Whether you’re making a career change or just starting out, school librarianship is one of the most rewarding careers that a person can choose if you enjoy children, learning, sharing your enthusiasm about learning, reading, and technology.

Today’s school library media specialist is a leader who works within the school community to support and foster lifelong learning and the love of reading. Working collaboratively with teachers, school library media specialists contribute to advanced learning by guiding and encouraging individual inquiry and engaging students to think critically about the world around them.

Job opportunities are plentiful, with trends indicating that a large number of school librarians will reach retirement age over the next 10 years.

  • Click here for information about the School Library Media Coordinator Program as part of the MSLS
  • Click here if you are a professional with a master's degree in library science and need to earn the certification

School Librarianship at SILS

Individuals interested in seeking an MSLS specializing in school librarianship from the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) will find:

  • Intellectually rigorous courses emphasizing skills in curriculum development, management, technology integration and leadership
  • Exceptional faculty
  • Dedicated peers and a collegial community
  • Instruction in emerging technologies used in today’s schools
  • Hands-on experience in public school settings
  • Personalized mentoring by licensed school library media coordinators and SILS faculty
  • Preparation for the NC 076 school library media coordinator license
It is our number one priority that graduates of this program leave with a clear understanding of the diverse learner, how the act of learning occurs, and best practice and emerging trends in teaching and instruction. We strive to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce ready to positively engage and support students, teachers, and administrators and create a school library media program that reaches beyond its four walls.
School Librarian Roles

School librarian?  Media specialist?  Information technology specialist?  Library media coordinator? Job titles and descriptions vary, but the profession is, at its core, devoted to working with teachers and students to positively impact teaching and learning.

  • As Leader, the school librarian works within the realm of the possible to influence the principal and teachers in a school toward a “best practice” vision of a dynamic collaborative library program focused on advancing student learning.
  • As Instructional Partner, the library media specialist works with teachers to develop instructional activities using technology and other information resources to incorporate information skills into the classroom curriculum.
  • As Information Specialist, the library media specialist provides access and assistance in finding and using information.
  • As Teacher, the library media specialist instructs students and others in the use and communication of information and ideas.
  • As Program Administrator, the library media specialist works collaboratively with members of the learning community to define the policies of the library media program and to guide and direct all the activities related to it. 
#3
in Children & Youth Services by U.S. News & World Report
#8
in School Library Media by U.S. News & World Report
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a collegial community of dedicated peers and mentors

Contact Information

For more information about the School Library Media Coordinator Program at UNC SILS, contact:

Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Director of the School Library Media Program
The School of Information & Library Science
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB#3360, 203 Manning Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360
Phone: (919) 843-5276
smhughes@email.unc.edu

Bestselling author Matt de la Peña talks with students during his week as the Steinfirst Artist-in-Residence at Mt. Vernon Middle School in Wake County, N.C., where SILS alumna Julie Stivers (MSLS '15) is librarian. Learn how and why SILS started this annual residency program at steinfirstartistinresidency.web.unc.edu.