School Librarianship

Become an expert in school librarianship



The UMD College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) prepares MLIS students for a career in School Librarianship through Maryland State Certification.

Prospective students can apply to the MLIS Program and complete the School Library Specialization. They will graduate with an ALA-accredited MLIS degree that qualifies them for jobs in the library and information science field as well as certification as a school librarian (library media specialist) in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and/or other states with comparable requirements.​ To learn more about becoming a school librarian, please email​​​

​Please see the Maryland State Department of Education’s website for information about requirements for school library certification, specifically the Code of Maryland Regulations COMAR 13A.12.03.03 Library Media Specialist Certification.

About the UMD iSchool School Librarianship (CSL) Certificate
for Currently Enrolled Students

(No longer accepting new applicants)


The certificate will prepare students with a theoretical and research-based foundation in the historical and contemporary issues influencing the development of the field of information studies and school libraries and enable them to fulfill the roles of the contemporary school librarian. All courses will be offered online using the University’s learning management system, Canvas. Because these courses track to the state requirements for certifications, no courses can be waived or substituted. Certificates students may be able to complete the required courses in as few as four semesters; however, students may have as long as five years from the date of first enrollment to complete the requirements.

Required Courses

  • INST 650: Facilitating Youth Learning in Formal and Informal Environments
    The historical, organizational, and contemporary contexts of formal and informal learning spaces; the principles of teaching, learning, and information literacy that underlie the formal and informal learning spaces; and the leadership role that information professionals can play within their schools, libraries and communities.
  • INST 651: Promoting Rich Learning with Technology
    Exploration of how technology can be used to promote rich learning experiences, with a particular focus on youth populations. Assessment of how, when, and why of infusing technology into the teaching and learning process.
  • LBSC 641: Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Learning
    Policies and procedures for collection development, including identifying, evaluating, acquiring, providing, and promoting resources in all formats, to support learning and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.
  • LBSC 645: Literature and Materials for Children
    Survey of literature and other materials for children and youth. Criteria for evaluating and using such materials as they relate to the needs, interests, reading abilities, and other capabilities of young readers.
  • LBSC 646: Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    Survey of literature and other materials for older children and adolescents. Criteria for evaluating and using such materials as they relate to the needs, interests, reading abilities, and other capabilities of young readers.
  • LBSC 741: Seminar in School Library Administration
    Development, management, and evaluation of school library programs at all levels.
  • LBSC 742: Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation
    School librarians’ collaborative role in instruction. Systematic design, development, and evaluation of instructional strategies and products for learning.
  • LBSC671: Creating Information Infrastructures
    Foundations of acquiring and managing collections; information structures, indexing and discovery systems needed by information professionals. An introduction to the theoretical concepts, trends, systems, and technologies central to the information field.
Anticipated Course Schedule

The following table represents the iSchool’s anticipated schedule of courses for this program. Course schedules are subject to change based upon instructor availability, student demand, and the scheduling office.

Fall (1) INST650
Spring LBSC641
Summer LBSC671
Fall (2) INST651

The following list represents the specific criteria for admission to the certificate program, based upon the admissions criteria for the Graduate School and the iSchool at the University of Maryland.

Graduate School Requirements

  • The Graduate School requires as a minimum standard an average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university.
  • The TOEFL is required of international applicants who are not native speakers of English.

iSchool Requirements

  • Applicants must have a master’s degree, and either a degree in education or a teaching certification
  • Current resume or CV
  • An essay of no more than 500 words that provides answers to the following questions:
    • What does it mean be an excellent school librarian?
    • What skills do you need to learn to be an excellent school librarian?
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Completion of the following forms:

Admission to the School Library Certificate program is currently closed. Please check back for updates.

Tuition and Fees

Students admitted into the certificate program are eligible for in-state, graduate tuition. UMD tuition and fees.

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