Item Entry Certification

All PrairieCat member libraries need at least one staff person to be item entry certified. Any library staff that ADD items to the PrairieCat database must be item entry certified.

The following process will allow library staff to prepare for item entry duties at their library and complete item entry certification.

  1. Complete series of courses in Talent LMS. Library staff will be given access to the Sierra test server using the training login to practice and to complete assignments.
  2. After successfully completing the prerequisites and courses 1-6 of the Sierra Cataloging: Item Entry series staff will receive their temporary named tech login.
  3. Complete final Talent LMS course, Sierra Cataloging: Item Entry – Practicum. Staff will submit work done in the production server with the temporary named tech login. PrairieCat staff will review and provide feedback as needed.
    • Assignment Set 1: During the initial 3-month review period, submit 5 item records completed in Sierra.
    • Assignment Set 2: After 3-month review period, submit another 5 item records completed in Sierra.
  4. After successfully completing Sierra Cataloging: Item Entry – Practicum, library staff will receive their item entry certificate and their named tech login will be made permanent.

For additional practice and training with PrairieCat staff, Item Entry Workshops are available on-demand. Library staff should complete the prerequisites and courses 1-5 before scheduling a workshop with PrairieCat staff. 

The Technical Services Policies state in Section II E

Each member library also agrees to input, maintain, and share bibliographic records and to restrict the creation of data records and conduct of operations of the System to authorized, trained staff to meet the standards as specified by the Illinois State Library.  Any new staff member has six months after taking Cataloging Item Entry training, being issued a temporary named login and completing the item entry certification process. Sharing of this login with other staff could result in termination of access to PrairieCat services functions.

Talent LMS

Talent LMS is a free, online training platform where members can access PrairieCat training 24/7. All courses are self-paced and course completion times vary by learner. Course content may include a training video, documents, practice assignments, and quizzes. 

To get started with Talent LMS, create an account. Users must complete the email account verification within 24 hours to complete account creation:


How long do I have to complete the training?
The Item Entry Certification training should be completed within 6 months. 

Why do I need to be certified?
Adhering to cataloging standards helps to maintain the accuracy of the database, which in turn improves access for library users. 

I'm working at a different PrairieCat library, but I'm already certified, do I need to take the test again?
No, if an individual moves to another PrairieCat library, they do not need to re-take the training; Item Entry Certification follows the individual to their new position.

I'd like a refresher on item entry practices, what should I do? 
Library staff are welcome to take the Sierra Cataloging: Item Entry courses as a refresher. Staff who are already certified, are welcome to schedule an on-demand training session to address specific question.