School Library Studies

Teacher librarian news

T AhrensA barrel of laughs

Tiffany Ahrens (B.A. minor) was invited to speak on humorous books at the 50th Annual Elementary Literacy Conference at UNI on April 13.   She shared an extensive bibliography and encouraged teachers to have fun and share books with enthusiasm.  “The books I remember best from my childhood were the ones that made me laugh,” said Ahrens. Some of her favorite new funny books are The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John and Ben Franklin's In My Bathroom! by Candace Fleming.  Read more about Ahrens and her book suggestions.


Elementary boy with building materialsReading, ramps and puppies

The library at Crestview School of Inquiry in Clive, Iowa, is bursting with hands-on opportunities including books, building materials, a wind tunnel and more.  While students focus on literacy during their library class time, they also come to the library with their classroom teachers to build simple machines or create seed dispersal models in the makerspace.  Reynolds also gives students at the 1:1 school a chance to pet and read to Akita puppies through a therapy dog training program. Read more about the makerspace and puppy program in the Crestview library.


C. SimsWe've got stars

Congratulations to Chelsea Sims and Shannon McClintock Miller, named Social Media Superstars by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)! Chelsea Sims (M.A. 2012) was honored with the Sensational Student Voice award.  A teacher librarian at South East Junior High School in Iowa City, Sims (pictured) uses her social media accounts to share students’ work and show the impact of the library on student growth.  A teacher librarian, author, speaker and consultant, Shannon Miller (M.A. 2010) was honored with the Leadership Luminary award for her tireless leadership through social media.

More news about teacher librarians

Middle school girl posing near library shelves with caption: Become a teacher librarian

The School Library Studies M.A. program

Next cohort planned for Fall 2019

The online School Library Studies program prepares teachers to be K-12 teacher librarians. Teacher librarians develop strong readers and discerning digital citizens throughout the school.

Lead in teachnology and literacy; teach digital citizenship; advocate for lifelong readersProgram outcomes

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 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 students enhance their literacy and technology skills.

Online instruction

The School Library Studies program is delivered online and is designed for the convenience of full-time teachers.  Many courses meet for an hour once per week in the evening through online video conferencing. Only one in-person, on campus class session is required, and it is held on a Saturday during the first fall semester.  UNI's Continuing Education provides technical support to students in this online program.

Although courses are taught at a distance, students work closely with faculty and members of their cohort group. They gain an ongoing network of supportive colleagues throughout Iowa and beyond.

Teacher helping student with laptopRelevant coursework

Immediate application

A K-12 connection is infused throughout the curriculum. All courses teach literacy and technology skills which students can apply right away in their classrooms and libraries.  As one student stated, "I have learned so much that has made me a better English teacher."

Hands-on experience

The program includes embedded practice in local school libraries. Professors connect each student with two mentor teacher librarians in their area who welcome them into brief school practicum visits.

Experienced faculty

Students are mentored and taught by faculty with K-12 teaching experience and advanced degrees in education and librarianship.  The faculty conduct ongoing research on school library programs--sometimes in conjunction with graduate students--and have frequent participation and engagement in Iowa’s K-12 schools.  

Program options

The School Library Studies graduate program works well for both: 1) teachers who are seeking teacher librarian endorsement only, and 2) teachers who want to earn an M.A. degree as well as a K-12 teacher librarian endorsement.  The curriculum meets requirements for state of Iowa endorsement. Out-of-state students should inquire with their Department of Education regarding specific state requirements.

Learn more

Details about the program, application process, endorsements, and scholarships are available on the School Library Studies Admissions page. Learn more about our distance offering and express your interest in receiving program updates by visiting Continuing Education.

Meet our students and alumni

J DovreB. GilbertsonS. KaylorShannon MillerRobin Moeller