K-12 School Librarianship | Kent State University

The School of Information offers three distinct career paths to students interested in becoming school librarians. See specific pages related to each career path for details.

Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) and K-12 School Library Media Licensure

  • Only for students who have a teaching credential
  • 39 credit hours
  • Leads to the M.L.I.S. + multi-age licensure in school library media
  • Prepares graduates to work in all types of libraries including school libraries
  • Includes library science and instructional technology coursework

K-12 School Library Media Licensure only

  • Only for students who have a teaching credential
  • 29 credit hours, non-degree course of study
  • Leads to a multi-age licensure in school library media
  • Prepares graduates to work in school libraries only
  • Includes library science and instructional technology coursework

Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) plus K-12 School Library Media Licensure

  • For students who do not have a teaching credential
  • 57 credit hours
  • Leads to the M.Ed. and M.L.I.S. + multi-age licensure in school library media
  • Offered in cooperation with the College of Education, Health and Human Services
  • Prepares graduates to work in all types of libraries including school libraries and confers initial teaching license
  • Includes professional educational requirements, as well as library science and instructional technology courses

Watch a recorded open house on how to become a school librarian.

Download a brochure.

What is it?

"Resource-rich school libraries and credentialed school librarians play key roles in promoting both information literacy and reading for information and inspiration. When staffed by qualified professionals trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students meaningfully with information that matters in the real world, school libraries become sophisticated 21st-century learning environments that offer equal opportunities for achievement to all students, regardless of the socioeconomic or education levels of the community." – From “School Libraries Work,” a research foundation paper published by the American Association of School Librarians

"Today's school librarian works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, instruct students and teachers how to acquire, evaluate and use information and the technology needed in this process, and introduces children and young adults to literature and other resources to broaden their horizons. As a collaborator, change agent, and leader, the school librarian develops, promotes and implements a program that will help prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill." (Source: American Association of School Librarians)

What can I do with this background?

Librarian, teacher, administrator (at the school system level). An M.L.I.S degree will give you more options for employment with other types of libraries, so your mobility, career aspirations, current life obligations and location may impact your choice of degree or licensure only.

In addition to the required core courses, what courses should I take?

Students take project-based courses in technology, school library management, reference and literature. The actual curriculum for this specialization will be determined by the particular path you choose:

  • M.L.I.S. and K-12 School Library Media Licensure
  • M.L.I.S. and M.Ed. with K-12 School Library Media Licensure
  • K-12 School Library Media Licensure only

Note: Conferral of a school library media license requires successful completion of the Praxis exam in library media (#0311) and a practicum.

According to the website of the American Association for School Librarians: "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 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 see if your certificates are transferable or accepted."

What professional organizations are relevant to this career path?