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School Library Studies

Next cohort tentatively scheduled for Fall 2018

Under the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, the online School Library Studies Master of Arts program develops K-12 teacher librarians who enact the vision for school library programs in Iowa:

Iowa’s best schools have library programs that engage the entire school community to elevate the learning experience for all.  Teacher librarians are strategically positioned to:

  • teach students to think independently to construct new understanding and insights from varied information sources
  • lead and embrace the integration of technology to enhance learning
  • connect communities of learners in virtual and physical spaces
  • collaborate with stakeholders to design and enact rigorous learning experiences
  • maximize access to quality print and digital resources
  • champion and support the reading lives of students
  • nurture curiosity to develop in students a passion for learning for life

Program outcomesLibrarian helping student with laptop

Graduates most frequently work in schools as teacher librarians. Teacher librarians teach technology and literacy and lead schoolwide learning through co-planning, co-teaching and providing print and digital resources to students and teachers.  School librarianship has continued to be a specialty among the "teacher shortage areas" in Iowa (Iowa Department of Education).

Many graduates take on roles as teacher leaders, technology integrationists, instructional coaches or curriculum directors. Some choose to apply their new skills as classroom teachers, helping both their students and colleagues enhance their literacy and technology skills.


Excellence in education

Students take online classes in library resources, library and instructional technologies, library curriculum and administration, and complete a practicum experience and a master's research paper. Courses are aligned with the ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians and the requirements for a K-12 endorsement as teacher librarian from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

Among class activities are these learning experiences:

  • Evaluate fiction, non-fiction, and electronic resources for enhancing literacy and learning
  • Examine the principles and beliefs that underpin the library profession
  • Develop policy that guides decision-making in the school library
  • Design curriculum and teaching units for 21st century critical literacy
  • Evaluate information and instructional technologies to be integrated into the context of learning
  • Apply learning in directed practicum experiences in both elementary and secondary schools

Online instruction

The School Library Studies program is delivered online.  Many courses meet once per week in the evening via interactive video conferencing. Students become members of a cohort, joining an ongoing network of supportive colleagues throughout Iowa and beyond.  One in-person, hands-on Saturday class session is held on the UNI campus during the first fall semester. Learn more about our distance offering and express your interest to receive program updates by visiting Continuing Education.  Additional details about the program, application process, and scholarships are available on the School Library Studies Admissions page.

Excellence in class and faculty resources

The UNI Rod Library offers the services of a distant learners staff to provide consultation and resources online. Students have access to a wide variety of print sources and online databases.

School Library Studies faculty members are participating members of national and state professional organizations and make substantial contributions to the scholarship of the profession.