Library and Information Science: School Library Teacher Concentration

In the Master of Library and Information Science: School Library Teacher Concentration at Simmons University, you'll connect students with information resources locally and globally, and use technology for research and project-based learning.

Student looking at a picture book

Why study in the School Library Teacher Concentration?

Students in the Master of Library and Information Science: School Library Teacher Concentration engage in intellectually rigorous and stimulating course-work focused on instructional technologies used in today's schools. As a school library teacher, you'll be an academic leader — focusing on information literacy and igniting students' interest in reading and technology.

Our program can be completed entirely online. Students have face-to-face classroom options in Boston and at SLIS West (South Hadley and Amherst, Massachusetts) and can undertake a blended approach, combining online and face-to-face courses.

The School Library Concentration has exceptional academics, faculty, professional mentors, and customizable program options, making it an excellent choice for students driven to become school library teachers.

What will you learn?

Simmons' School Library Teacher Concentration consists of 36 credit hours. The core curriculum focuses on technology integration, curriculum development, and literacy initiatives in the K-12 learning environment. For more details, see our Library and Information Science course descriptions

Students at Simmons participate in supervised fieldwork in area public schools and a practicum experience at both the elementary and secondary school levels — accumulating 75 hours of fieldwork and at least 300 hours of professional experience throughout the School Library Teacher Concentration program.

What can you do with the School Library Teacher Concentration?

Simmons University is one of U.S. News and World Report’s top ranking schools of library and information science in the nation. Graduates from our program go on to successful careers as school library teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. 

After completing our program, graduates are eligible to be endorsed by the Simmons School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for licensure. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) endorses our program and external accrediting agencies commend us on the program's outstanding quality.

Learn more about our School Library Teacher Concentration!

Simmons provides exceptional academic and professional training. Our students go on to successful careers as school library teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. Ready to learn more about what the Master of Library and Information Science: School Library Teacher concentration at Simmons has to offer? Request more information today!

Course Requirements

All courses are 3 credits. The program is 36 credits (10 courses and 2 electives).

  • LIS 406 - Management and Evaluation of School Library Programs*
  • LIS 407 - Reference/Information Services
  • LIS 415 - Information Organization
  • LIS 459 - Fundamentals of School Librarianship*
  • LIS 460 - Technology and the School Library Teacher
  • LIS 461 - Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the School Library Teacher
  • LIS 481 - Library Collections and Materials for Children*
  • LIS 483 - Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults*
  • LIS 498 - Practicum (preK - 8)**++
  • LIS 499 - Practicum (7 - 12)**++
  • A student must take two elective courses

*Courses with an asterisk include fieldwork; students must complete their field-based pre-practicum experiences (fieldwork) before they can begin their practicum experience.

**A candidate may substitute LIS 495: Practicum Equivalent Experience (preK - 12) for one of the practica if the candidate has been hired as the professional school library teacher of record. Arrangements for LIS 495 are made with the program director.

++Before entering a practicum, the candidate must take and achieve a passing score in the MTEL (Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure).

Students are required to take LIS 407, LIS 415 and LIS 460 within their first 12 credits.

Field-based Course Work

Prior to the practicum, students must accumulate 75 clock hours of field-based pre-practicum experience (fieldwork). Students are introduced to fieldwork in a course dedicated to the field experience, in which they may earn 30 hours of fieldwork credit. Additionally, three other courses required for SLTP students incorporate assignments and experiences involving fieldwork. Most SLTP students will complete their fieldwork requirements in the context of their required courses, as follows:

  • LIS 406 - Management and Evaluation of School Library Programs (15 hours)
  • LIS 459 - School Library Teacher Pre-Practicum Field Experience (30 hours)
  • LIS 481 - Library Collections and Materials for Children (15 hours)
  • LIS 483 - Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults (15 hours)

There are specific assignments for each field-based experience. These projects are outlined in the School Library Teacher Handbook, which the student will receive at the beginning of his/her program. If you have questions about an assignment, please consult with your course instructor for answers and further direction. Fieldwork projects must be completed in a public school library in Massachusetts. 

For more details, see our course descriptions.

Updated per faculty vote, May 2017.

SLIS Tech Competencies

While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, LIS instructors expect all students to possess a baseline of knowledge, skill, and familiarity with technology. Read about the SLIS Tech Competencies and the Technology Requirements for students. 

After completing the state-approved program as a school library teacher, graduates are eligible to be endorsed by SLIS to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for licensure. The academic program is based on the DESE’s standards that must be demonstrated in order to obtain a license. Once you graduate from the program, the School Library Teacher Program will endorse your application for licensure to the DESE.

The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) endorses our program and external accrediting agencies commend us on the program's outstanding quality.

In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education cooperates with every state and the District of Columbia through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement which facilitates the movement of educators among the states. This Agreement makes reciprocal licensure/certification possible among states. Specific reciprocal requirements vary from state to state. (Individual state departments of education must be contacted to learn specific state requirements.) As a master's degree program endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, SLIS SLTP graduates can participate in the benefits of this agreement. If you are from outside Massachusetts, however, please check with your state's department of education.

At the conclusion of the School Library Teacher program, graduates are eligible to apply for positions as school library teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Students may complete the master of science degree program in library and information science fully online. Students may choose the DYO (Design Your Own) option, and customize their degree program to reflect their professional goals. Or, they may choose to concentrate their studies in archives management or information science and technology. Students pursuing school library teacher may supplement their on-campus courses with online courses.

Online Courses

Excepting mode of delivery, online courses are identical to face to face courses in content and learning objectives. Online courses are asynchronous, meaning that teaching and learning in the online course environment is not bound to time or place. Just as face-to-face students must meet assignment deadlines set by their instructors and actively engage in learning in the classroom space, online students are similarly obligated to complete assignments on time and participate in learning activities. The difference between the online and face-to-face experience: online students may access and engage with organized learning materials anytime and anywhere they are connected to the Internet.

Because all MS students may register for and participate in online classes, the SLIS online classrooms have become spaces for local and distant students to learn and network.

Attend the LIS Master’s Program at SLIS West in South Hadley, Massachusetts located at Mount Holyoke College.  The SLIS West Campus is primarily a part time program geared towards the needs of working students. The small classes, scheduling flexibility, and cohesive community help our working students succeed in the classroom and in their careers.

Courses are scheduled primarily on weekends, with some evening options available. Depending on the area of specialization, program requirements can be completed entirely at the SLIS West campus, although many students take a course or two online or in Boston. Boston students are also welcome to take classes at SLIS West.

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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