Below you will find additional resources for students wishing to pursue the School Library Media Specialist Licensure. Learn more about funding and job opportunities as well as information on out-of-state certification options.
There are many funding opportunities available to students pursuing School Library Media Certification.
SOIS Funding for School Librarians
Through the generous support of alumni, faculty, and friends, the School of Information Studies offers funding support awarded for both academic achievement and financial need to eligible students entering or enrolled in our academic programs.
For a complete list of funding options and a link to the Panther Scholarship Portal – your resource for all UWM scholarships- please visit: https://uwm.edu/informationstudies/students/scholarships-tuition-and-fees/
Wisconsin DPI Loan Forgiveness
Loan Forgiveness Program
Because School Library Media has been identified by the State of Wisconsin as a teacher shortage area, students may be eligible for student loan cancellation, depending on the type of loan obtained. Additionally, students serving in a low-income school may be granted loan forgiveness for a wider range of loan types.
Lowell Wilson Scholarship (WEMTA)
The Lowell Wilson Scholarship encourages strong leaders to gain the certification required for serving as Library Media and Instructional Technology Specialists in our schools. This scholarship(s) provides funding to cover tuition costs for graduate-level coursework leading to licensure.
ALA and AASL National Scholarships
National scholarships are available through ALA and AASL for school librarians and paraprofessionals. Learn more:
The majority of our students are already employed in school libraries. For roles in Wisconsin, visit WECAN to see job postings in your area. Use the search term ‘library’ – https://wecan.education.wisc.edu/#/
Consider joining our professional organization! Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association https://www.wemtaonline.org/ – professional information, licensure details, job seeking, as well as related links
The American Association of School Librarians is a division of ALA where you can find support and professional resources: https://www.ala.org/aasl/
Certification requirements vary widely across all 50 states. Our programs lead to school library media certification in Wisconsin, which might be accepted in your state. School Library Connection maintains a list of states’ requirements for licensure. Be sure to check with your state’s Department of Public Instruction to confirm their current requirements, and current exceptions, for school library certification.
If you’re already a certified teacher:
By earning your MLIS degree and completing the requirements for WI certification, you will likely be able to be certified in your state. Please check with your state’s licensing organization.
If you are not already a certified teacher:
Check with your state’s licensing organization. Several states, like AZ and LA, will allow you to work in a school library based on an MLIS degree alone. Other states may or may not accept our initial licensure in school librarianship program for certification to work in a school library.