GSLIS offers new Certificate in Youth Services

GSLIS is enhancing its top-ranked program in youth services librarianship with a new certificate that will better prepare students for their careers. The Certificate in Youth Services is designed to fully meet the educational needs of GSLIS students who are interested in working with young people in a public library setting. The certificate also will provide a competitive edge to graduates seeking professional positions in public library youth services librarianship.

GSLIS students specializing in public library youth services can enroll in the certificate program to gain the content knowledge, hands-on skills, and professional perspective that will enable them to become leaders in twenty-first century public library youth services librarianship. They also will gain a deeper understanding of the roles that public libraries can play in youth advocacy and literacy in the larger picture of youth services librarianship in school and public library settings.

“With the establishment of this certificate, which supplements our curriculum and professional training, GSLIS truly becomes a ‘full service’ school for public and school youth services librarianship,” said Associate Professor Christine Jenkins, who directs the new certificate program. “The certificate allows our students to demonstrate their professional preparation and assure prospective employers that they are fully prepared for professional youth services librarianship.”

The certificate requires 12 credits of coursework in youth services. One course is required: LIS 506: Youth Services Librarianship, a four-credit course that provides an overview of the user-centered approach for youth services librarianship in serving not only young people (ages 0-18) but also parents, adult caregivers, teachers, and others involved in work with young people in formal and informal settings.

In addition to course credits, students earning the certificate are required to complete a 100-hour practicum in a public library youth services setting. The practicum is similar to student teaching in that students are engaged in various aspects of professional tasks under the supervision of a seasoned public library youth services librarian.

The Certificate in Youth Services also is open to those holding a pre-existing MS in LIS from an ALA-accredited institution who seek either to enhance their expertise in public library youth services work or to acquire an additional credential demonstrating their professional preparation.

According to Jenkins, “The certificate is a ‘win-win’ situation for professionals on both sides of the hiring desk.”

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