MS/LIS School Librarian Licensure Program

Transform learning for today's youth

Do you want to create innovative learning environments that contribute to the success of the next generation, but you don't have a background in education? Our MS/LIS School Librarian Licensure program is designed specifically for you. As a graduate of our program, you'll be qualified to receive an Illinois Professional Educator License with a special (PreK-12) library information specialist endorsement. Not only will you have the option of serving as a school library professional, you will have expanded career opportunities in youth services, community outreach, and public librarianship.

How do school librarians make a difference?

  • Empower youth as learners, creators, and knowledge experts
  • Build community and instructional partnerships
  • Integrate digital tools to support transformational learning
  • Ensure equitable access to educational resources for all students
  • Engage youth as participatory global and digital citizens
Kim Anderson

The best thing I learned during my time at the iSchool is that my educational journey is never over. There are still things to learn, changes to make, and improvements to implement. The library is constantly growing and changing—just like the middle school students I serve.

Kim Anderson (MS '07, CAS '09), Librarian, Jefferson Middle School in Champaign

What courses will I need?

IS 409 Storytelling
IS 445 Information Books and Resources for Youth
IS 451 Introduction to Network Information Systems
IS 458 Instructional Strategies and Techniques
IS 501 Information Organization and Access
IS 502 Libraries, Information and Society
IS 504 Reference and Information Services
IS 505 Administration and Management of Libraries and Information Centers
IS 506 Youth Services Librarianship
IS 516 School Library Media Center
SPED 517 Disability Issues in Special Education (or a preapproved special education course from another university)

And either:
IS 403 Literature and Resources for Children
IS 404 Literature and Resources for Young Adults
And either:
IS 507 Introduction to Bibliographic Metadata
IS 590 CB Cataloging for School Libraries

Field experience
IS 591 Section AMO K-12 Practicum [Early Field Experience] 100 hours at any grade level 
EDPR 438 Section L or L1 for Leep Elementary School Library Student Teaching 
EDPR 442 Section L or L1 for Leep Secondary School Library Student Teaching

The School Librarian Licensure Program requires 16 hours of approved LIS coursework and 16 hours of required education courses, which includes both Early Field Experience (Practicum) and student teaching placements in school libraries.  

Practical experience prepares you, too

To meet licensing requirements and prepare for work with young people, you will complete one early field experience, or practicum, and two student-teaching placements during your course of study. The School Librarian Licensure practicum is a 100-hour supervised field experience of professional-level duties at an approved school library site. It provides you with the opportunity to work in a school environment under the supervision of an experienced school librarian. 

After successfully completing the practicum and all required coursework, you'll register for two student-teaching placements: one in an elementary library setting and one in a secondary library setting (middle or high school). Each placement is completed under the direction of an on-site cooperating teacher-librarian and a University supervisor. There is a program fee of $790 that pays costs associated with supervisory services provided during field placements.

Prior to student teaching, you must receive a passing score on the Library Information Specialist (LIS) #175 Content Area Test via the Illinois Licensure Testing System. You will complete the Educator Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), as required for licensure by the state of Illinois, within one student-teaching placement.

Tiffanie Bui

The program equipped me with the skills to effectively engage students in library instruction, to meaningfully assess and reflect on student learning as well as my own, and most importantly, to advocate for myself, libraries, and the vital service that we provide to our communities.

Tiffanie Bui (MS '11), Librarian, Leal Elementary School in Urbana

How do you apply?

You must be admitted to the MS/LIS degree program before your application to the School Librarian Licensure program will be reviewed.

Questions? Contact us.

Ruth Shasteen
Ruth Shasteen, Visiting School Librarian Licensure Program Coordinator