School Library Media Certification
State of Alabama
There are several avenues for receiving library media certification in Alabama to qualify one to work in K-12 public school libraries and accredited private school libraries in the state. Six universities in Alabama have programs approved by the State Department of Education to offer library media certification. In Alabama, library media certification is at the Class A or Master's level only. There is no undergraduate library media certification.
Each of the six programs has a course of study approved by the State Department for that particular institution. The six programs follow:
Alabama State University, Montgomery
Auburn University, Auburn
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
University of South Alabama, Mobile
University of West Alabama, Livingston
Regular Approach to Class A Certification
The School of Library & Information Studies at The University of Alabama provides a program of study within the MLIS degree that satisfies the Alabama State Department of Education requirements for Library Media Certification. There are two (2) pre-conditions to this option. The applicant must have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years professional teaching experience. In other words, in order to qualify for certification, a student must meet these two requirements in addition to following the approved program of study.
Normally, the program of study which leads to A-level library media certification in Alabama requires a minimum 36 semester hours of course work. The required program of study is as follows:
LS 500 Organization of Information
LS 501 Introduction to Library & Information Studies
LS 502 Research Methods
LS 504 Media Production & Utilization
LS 507 Information Sources & Services
LS 521 Children’s Materials & Services
LS 522 Young Adult Materials & Services
LS 532 School Media Centers
LS 542 Instructional Design
LS 560 Information Technologies
LS 572 Internship in School Media Centers
Foundations of Professional Studies in Education
Special Education is required if such a course has not already been taken
In addition, the student is required to pass SLIS comps and the Praxis II Library Media Exam for certification. Once all of this has been accomplished, the student makes an application for certification in Alabama through the UA College of Education, which “recommends” the student for certification.
A student who already has A-level certification in a teaching field may complete a program of study which leads to A-level library media certification by being formally admitted to the MLIS degree program. Once admitted, the student’s transcripts are evaluated to determine the number of hours needed to secure the library media certification. Generally, this is approximately 27 hours of courses, so many students will complete the other 9 hours required for the MLIS degree. The requirements are similar to what is stated above. The student must have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years teaching experience and pass the SLIS comps and the Praxis II Library Media Exam in order to apply for certification and be “recommended” by the UA College of Education.
The Alabama State Department of Education also provides an Alternative/Provisional Certificate in library media. This is often an option for those who do not have the teaching certificate and the two years teaching experience. For such students, they need to complete the MLIS degree and secure a recommendation by the employing superintendent or headmaster who can request a waiver from the State Department of Education’s normal requirements. This Preliminary/Alternative certificate is valid for two years and may be renewed for one year. At the end of the two or three years of experience, the student may secure A-level certification by being “recommended” by the employing school system or independent school. Neither SLIS nor the UA College of Education can “recommend” such certification. Passing the Praxis II Library Media Exam is also required. This option is available at the discretion of the school system or independent school only.
Out of State Certification
Students wishing to secure certification in other states are urged to check with that state’s department of education to determine certification requirements. Normally, those who meet the Alabama State Department of Education’s requirements may complete the approved program of study and secure the appropriate certification. Only those who meet the Alabama requirements are able to pursue this option as it does not apply to those who do not have a currently valid teaching experience and two years teaching experience.