Master of Library Science - Library Media Specialist (MLS/LMS)

The Department of Library and Information Studies has an approved competency-based program registered by the New York State Education Department and is authorized to recommend students for certification for the Library Media Specialist, K-12 Initial Certificate. All library media specialists courses are offered online.

What can you expect from this program?

This program will prepare students to teach in a 21st century school library. All courses include the latest research-based, best practices occurring in the school library field. Students are exposed to a variety of strategies and techniques for teaching information literacy based on new standards of practice as outlined in the Common Core Learning Standards and the Annual Professional Performance Review. Students learn how to participate in a collaborative culture where feedback is provided, including peer review of their teaching practices. Upon leaving the program graduates are equipped with a digital portfolio that could be shared with potential employers as well as a video recording providing evidence of instructional experience.

Authentic, Clinically Rich Learning Experiences

We believe that the core experience in preparing school librarians is clinical practice. Clinical preparation is integrated throughout every facet of the school library media program in a dynamic way. Students are provided experiences to learn from practitioners in a laboratory-like fashion. These clinically-based teaching experiences will allow students to collect their own data to inform their teaching practice. Students’ teaching will be directly linked to the Common Core Learning Standards and outcome data, including student artifacts, as well as summative and formative assessments. Upon graduation, students are well poised to thrive in the high-stakes accountability environment of the 21st century educational system.


Academic Requirements for Certification

Library Media Specialist Certification
MLS Degree/LMS Program 36 credit hours
LMS Practicum (LIS 525 E, S, P) 3 credit hours
Pedagogical Core Courses (Non-LIS Education Courses) 12 credit hours
these credits can be undergraduate courses
Meet General Education Core in Liberal Arts and Sciences Dependent upon transcripts (details)

LMS Certification Required Courses (3 credit hours per course)

  • LIS 505 Introduction to Library and Information Studies
  • LIS 506 Introduction to Information Technology
  • LIS 518 Reference Sources and Services
  • LIS 524 School Media Center Field Experience
  • LIS 525 School Media Center Practicum¹
  • LIS 532 Curriculum Role of the Media Specialis²
  • LIS 534 Resources and Services for Children
  • LIS 535 Resources and Services for Young Adults
  • LIS 568 Computer Applications in the School Library Media Center
  • LIS 571 Organization and Control of Recorded Information
  • LIS 585 Management of School Library Media Centers
  • LAI 574 Teaching the Exceptional Learner in the Regular Education Classroom
  • LIS 538 Pedagogy for School Librarians

¹ Must have completed the General Pedagogical Core Requirements, LIS 524, LIS 532, LIS 585, and have permission of instructor to enroll. To student teach in New York, students must also complete the required seminars (CAW, SAVE, DASA) prior to enrolling.
² Must have completed the General Pedagogical Core Requirements to enroll.

Guide to LIS 524 Field Experience and LIS 525 (E, S, P) Practicum & Portfolio

LMS Field Experience (LIS 524): 3 hours

In this course students acquire the NYS mandated field experience hours (100 hours) through the completion of activity modules in a variety of elementary and secondary school media centers. This course is to be taken by library media students during their first 12 credit hours of enrollment.

LMS Practicum (LIS 525): 3 hours

With the approval of the instructor, students are placed in school media centers where the certified media specialist has been employed for at least three years. Two 20-day practicum experiences, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary, are supervised by a cooperating library media specialist and a member of the LIS faculty. Participation in virtual seminars and the completion of a professional portfolio are required. Students may take this course for 1, 2 or 3 credits per semester, but all three credits must be completed: LIS 525E (elementary practicum); LIS 525S (secondary practicum); and LIS 525P (portfolio).

Prerequisite(s): LIS 524, LIS 532, LIS 585 and the General Pedagogical Core Requirements. Permission of the instructor is required. To student teach in New York, students must also complete the required seminars (CAW, SAVE, DASA) prior to enrolling.

General Pedagogical Core Requirements: 12 hours (Transcripts required)

  • 6 Education Credit Hours in Reading, Writing or Language Arts at Elementary or Secondary Level
  • 3 credit hours in Foundations of Education
  • 3 credit hours in the Psychology of Learning and Instruction

General Education Core in Liberal Arts and Science: 30 hours (Transcripts required)

The applicant's transcripts will be reviewed and the General Education Core in the Liberal Arts and Sciences form will be completed by the School Library Media advisor. During this process, the applicant's undergraduate coursework will be mapped against the general education core requirements and applicants with any deficiencies will be advised on the additional study necessary to meet these program requirements:

  • Artistic Expression (3 credit hours)
  • LOTE (Foreign Language) (3 credit hours)
  • Communication (3 credit hours)
  • Natural Sciences (3 credit hours)
  • Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • Mathematics (6 credit hours)
  • Writing (3 credit hours)
  • History/Social Science (6 credit hours)

Non-academic Requirements for Certification

Fingerprinting of Applicant

All applicants for teacher certification must be fingerprinted. Fingerprinting Information

Child Abuse Workshop (CAW)

All applicants are required to complete two clock hours of coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse or maltreatment – available through local community colleges, BOCES, hospitals, and NYS Office of Teaching Child Abuse Workshop Information. Child Abuse Workshop Providers

Schools Against Violence Seminar

All applicants for a certificate are required to complete at least two clock hours of coursework or training in school violence prevention and intervention available through local community colleges, BOCES, and hospitals. School Violence Prevention Workshop Information

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

All students must complete at least six clock hours of coursework or training in harassment, bullying, and discrimination prevention and intervention. Training must be delivered by a NYSED approved provider. UB's Alberti Center is an authorized provider. DASA Training Information at UB A complete list of providers can be found at DASA Training Information Applicants for Certification

New York State Teacher Certification Examinations

Candidates seeking an initial NYS teaching certificate as a library media specialist (school) must take the following tests:

  • Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)
  • Educating All Students (EAS)
  • CST (Content Specialty Test) – Library Media Specialist (all grades) FIELD 074
  • edTPA for New York State (a student-centered multiple measure assessment of teaching)

Test Preparation Guides and Registration


Applying for Certification

In order to be recommended by UB-LIS for Library Media Specialist (school) certification in New York State, applicants must self-register and complete the Student Application Information page with the TEACH Online Services. Applicants will be setting up this account in LIS 525 School Media Practicum.
TEACH tutorial The certification program code is 25719.

MLS: Library Media Certification
Application deadline for Admission: Rolling
Degree Granted: M.L.S.
Minimum Number of Credits: 39
Practicum Days: 40
Typical Time to Completion: 5 full-time semesters
Potential Employers Post-Graduation: Pre-K–12 School Library Media Centers

View admissions requirements >

For more information about applying, contact Ms. Pat Glinski in the Admissions Office:

Office of Graduate Admissions & Student Services
Graduate School of Education
University at Buffalo
366 Baldy Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Telephone: (716) 645-2110
Fax: (716) 645-7937
Email: pglinski@buffalo.edu