Once upon a time, school media specialists were also known as librarians! However, progress in education and technology has brought in a higher degree of specialization, splitting up earlier roles into specific job functions; a school media specialist (library media specialist) is one of these newer job functions. Read on to find out how you can become a school media specialist yourself!
There are four categories of media specialists, and which category you choose will determine the qualifications and training you require. These are: (a) School library media specialists; (b) Corporate/public library media specialists; (c) Digital media specialists; and (d) Alternative media specialists).
This article deals with the first category of media specialists.
A school media specialist works in the K-12 education system, providing library and resource management services in a variety of media including print, audio, video and web-related. The job requires helping out school students in researching and finding information resources with respect to lessons, homework, projects, etc.
As such, a school media specialist must not only be able to manage library services, but must also have an idea of the kind of information which would be helpful to the students in a variety of subjects. Other job functions can include:
- Preparing and teaching curriculum along with other teachers;
- Create information and learning resources by using interactive media and tools, tailoring these to suit both individual student and group needs.
Qualifications & training
There are several routes in which you can obtain the necessary educational qualifications to work as a school media specialist.
- Get a bachelor’s degree in Library Science or Education;
- Follow it up with a master’s degree in Education or Instruction or Library Science, with a school media specialist concentration;
- If your undergraduate degree is in education, earn a master’s in Library Science or K-12 Instruction and vice versa;
- Check the certification requirements provided by the state education board where you reside or plan to work. In most jurisdictions, a K-12 school media specialist needs to earn a basic teaching certificate, followed by a special certificate in school library media.
With this, your quest to becoming a school media specialist is complete!