click "Profile", then "Certifications".

For more information on the Levels of Director Endorsement, consult Standard 20 of the In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards.

What if I want to review content but not take it as part of the Endorsement Program?

You can search for topics or courses in IA Learns. You'll be able to view the content, but it won't count for CE Credit or towards an endorsement.

Access IA Learns

What education do I need beyond the endorsement coursework?

That depends on the level of director endorsement required by your library's size. The information below related to levels is taken from In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards.

This is the level you will be awarded after you complete your endorsement coursework (Bronze or Silver Levels), or have submitted proper documentation of your advanced Library Science education (Gold Level) to the State Library.


  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of Director Endorsement coursework within 2 years of hire date


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of Director Endorsement coursework within 2 years of hire date


  • Graduate degree in library or information science from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program

What if I've already taken PLM1 (the first half of the old certification requirements)?

You should have received an email from the CE Consultant with some additional instructions. Reach out to LibContEd@Iowa.Gov if you did not see anything from us.

What are the course requirements?

Our Endorsement coursework is modular and builds upon itself. All endorsements start with 4 core courses, each made up of several modules. The various endorsements all have slightly different add-ons to that core.

What is the deadline to complete the coursework?

The only people with a deadline to complete courses are library directors - who must earn their director endorsement within two years of their hire date.

That seems like a lot of courses! Is it MORE work than the old PLM 1 & 2 / PLS courses?

It is not! Altogether it is the same content in less time (and done at your own pace!). But we did break all the content into manageable 30-40 minute chunks... So it might look like more.

Do I have to come to Des Moines?

Nope! The new coursework is fully virtual. No travel required.


Still have questions? Email the CE Consultant: LibContEd@Iowa.Gov