Contact Us

Advanced Certificate in Public Library Administration

Palmer School of Library and Information ScienceThe challenges faced by today’s public library administrators require a solid foundation of training and experience. The Palmer School’s post-Master’s Certificate of Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration is designed to develop and enhance the management skills and credentials of professional librarians working within the public library sector and to train the leaders of tomorrow.

The program offers students interested in public library administration a comprehensive education based on practical experience in the critical aspects of managing a public library.

This program is open to librarians with a minimum of two years professional experience and has been designed to:

  • Update librarians on new management principles and organizational structures;
  • Integrate these concepts and illustrate their practical application within the public library setting;
  • Explore current issues and trends in public library management and improve leadership skills within the workplace;
  • Provide a forum where important management issues germane to public librarians can be discussed in light of the theoretical constructs covered within this program.

Career Opportunities

The growing complexity of public institutions has forced governing boards to become far more selective in choosing their administrators. A working understanding of the law, human resources, finance and facilities is now a fundamental requirement for public library administrators as directors or middle managers. The certificate program of the Palmer Institute covers all content areas required in the New York State Public Library Director civil service examination series. The program has been recognized by the New York State Education Department as a formally approved N.Y.S. Certificate of Advanced Studies.


The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration encompasses five required courses, generally taken in succession as a cohort. The courses are offered in a seminar format and limited to a maximum of 25 students per class. Each course carries three graduate credits. Students completing the program (15 credits) are awarded a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration. The specific courses are:

  • LIS 700 Principles of Public Library Organization and Management
  • LIS 701 Seminar in Legal Issues and the Regulatory/Governance Environment of the Public Library
  • LIS 702 Human Resources Administration in the Public Library
  • LIS 703 Financial Management of Public Libraries
  • LIS 704 Public Library Facilities; Automation Systems and Telecommunications


The lead instructor and originator of the program is Gerald Nichols, director of the Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management. Mr. Nichols, former director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, brings more than 35 years of public library administrative experience to the program. A variety of qualified faculty and outside experts and specialists in the areas of law, accounting, labor relations, facilities services, and computer hardware and software supplement the teaching staff. The goal of this rigorous program is to equip practicing librarians with the specific means to handle management challenges in the public libraries today.


Entrance to the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration is limited to working professionals who either hold, or aspire to, executive management positions in the public libraries. All applicants should hold a relevant master’s degree (the Master of Science in Library and Information Science – M.L.S. or M.S.L.I.S.) and a minimum of two years experience in public libraries. The Public Library Administrator’s Certificate is designed as a post-M.L.S. “cohort” program, where students register with the intent to complete all five courses as a group. The program is often coordinated with regional public library organizations acting as partners with the Palmer School to assure a focused and meaningful educational experience for the participants. Interested individuals should contact Gerry Nichols at the Palmer School for more information.

Program Sites

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration is offered at public library systems throughout the state of New York, including Queens Library, Westchester Library System, Mid-Hudson Library System, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Nassau Library System and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.

Contact Us

Gerry Nichols, Director
Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management
LIU Post
720 Northern Blvd.
Brookville, NY 11548-1300
Phone: 516-299-2867
Fax: 516-299-4168

For Gainful Employment information, visit