Continuing Education

About Continuing Education at Prairie Lakes

Continuing Education (CE) is an important part of what we do as a public library system. Prairie Lakes serves as a regional certification validator for our member library directors. In order to participate in a public library system as a member, each library director must apply for and maintain the appropriate level public librarian certification.

In addition to occasionally planning our own CE events, Prairie Lakes relies on participation in the Southeastern Wisconsin Continuing Education (SEWI) cooperative for the bulk of locally-offered CE activities. This partnership, backed by cooperative funding by a number of regional systems, allows us to bring high quality continuing education opportunities to library staff in our area in a way that is extremely cost effective.

DPI aslo offers the Wisconsin Public Libraries – Professional Learning Calendar, which lists professional learning events for public library staff and trustees. Most events are Wisconsin-based, however major library conferences are also listed.┬áThe calendar is hosted by the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction Library Services and curated with Wisconsin regional public library system staff.

How (Re)Certification Works

DPI issues certificates to public librarians, per Wis. Stat. sec. 43.09(1). Qualifications for certification are based on education, training, and experience. Certification for public library directors is required in Wisconsin to ensure that the public libraries in the state are administered by highly qualified library personnel. The statutory grade level required of a director depends upon the population of the municipality(s) that established that library.

***As of March 2020, all applications for public librarian certification must be submitted via email. See the accordion below of details on how to apply for first-time and renewal certificates.

Continuing Education (CE) Validator at PLLS

Please submit Continuing Education Activity Reports (PI-2453) and CE Summations (PI-2454) to Steve Platteter, Deputy Director by email at

Where Can I Get CE Contact Hours?

There are a lot of CE hour opportunities out there. Prairie Lakes partners with our neighboring regional systems for most of our local CE events, but other systems across the state put on some really amazing events as well. Typically, these events are open to you as well. Particularly when it comes to webinars, there are a lot of interesting speakers, topics and ideas. Some of the more popular sources include: