Teacher librarians make a difference
Seeing yourself in the school library
Because teacher librarian Michelle Kruse provides books that match students’ backgrounds and interests, her middle school library is a place where everyone belongs. “The principal has even said that kids feel welcome here and that they find books that represent themselves,” shared Kruse. Read more about the Roosevelt school library in Cedar Rapids.
Teaching tech and research
Since every student has a laptop at Ballard High School, the teacher librarian is a critical part of the instruction team. By collaborating with classroom teachers, teacher librarian Jen Dovre helps ensure that students learn essential skills in online research and digital citizenship. Read more about technology collaboration at Ballard High School.
The School Library Studies M.A. program
The next cohort is scheduled for Fall 2021
Teacher librarians develop strong readers and discerning digital citizens throughout the school. The online School Library Studies program prepares teachers to be K-12 teacher librarians, providing a path to Iowa endorsement and a master's degree.
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.
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. School librarianship has continued to be among the "teacher shortage areas" in Iowa (Iowa Department of Education).
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.
A K-12 connection is infused throughout the School Library Studies M.A. program. 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."
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.
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.
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.
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. The next cohort is planned for Fall 2021.