School Library Media K-12

‍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.

Options for Study

For students who have a teaching credential:

For students who do not have a teaching credential:

Students in the school library program:

  • Take project-based courses in technology, literature, school library management and information sources and services
  • Can take 100% of the courses needed to complete the program online
  • Complete the M.L.I.S. -SLMK program, on average, in two years, when taking two courses per semester
  • Are required to complete a practical learning experience or practicum when their coursework is complete, where they will apply the skills and knowledge they have learned
  • Must check their state’s requirements for licensure including whether an exam is required

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 School Library Media K-12 Licensure program 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."

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the School Library Media K-12 program will be able to:

  1. Apply the field's foundational theories, principles, values, ethics and skills to everyday practice in a school library context.
  2. Critique and synthesize research and identify appropriate research methodologies to solve problems in the school librarianship field.
  3. Analyze and engage in the changing cultural, educational and social roles and responsibilities of librarians and the educational environments they work in within the global society.
  4. Evaluate systems and technologies relevant to a school librarianship context.
  5. Identify needs and connect K12 stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators) and communities with information that engages and empowers them.

Contact Meghan Harper, Ph.D., at or the School at with additional questions.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.


Learn more about this program's application requirements.


Find out more about career resources for students and graduates of our library and information science degree.