Master of Library & Information Science, Library Media Specialist emphasis

This is a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a Library Media Specialist emphasis. This degree leads to school library media certification, either as add-on or stand-alone certification.

This degree is part of the library and information science program, housed in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT). The program is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), which granted continued accreditation status in 2015.

Program Structure

The MLIS with Library Media Specialist emphasis can be completed online, although a practicum requirement is mandatory. We use several different course structures to provide you with the broadest and most instructionally appropriate class opportunities.

  • Online asynchronous classes allow you to participate anytime, anywhere.
  • Online synchronous classes, scheduled at fixed times to allow online, offer real-time interaction without the drive time.
  • Hybrid classes, combine face-to-face and online instruction.

Most library and information science faculty are based in Columbia. Clinical faculty in St. Louis and Kansas City, and a Program Liaison in Omaha, NE provide student support and coordinate extracurricular activities.

Certification Pathways

The path toward school librarianship in SISLT depends on two factors: whether or not you have teaching certification, and whether or not you are a Missouri resident.

  • Add-on Certification for people who already hold teaching certification in a subject and need to add School Library Media as an additional certification area.
  • Stand-Alone Certification for people who do not have teaching certification. Completing a Library Media Specialist Stand-Alone Certification means you will be able to practice as a school librarian, but will not be authorized to teach a subject area.
  • Missouri Certification. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has authorized SISLT to offer degree programs leading to Library Media Specialist Certification.
  • Non-Missouri Certification. Through the NASDTEC inter-state agreement, SISLT is able to offer degree programs leading to Library Media Specialist Certification for other states as well. However, students seeking certification outside Missouri must meet any additional requirements imposed by those states.

If you are already a certified teacher and intend to seek school library media certification in Missouri, you will seek Add-on Certification from DESE.

If you are not a certified teacher but want to be a school librarian in Missouri, you will seek the MLIS plus Stand Alone Certification. Stand Alone Certification authorizes you to teach in one specific area only (e.g., school libraries), but not to practice in other areas. After completion of coursework, the certification officer at MU will recommend you to DESE for certification.

If you are seeking school library media certification outside the state of Missouri, in most cases, you will complete the approved Missouri school library media program, and the certification officer at MU will confirm that completion, so that your state department of education will provide you with authorization to be a school librarian in that state. However, you will have to meet any additional certification requirements set forth by your state. School Library Connection and the American Association of School Librarians have compiled some information about the certification requirements for various states, but we recommend you contact your state’s certification office directly.

MLIS with Library Media Specialist emphasis, Add-on Certification

Degree Requirements & DESE Certification Process

  • The program consists of 39 credit hours, with 30 hours of required courses, and a graduate examination.
  • Each student completes a 3-credit practicum.
  • Elective courses are chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor.

Application for add-on library media specialist certification is done by the student once the student has completed the 30 required credit hours.

Courses

Courses are semester-based and may be offered over 15 or 8 weeks. With the exception of the practicum, all courses can be completed online.

Library Media Specialist content knowledge is mandated by the State of Missouri, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved courses offered by SISLT.

The current list of required courses may be seen on the Program of Study for the MLIS degree, Library Media Specialist emphasis, with Add-On Teaching Certification.

Practicum (Field Experience)

All students seeking the MLIS with Library Media Specialist emphasis are required to complete a field experience practicum. This cannot be waived without approval from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The guide for the School Library Practicum details site selection, timeline for the process, and requirements for the practicum.

Students should begin preparing for the practicum at least one semester before they plan to take the practicum. The school library practicum may be completed over the summer session if the student has access to a school that is offering summer school and providing library services during summer school. Prior to beginning the practicum, students should ensure they have professional liability insurance.

Graduate Examination

Prior to graduation, all students must complete a graduate examination which requires them to demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. The MLIS program uses the ePortfolio as the Graduate Examination for students admitted Fall 2016 and later. More information about the ePortfolio can be found here: https://sislt.missouri.edu/lis/gradexam/.

Stand-Alone Certification

Degree Requirements & DESE Certification Process

  • The program consists of 58 required credit hours and a graduate examination.
  • Each student completes 10 hours of field experience, including a one-semester student teaching internship.

Additional requirements for certification include taking and passing the Missouri Content Assessment for Library Media Specialist.

When the student has completed all requirements for stand-alone library media specialist certification, the university’s certification officer will put forward a recommendation to certify to Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For out-of-state students, the university’s certification officer will write a letter documenting completion of Missouri’s school library media program for submission to the pertinent state’s education department.

Courses

Courses are semester-based and may be offered over 15 or 8 weeks. Most courses can be completed online, and some professional teacher education courses can be transferred from other universities.

Library Media Specialist content knowledge and Professional Teacher Education courses are mandated by the State of Missouri, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved courses offered by SISLT.

The current list of required courses may be seen on the Program of Study for the MLIS degree, Library Media Specialist emphasis, with Stand-Alone Teaching Certification.

Practicum (Field Experience)

All students seeking the MLIS with Library Media Specialist emphasis are required to complete extensive field experience, including a semester of student teaching. This cannot be waived without approval from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Students seeking stand-alone certification typically complete their Early Field Experience and Mid-Level Field Experience early in their Programs of Study. The Culminating Field Experience is a semester of student teaching in a school library setting, during regular school hours.

Before starting the practicum, students will need to apply for a substitute teaching certificate through the DESE web site and obtain professional liability insurance while they are working in the school setting.

Graduate Examination

Prior to graduation, all students must complete a graduate examination which requires them to demonstrate mastery of the LIS Student Learning Outcomes. The MLIS program uses the ePortfolio as the Graduate Examination for students admitted Fall 2016 and later. More information about the ePortfolio can be found here: https://sislt.missouri.edu/lis/gradexam/.