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SLMS Education & Certification

To be a School Library Media Specialist (SLMS) you must complete the training and certification requirements established by the NJ State Board of Education. The training requires the completion of coursework in both library science and education. The certification process requires that you meet all of the application requirements through the NJ Department of Education

What do SLMS do?

AASL, What Does a School Librarian Do?

"Today's school librarian works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, instruct students and teachers how to acquire, evaluate and use information and the technology needed in this process, and introduces children and young adults to literature and other resources to broaden their horizons. As a collaborator, change agent, and leader, the school librarian develops, promotes and implements a program that will help prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill."

Also see:

AASL Common Beliefs: How do we define the qualities of well prepared learners, effective school librarians, and dynamic school libraries

How do I determine what coursework I need to complete?

If you have taken some library science and/or education coursework, NJDOE can assist you to determine what courses you will need to complete. Effective October 1, 2015 NJDOE will again be accepting applications to review applicants' transcripts to determine if their coursework meets the requirements for specific certificates. 

What NJ Colleges/Universities Offer Programs Leading to Certification as a SLMS?

New Jersey City University
Contact: Laura Zieger, Ed.D.
Phone: 201-200-3078

Contact:  Joyce Valenza, Ph.D.
Phone:  215-518-1846

Seton Hall
Contact: Joseph Martinelli, Ed.D.
Phone: 973-761-9024

William Paterson
Contact: Ellen Pozzi, Ph.D.
Phone: 973-720-3784

Review the information provided by the Universities offering approved programs for the SLMS certificate. Make an appointment at the University to discuss your educational background and to find out more about the program you must complete. Universities generally assist enrolled students who complete a program or course of study with the certificate application process. You should also review the state’s certification regulations and application process.

Where do I get information about becoming certified?

The NJ Department of Education is the agency that administers the certification regulations including the application process. See NJDOE, Certification & Induction, Educational Services Personnel for details and procedures.

How do I find out the requirements for the certificate(s) I want?

You will note there are three different types of SLMS certificates available – CE, CEAS and Standard. You may apply for the CE, CEAS, or Standard certificate depending on your educational background. Please take a look at the New Jersey Department of Education's website for more information.

    • Certificate Type: CE  The certificate of eligibility is a credential issued to an individual who has completed some, but not all, of the library science and education coursework. The CE allows an applicant to be employed as a SLMS while completing the required education and library science coursework.

    • Certificate Type: CEAS  The certificate of eligibility with advanced standing is a credential issued to an individual who has completed all of the required coursework but not the yearlong residency in a school library. The CEAS allows an applicant to be employed as a SLMS and to begin the required residency program.

    • Certificate Type: Standard  This is a permanent certificate issued to an individual who has met all requirements for state certification. Individuals who hold a Standard SLMS certificate are eligible for employment without needing to complete any additional requirements.

    The Standard certificate is issued to an individual who has successfully completed the coursework and a yearlong residency program in a school library. Individuals who hold a permanent New Jersey School Librarian or standard Educational Media Specialist endorsement are also eligible to receive the standard SLMS endorsement.

    NJDOE’s website provides specific details about the required coursework and application process, including fees and documents that must be submitted. Also, Customer Service is available to the public during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except major holidays). The Customer Service telephone number is (609) 292-2070.

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