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Contact Blythe Bennett, Program Manager, 114 Hinds Hall, 315-443-5445, babennet@syr.edu; ischool.syr.edu.

The School Media program is a major specialization within the Library and Information Science (LIS) program and requires that students meet not only the core LIS requirements, but also specified coursework in information literacy, youth services, information technology in schools, literacy and reading support, and management in school libraries. School librarians provide active curriculum support services and library and information skills instruction in elementary and secondary school settings. School librarians serve as intermediaries between the information needs of students, faculty, administration, and community and the information systems and resources required to fulfill those needs. In this capacity, school librarians provide print and non-print media in support of the curriculum; collaborate with classroom teachers by teaching research/information literacy skills in the context of the general curriculum; guide students in selecting reading materials and provide literacy support; introduce and facilitate effective use and delivery of current and emerging technologies; and implement a range of 21st century skills-based programs and services.

The traditional role of school librarians has expanded to include:

  • collection management based on a unified media concept;
  • teaching, support, and guidance in the use of information resources from a problem-solving perspective;
  • promotion of print, media, and digital literacy;
  • curriculum consultation and technology innovation;
  • information management beyond the walls of the centralized library facility; and program management.  

The current educational focus on lifetime learning, critical thinking skills, and multiple literacies directly links overall educational goals to the services and resources of the school library program. 

The nationally ranked (U.S. News & World Report) School Media Program at Syracuse University prepares students for the exciting and challenging role of the school librarian. In conjunction with the area of Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation at the School of Education, the School of Information Studies has developed a competency-based academic program, accredited by the state of New York and leading to New York State certification as a school library media specialist.  

The program requires the demonstration of competency in a number of specific tasks that are grouped into the following functional areas:

  • Administration
  • Design, development, and delivery of instruction
  • Selection of media and information provision
  • Organization and logistics
  • Production and utilization of media
  • Research
  • Communication and leadership  

The LIS master’s degree in school media also enables graduates to enter other specializations in the library profession. For example, in public libraries there is a critical need for librarians for children and young adult services. In community college libraries, the need for librarians trained in teaching information and technology skills is high. Some school media students are choosing to become digital librarians in government and corporate settings. Students trained as school librarians are highly qualified for these and other library positions.  

Learning Outcomes

By the time students complete the LIS School Media program, they will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge and skills: 

Standard 1: Teaching for Learning
1.1 Knowledge of learners and learning
1.2 Effective and knowledgeable teacher
1.3 Instructional partner
1.4 Integration of twenty-first century skills and learning standards 

Standard 2: Literacy and Reading
2.1 Literature
2.2 Reading promotion
2.3 Respect for diversity
2.4 Literacy strategies

Standard 3: Information and Knowledge
3.1 Efficient and ethical information-seeking behavior
3.2 Access to information
3.3 Information technology
3.4 Research and knowledge creation

Standard 4: Advocacy and Leadership
4.1. Networking with the library community
4.2 Professional development
4.3 Leadership
4.4 Advocacy 

Standard 5: Program Management and Administration
5.1 Collections
5.2 Professional Ethics
5.3 Personnel, Funding, and Facilities
5.4 Strategic Planning and Assessment

Curriculum Requirements

The School Media program requires 37 credits for the MSLIS and completion of additional New York State certification requirements. Because of the specific knowledge and skills required by school librarians, all courses in the program are required—there are no school media electives. Students are required to take the following courses.  

Introductory Courses (4 credits) 

IST 511 Introduction to the Library and Information Profession (gateway course)
IST 601 Information and Information Environments (1 credit) 
(IST 511 and 601 are required in the first semester of matriculation.)  

Information Resources Courses (9 credits) 

IST 605    Reference and Information Literacy Services
IST 613    Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment
IST 616    Information Resources: Organization and Access 

 Management and Policy Courses (6 credits) 

IST 618    Survey of Telecommunications and Information Policy 
IST 661    Management of School Libraries 

Other Required Coursework (15 credits) 

 

IST 564    Library and Information Services to Students with Disabilities

IST 611

Information Technologies in Educational Organizations

IST 612

Youth Services and Resources

IST 663

Motivating 21st Century Learning in School Libraries

IST 668

 Literacy Through School Libraries

 Fieldwork (100 hours)

School media students must complete a total of 100 (non-credit) hours of fieldwork in elementary and secondary school libraries before their first practicum experience.   A minimum of 15 hours must be with a student with special needs.

IST 972    School Media Practicum (3 credits)  

Fully supervised and evaluated school-based library experiences at the elementary and secondary levels.  (120 hours each). Includes mandatory online seminar.  

Additional Requirements  

1. Students must complete the school media competencies checklist at the beginning of the program, after their second fieldwork experience, after their first practicum experience, and after all coursework, fieldwork and practica have been completed. This instrument is used as a means for documenting student growth and as a guide for practicum placement.

2. Students must complete an electronic portfolio of their credentials. The portfolio is typically completed in the final semester of the program and should contain items such as course and practica projects, student-authored publications, resume, digital photos, teaching videos, and other relevant artifacts. The portfolio is intended to provide students with (a) a synthesis of their learning and (b) tangible demonstrations of their knowledge and skills appropriate for presentation at job interviews. 

Upon completion of the School Media Program, combined with New York State requirements including (1) completion of the New York State child abuse, substance abuse, and violence prevention workshops; (2) the Child Health and Life Safety Prevention workshop (fire and arson prevention; highway safety and traffic regulations and school safety patrols; child abduction prevention; and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse); (3) fingerprinting; and (4) successful completion of the appropriate New York State certification exams, students will have fulfilled all the necessary requirements for certification as a school library media specialist in an elementary or secondary school in New York State. The School of Education, with approval from the School of Information Studies, will recommend a student for a New York State School Media Specialist provisional certificate, preK-12, necessary for employment for New York State public schools and accepted for employment by most other states.