How do I Become a School Librarian?

Updated April 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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How do I Become a School Librarian?

School librarians are vital assets in educational settings as they demonstrate their love for reading and literature and engage a wide range of students in various activities. They teach students how to get the most out of the school library and also assist teachers and faculty members find the needed materials for their classrooms and lesson plans. They also engage in administrative tasks, such as monitoring the checking out and returning of books and organizing literacy events. To become a school librarian, there are various steps individuals need to complete, including a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and certification.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in education or related area is generally to first step to become a school librarian. These programs provide students with a solid understanding of the education field including curriculum instructional theories and methodologies, classroom management, child development, and integrating technology into learning. Bachelor’s degrees in education also usually require the completion of a teaching internship.

Complete a Master’s Degree

An array of schools across the country offer master’s degree programs, such as the Master of Library Science. The program commonly features courses in learning technologies, library management, and children’s literature. Those seeking to work in school libraries should enroll in a master’s degree program that bears American Library Association accreditation.

Obtain Professional Certification

Many states require school librarians to complete professional certification or licensure. Professional certification enables graduates to demonstrate their expertise and dedication to the profession. Most states require state licensure by receiving a passing score on the Praxis Library Media Specialist Examination. Any individual seeking to become an educator must gain certification in the state in which they plan to teach, so those residing in states that require certification must complete this step. After completion of the education program, students must take and pass a professional examination to gain the certification. An organization that offers a professional certification is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. It offers the Library Media Certification in early childhood to young adulthood to those who receive a satisfactory score on a four-part evaluation.

Work Experience and Key Skills

Often times, prospective school librarians must attain work experience as a teacher or related professional before working in the library. Many aspiring school librarians seek internship or volunteer opportunities with school or public libraries while they are completing their education. Additionally, school librarians should possess various key skills, such as a solid knowledge of reading comprehension, active learning and interpersonal communication abilities, and understanding of barcode scanners and library software. School librarians need to possess the ability to foster a love of reading and learning in students and empower them to think critically and use information correctly and ethically.

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School librarians have the unique chance to pass on a love for reading to an array of students. Becoming a school librarian is a great choice for those seeking the opportunity to inspire children to read and expand their interests in various types of literature. School librarians work in a wide variety of settings such as public and private elementary, middle, and high schools.

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