Library Media Specialist Certification & Distance Education FAQs
From: Mary Wepking, SOIS School Library Media Coordinator
Is this the same as school library media specialist?
Yes, school library media specialist, instructional library media specialist, teacher librarian are all titles for the same position in the school teaching staff.
Can I get certified as an Library Media Specialist through SOIS Distance Education?
There are two ways you can use our courses for certification:
1) Use our courses to fulfill obligations in a program you have established in your state through a certifying body.
2) Complete the Wisconsin certification program through UWM SOIS and apply for recognition of this certificate in your state.
How do I find out what my state requires for certification?
Consult your state’s department of education webpage or consult an advisor in a nearby school of education. Do not rely on information from a practicing school librarian. Certification programs are being revised all over the country and you need current and accurate information. This website lists state by state requirements: http://www.schoollibrarymedia.com/cert/index.html
My state would certify me with a UWM endorsement. What does that mean?
Usually, this endorsement means you have completed all the requirements for certification in Wisconsin.
So, what are the main features of Wisconsin certification for Library Media Specialist?
1) You need to follow a Masters program of coursework (see website or catalog).
2) You need to create an electronic portfolio demonstrating your competency in the seven standards for Initial Library Media Specialist.
3) You need to be a licensed teacher or be eligible for licensure by the time you apply for your initial license.
I have a teaching license in my state. Is that sufficient?
Yes, for your state. If you were to come to Wisconsin, you would have to apply for an in-state license.
I don’t have a teaching license. Will my work with SOIS lead to one?
No. These are two completely separate programs. In effect, Wisconsin considers Library Media Certification an add-on to an existing teaching license.
Does Wisconsin require the Praxis exam?
No, not for this license.
If my state requires Praxis, do I need to take it?
Probably. This is a question for your own state’s licensing body.
Would I have to do fieldwork?
Yes, your 200 hours of fieldwork would be supervised through email, phone, and videoconferencing.
Do I need to come to UWM?
No, there is no residency requirement.
Are all courses leading to certification available online?
At this point, one course, a graduate level course on curriculum through the School of Education, is the only one not available online. Students needing this course can substitute a pre-approved course found locally.
If I want to enter your program and work toward Wisconsin certification, what do I need to do?
In addition to your Graduate School application and SOIS Grad application, you will need to apply to the Post Baccalaureate program (simple form, no fee). This application need not be submitted until you are accepted into the Graduate Program.
I already have an MLIS. Can I take courses toward certification through SOIS?
Yes. You need to apply as a non-degree graduate student, stating certification as a reason for your application.
Now I really have questions! Who can I talk to?
Mary Wepking, School Library Media Coordinator, will be happy to field your questions. Please email her at email@example.com.
Information Request Form