Michigan faces a critical shortage of certified school librarians, and the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences (SIS) has designed a unique program to alleviate this deficit. The experimental school library media certificate is a 15-credit graduate certificate program open to anyone with a valid Michigan teaching certificate. Approved by the Michigan Department of Education in fall 2018, it provides an opportunity for educators to gain the knowledge necessary to become a school library media specialist.
Having access to certified school library media specialists in K-12 schools is now a school quality/student success indicator in Michigan’s state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said Kafi Kumasi, the SIS associate professor who spearheaded the program. “This will help prepare a cadre of future-ready school librarians who will not only help improve students’ reading proficiency in our state, but also empower them to be creators, critical thinkers, skillful researchers and ethical users of information.”
This program comes at a time when only 8 percent of Michigan school libraries are staffed with a full-time certified library media specialist, while 66 percent of public schools have no library staff at all. The experimental nature of the program involved waiving Administrative Rule 390.1129 to allow candidates with valid teaching certificates to earn an additional endorsement in library media via a program of fewer than 20 semester credits.
The first class of students will begin coursework in summer 2019. Course registration is open until priority registration closes on June 25. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis with potential for additional sections based on demand.
Those interested in the certificate program are encouraged to apply for admission to the graduate certificate in Library and Information Science at sis.wayne.edu/certificates/library-information-science.php following the procedures outlined at sis.wayne.edu/admissions/index.php.
Questions about the experimental school media library certificate can be directed to Matt Fredericks, SIS academic services officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-577-2446.
The Wayne State University Library System consists of the university's five libraries: The David Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Purdy/Kresge Library, the Shiffman Medical Library, the Arthur Neef Law Library and the Reuther Library as well as the School of Information Sciences.
Wayne State University is a premier institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.