K-12 School Library Media Licensure

‍School librarians‍ typically work with students in a school library or media center. The daily job responsibilities of a school library media specialist tend to 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 will 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 students and staff.
  • As an information specialist, you will instruct others on evaluating and accessing information resources.

The K-12 School Library Media Licensure-only option is for individuals who already hold a teaching certificate and wish to pursue this path to becoming a school librarian. Other options include obtaining a Master of Library and Information Science with the K-12 school library media licensure or, if you don't already have a teaching certificate, the Master of Library and Information Science / Master of Education dual degree with K-12 licensure.

The licensure-only option leads to a multi-age licensure in school library media and prepares graduates to work in school libraries only.

According to the American Association for School Librarians website: 

  • "Each state has different requirements to meet in order for a person to receive 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, while others require only certification or licensure. Contact the state department of education where you plan to work for details. Many states will accept the teacher's/library certification from another state. If you move to another state, you will want to check with the certifying agency to determine if your certificates are transferable or accepted. With a Master’s degree you have a wider selection of options for employment with other types of libraries, so your mobility, career aspirations, current life obligations, and location will also impact your choice of degree or licensure only."

Contact Meghan Harper, Ph.D., at sharper1@kent.edu or the School at slisinfo@kent.edu with additional questions.