News: Updated Links for School Media Licensing in the US


It’s the time of year when international positions for School Librarians/Media Specialists are being posted for the following year.  The question I receive the most is usually about whether it is crucial to have the School Media certification in addition to a Master’s degree.  The answer is yes if you want to land a position in a top school although as I have pointed about before it is possible to obtain one without.  However if you can prove you are working on the certification and have prior experience teaching or working with kids then this will greatly improve your chances.

How to become certified?  The process if similar for both US and non-US citizens.  Basically you need to decided on a state and send your transcript in to be evaluated for a fee  in order to know what courses will be required for you to receive the endorsement.  They should also be able to share a list of places you can take the course (either online or in-person).  If you are not a US resident then you will need to have your transcript ‘translated’ first (Google: US transcript evaluation). If it is found to be US-equivalent then send your original along with the translation and fee to the state you choose.

How to choose a state?  This is a bit sticky as each state differs in their requirements.  Part of the reason for this post is that School Media Monthly took down its page where it listed them by state with links.  Bummer….however I have found three new links which should be helpful.  I am sharing them here and have updated the Book Resources page as well.  When I find the time (ha!) I am going to try and do some further, updated research on this subject.

State Certification Requirements for SMS
This is a very useful article by two LSU Library School Professors (my alma mater!) although with a 2003 publication definitely needs to to be updated.  However it is a good place to begin.
Teacher Certification by State
Links to all the Education Licensing pages which will help facilitate research.
ALA Education & Licensing Page
A general information page with some useful links.

3 thoughts on “News: Updated Links for School Media Licensing in the US

  1. Thank you! This a great post! The process of getting certified does seem a little confusing though. I have an MLIS and I would really like to fast track the whole process. Can anyone give advice on which state and program is the quickest way to getting teaching certification? I don’t mind distance education. Also, it doesn’t sound like international schools require a library media certification like many state schools. is that correct?


    • Hi Lisa, First of all most international schools do require certification. This is because of accreditation requirements and also because, as part of the visa process, many international schools must prove that nationals are not qualified for the position and certification helps proves that you are. It does not mean that certified librarians are better but those are the rules of the game. The easiest way to approach getting certified in the US is to click on the link I provided in the post, the SLJ article by the LSU professors, and note the states that say “NO or N/A” in the first column (States which require teacher certification) and also “NO or N/A” in the second column (States which require teaching experience) and finally “NO or N/A” in the third column (States which require a practicum). These states should be the ones you should research further as they will provide the easiest, fastest way to certification. Looking over the article those states would be: Florida, Georgia and Maine although please note that the article was published in 2003 and you will need to contact the Education Departments of these states in order to verify this information. I can add that I am certified in Maine and was able to obtain my provisional when I was already employed overseas by taking online courses and then submitting the transcripts. I hope this information helps. Safe travels, Sarah P.


      • Thank you Sarah! I appreciate your insight and I love your blog. You help your readers to dream a little and discover the real life possibilities. Keep up the great work!


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