Students interested in pursuing careers as teacher librarians in Washington state must hold a Washington state teaching certificate and acquire a library media endorsement.
- School library coursework: While in the MLIS program, matriculated students can take specific coursework to enhance their skills in working with students in a school library media center. As of June 2017, Washington state's criteria for receiving a library media endorsement changed to require only the passing of a WEST-E test. Please consult the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's website for more information. For students pursuing careers as teacher librarians outside of Washington state, youth-focused coursework is available and may help fulfill requirements for your intended state. Please consult the state's department of education for more information.
- Certificate in School Library Media Endorsement: The UW Continuum College's program has been canceled for the 2017-18 school year.
Note: The Certificate in School Library Media Endorsement program at the UW Continuum College has been canceled for the 2017-18 school year. Changes to Washington state's requirements for earning a library media endorsement are currently being discussed; for more information, please visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's website. We will update the below FAQ as soon as those changes have been finalized. If you have specific questions, please email iAsk@uw.edu.
Q: Is the School Library Media Endorsement required to work in a K-12 public school library?
A: Yes. To work in a K-12 public school library you must add a Library Media Endorsement to your teaching certificate. While some K-12 public schools may consider MLIS degree holders without teaching certificates, the majority want teacher librarians with the School Library Media Endorsement on their teaching certificates. For those interested in working in a K-12 private school library, the endorsement may or may not be needed, and only an MLIS required.
Q: What specific courses do I have to take for the School Library Media Endorsement?
A: While there is no coursework requirement for the SLME, we recommend specific electives (LIS 516, 522, 565, 566, 568, and 585), specific core courses (LIS 510, 520, 530, 550, 560, and one information technology core course of your choosing), and Directed Fieldwork (LIS 590). Note that to earn the MLIS degree you must also take LIS 570 and 580 and earn a total of 63 credits.
Q: What type of Directed Fieldwork is required for the endorsement?
A: While there is no current requirement, we recommend the practicum (LIS 590, Directed Fieldwork) for all students pursuing the Library Media Endorsement. This practicum must be done with a certified teacher librarian at a K-12 school so that you may observe learners and teachers in a library media setting. You may choose between 2, 3, 4 or 5 credits (100-250 hours).
Q: Can I waive out of any core courses because I have a teaching certificate?
A: There are no required core courses at this time. However, LIS 560 (Instructional Training Strategies for Information Professionals) would likely duplicate information you already know.
Q: I have a Washington State Teaching Certificate, what paperwork do I have to fill out for the endorsement?
A: The iSchool provides guidelines for MLIS students adding the Library Media Endorsement to their current, valid Washington State Teaching Certificates. You are responsible for filling out the appropriate forms and gathering the required materials to apply for the endorsement. The following items are required:
- Create an online account through the OSPI E-Certificate System.
- Submit a copy of your WEST-E test results through the system.
Q: I have a teaching certificate from another state, what paperwork do I have to fill out for the endorsement?
A: The Information School only has paperwork for MLIS students from Washington State. For those who are not from Washington, you will have to check with your state to determine specific requirements. The U.S. Department of Education website lists contact information for all 50 states plus commonwealths and territories.
Q: I do not have a teaching certificate, but plan to get one in the future. What are my options?
A: Because you do not have a teaching certificate you technically cannot earn a School Library Media Endorsement at this time. But if you plan on getting a teaching certificate in the next few years, we recommend that you take all the required coursework for you to be prepared to file the paperwork for the endorsement in the future. Having the MLIS degree plus the required coursework will also allow you to apply for jobs in K-12 private schools and public libraries. After you get a teaching certificate, you can contact the MLIS academic adviser who will work with you on applying for the endorsement, which will allow you to also apply for jobs in K-12 public schools.
Q: I do not have a teaching certificate, and do not plan to get one in the future. What are my options?
A: Because you do not have a teaching certificate you technically cannot earn a School Library Media Endorsement at this time. You can, however, plan on taking the required coursework for the endorsement so that you have a theoretical base in school library work. Since you plan on never getting a teaching certificate, your options for working in a K-12 public school library are very limited. However the Information School can provide you with a letter verifying that you have completed relevant coursework in the school library media area. Some private or alternative schools will consider an MLIS degree holder without a teaching certificate (who have completed the SLM coursework) for a school librarian position, and children/youth services areas of public libraries as well.
Q: How does the program compare to others?
A: U.S. News & World Report ranks us tied for #3 among the ALA accredited schools that offer this specialty.