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School Library Media Coordinator Program


Whether you’re making a career change or just starting out, school librarianship is a rewarding career if you enjoy children, learning, and sharing your enthusiasm about learning, reading, and technology.

Today’s school librarian 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 librarians 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.

Browse this page for information about the School Library Media Coordinator Program as part of the MSLS

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

  • 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 school librarian 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 school librarian provides access and assistance in finding and using information.
  • As Teacher, the school librarian instructs students and others in the use and communication of information and ideas.
  • As Program Administrator, the school librarian 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.

Licensure Information

The school library preparatory program at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is intended for all those seeking the NC 076 school library media coordinator (SLMC) license. Please see the School Library Media advising grid for a summary version of all course requirements discussed below.

Library Science Requirements

Students seeking school library media certification must meet requirements for the Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) degree. This degree is accredited by the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation (COA) and includes 48 semester hours of graduate-level coursework, completion of a comprehensive exam, and complete either the practicum track (INLS 779/INLS 992) or the master’s paper track (INLS 778/INLS992) in their final year.

All school library students must take the two required core courses for the MSLS degree (INLS 776 and INLS 777) in their first year and complete either the practicum track (INLS 779/INLS 992) or the master’s paper track (INLS 778/INLS992) in their final year.

School Library Specialized Requirements

Additional required courses for students seeking 076 certification are as follows:

  • INLS 501: Information Resources and Services (Fall or Spring)
  • INLS 530: Young Adult Literature and Related Materials (Fall)
  • INLS 534: Youth and Technology in Libraries (Fall)
  • INLS 732: Children’s Literature and Related Materials (Spring)
  • INLS 782: Library Assessment (Fall)
  • INLS 783: Library Instruction and Pedagogy (Spring)
  • INLS 796: Supervised Field Experience in School Library Media* (Spring; must be taken after INLS 783

*During the field experience, School Library Media Specialists must spend a minimum of 150 hours onsite in either an elementary, middle, or secondary school library under the supervision of a certified School Media Coordinator. The field experience should include a collaborative experience with a classroom teacher with the school library media student teaching at least part of a unit. If the student does not already hold a valid North Carolina A-Level Teacher’s Certificate, 25 additional hours must be spent observing in one or more classrooms.

People and Communities Bin Requirement

Students seeking school library media certification must choose among the following courses within the “People and Communities” bin. If you would like to take a different course to fulfill this requirement, you must get approval from Sandra Hughes-Hassell.

  • INLS 500: Human Information Interactions (3)
  • INLS 690-230: Disability Informatics and Information (3)
  • INLS 690-230: Community Data Lab (3)
  • INLS 690-276: Information Professionals in the Makerspace
  • INLS 737: Inclusive Information Services for Diverse Populations (3)

Media Coordinator Specialty Area Exam

All students seeking certification must take the Media Coordinator (#0311) PRAXIS/NTE (National Teacher’s Exam) specialty exam. This is the only test required. Information about the PRAXIS tests, when they are given, and how to apply is available at

Application for License

If the student or graduate has completed the appropriate program of study at UNC at Chapel Hill, the application for North Carolina Licensure for School Media Coordinator is submitted to the Licensure Officer in the School of Education. Visit the School of Education website for specific application information or contact:

Diana B. Lys, EdD.
Assistant Dean of Program Assessment, Accreditation, and Teacher Preparation, School of Education
(919) 445-8878

All professional employees of public schools must hold a license for the subject or grade level they teach or for the professional assignment they hold. The official title for school librarians in North Carolina is Library Media Coordinator and the license code number is 076.

A clear and continuing license as a school library media coordinator requires:

  • A master’s degree in library science with specialized courses in school library-related topics
  • Fieldwork (i.e., internship) in a school library media center under supervision of a licensed and experienced library media coordinator
  • A satisfactory score on the Media Coordinator (#0311) PRAXIS/NTE (National Teacher’s Exam) specialty area

The SILS specialization program in school library media satisfies the professional licensure and/or certification requirements in North Carolina and prepares students to sit for the Praxis exam. However, requirements in other states may be different. UNC-CH may or may not be able to advise whether a program meets requirements outside of North Carolina. Prior to enrolling in the program, please discuss this important topic with the coordinator of the school media library program at SILS.

The following information applies to all UNC-CH programs that lead to a license to work in any level in public schools, i.e., teachers, principals, librarians, social workers, school counselors, superintendents, etc., in North Carolina.

Upon successful completion of educator preparation program degree requirements and licensure requirements for the State of North Carolina, such as, but not limited to, testing and national assessments, candidates will be eligible for an UNC-CH recommendation for a NC license. However, final licensure granting decisions are the sole responsibility of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction not UNC-CH. You should apply for a North Carolina license within five years of completing any program leading to licensure. After five years, UNC-CH cannot guarantee the ability to recommend for a license due to potential changes in licensure requirements and programs.

Candidates who graduate and seek out of state employment will have to meet the receiving state’s requirements for licensure. There is no automatic licensure reciprocity between states. UNC-CH will verify the completion of an approved, accredited program for candidates who seek employment out of state, and those candidates will be responsible for working with the receiving state to complete any additional requirements needed to obtain the license for employment.

Once an applicant has completed the UNC-CH approved school media licensure program, the license application may be submitted online at

For questions about the process contact:

Diana B. Lys, EdD.
Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Accreditation, School of Education
1028 Peabody Hall,
CB #3500, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500

See UNC’s School of Education Licensure page for specific steps to follow.

Contact Information

For more information about this program, contact:

Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Director of the School Library Media Program
Phone: (919) 843-5276