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K-12 School Library Media Licensure

As a school librarian, you would typically work with students in a school library/media center. The daily job responsibilities of a school library media specialist typically reflect the roles of teacher, instructional partner, administrator, and information specialist. You will take an active role in teaching information literacy skills, collaborating with teachers on lessons, assisting teachers with curriculum resources, and integrating technology into the curriculum. You would have an administrative role in managing all aspects of the school library such as developing the collection of library resources and making them available to staff and students. As an information specialist, you also will instruct others on evaluating and accessing information resources.

The School of Library and Information Science offers the K-12 School Library Media Licensure-only option for individuals who already hold a teaching certificate and wish to pursue this path to becoming a school librarian. This program requires completion of 29 credit hours (non-degree course of study), including courses in library and information science as well as instructional technology. The licensure-only option leads to a multi-age licensure in school library media and prepares graduates to work in school libraries only. 

(The M.L.I.S. degree with K-12 licensure will give you more options for employment with other types of libraries and information  agencies, so your mobility, career aspirations, current life obligations and location will also impact your choice of degree or licensure only.)



According to the American Association for School Librarians website: Each state has different requirements for certification or licensure. For school librarians, many states first require certification or licensure as a teacher before the librarian certification can be obtained.

Some states require a master's degree, but others require only certification or licensure. Contact the state department of education where you plan to work to obtain additional information. Many states will accept the teacher's/library certification from another state. However, if you are planning to move to another state, check with the certifying agency to determine if your certificates are transferable or accepted.

If you have additional questions, contact Meghan Harper, Ph.D., at, or the SLIS office at