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University of West Alabama Online Master of Education in Library Media
CAEP Accredited Topics include management, reference services, information services and retrieval, reference services and more. 100% online.
Syracuse University Online MS in Library and Information Science: School Media Specialization
ALA Accredited Optional specialization in School Media, No GRE required to apply. ALA-accredited.
East Central University Master of Education in Library Media
100% online program.
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A Master of Education in Library Media degree is an interdisciplinary degree that prepares graduates to be effective educators and provide instructional leadership and support in the classroom. Graduates with this degree assume the role of Library Media Specialist in elementary, middle/junior, and high schools. This degree may include a path to state-level teacher certification, which is generally required to be an educator in a public or private K-12 school setting. It is important to note that some programs offer only a degree, while others also prepare graduates to sit for teacher certification examination.

Click to find featured online library science programs currently accepting applications for 2024.

Are there online programs in Master of Education in Library Media?

Yes. A number of colleges and universities offer fully online master's degrees in library media. These programs emphasize flexible learning to accommodate the needs of working adults - many of whom are already teachers. Coursework may be offered synchronously or asynchronously. While coursework can be completed virtually, some programs may require a practicum or internship that is completed on-site at a school library. Some of these programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), while few - if any - are accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

Sponsored Online Library Programs

School Level Program
Syracuse University
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Master Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. No GRE required to apply. School Media Specialization available.
University of Denver
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Master Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required.
St. John's University
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Master Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited. Complete in as little as 2 years.
University of West Alabama
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Master Online Master of Education in Library Media
Develop knowledge and skills in school library media with our online library media specialist degree.
East Central University
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Master Master of Education in Library Media
Readies working educators to sit for their librarian exam and become school library media specialist in grades PK-12
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In depth review of some of the top Online Master of Education in Library Media Programs

A variety of online master's degrees exist to prepare future school library media specialists. Online programs are ideal for those currently working as teachers. When considering an online M.Ed. degree program, it is important to understand state-level teaching certification requirements. Additionally, it may help to research which accreditations programs hold. The following are universities offering online and hybrid graduate degrees in library media.

University of West Alabama - MEd Library Media Degree and Certificate

The University of West Alabama offers a fully online library media master's degree. This program is CAEP accredited and has been designed for educators wishing to complete master's level coursework and earn an Alabama state teaching certificate (Class A). The estimated program length is 1-2 years, with a total of 33 credit hours. Those completing the program earn a library media specialist degree. A key feature of the program is the mentor collective, where students are connected to a personal mentor.

Students in the program complete a combination of professional courses and certification coursework. All courses are completed in 8-week semesters. Professional courses (9 credit hours) include Techniques of Educational Research, Technology and Education, and Counseling Multicultural Populations. Some of the coursework in the certification area includes Literature for Children and Young Adults, Instructional Media, Critical Issues in School Library Services, and Libraries and Legal Issues. An internship in library media is also required.

Two years of educational experience and a bachelor's-level professional educator certificate are required for admission to the program. Tuition is $429 per credit hour, with a $60 technology fee per semester. Up to 9 graduate-level credit hours may be transferred for matching courses and curricula. Program completion requirements include the educator candidate maintaining a minimum 3.25 grade point average and receiving a satisfactory score on the Praxis II exam.

East Central University - M.Ed. in Library Media Program

ECU's Master of Education in Library Media is designed for working educators interested in assuming the role of school librarian. This fully online program emphasizes current technology and all aspects of school librarianship. The program consists of 32 credit hours (8-week course length) and can be completed in approximately two years. Learning outcomes are aligned to standards established by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL - a division of ALA).

Classes in the program core include School Library Administration, Materials Selection, Cataloging and Classification, Reference Materials, Young Adult Literature, and Curriculum and Media Center. Students are required to select coursework for a specialization, up to 6 credit hours, with options ranging from Multimedia Technology to Principles of Instructional Design. A 40-hour practicum and portfolio (2 credit hours) is also required for program completion.

Oklahoma resident tuition is $359.88 per credit hour. Non-resident tuition is $714.88 per credit hour, though there is a non-resident tuition-waiver if specific requirements are met. All students pay an $89 per semester fee. Financial aid options are available, including military benefits and aid for Native American and first-generation college students. To apply for the program, an online application is submitted with transcripts, current teaching certificate, resume, two references, and a personal statement.

University of Central Oklahoma - Master of Education in Library Media Education

The University of Central Oklahoma offers a 36 credit hour master's degree in Library Media Education. The program offers a blend of online and hybrid learning and is based on ALA and AASL standards. Students learn best practices and strategies for effective library media management in Pre-K-12 settings. Upon completion, teacher candidates are eligible to pursue the Oklahoma School Library Media Specialist Certification.

Literacy and information access are central to the curriculum. A sample of courses includes Foundations of Educational Research, Collaborative Instructional Processes, Collection Management, and School Library Advocacy. A capstone course is also required. Most subjects require at least three on-campus visits per semester.

Those students entering the program with a master's in education may complete 24 credit hours of specialized coursework to sit for the Oklahoma specialist certification. All others must complete the required 36 credit hours.

University of South Alabama - Educational Media-Library Media M.Ed.

This fully online program is designed to lead to certification in Library Media and prepare graduates to manage library/media centers in P-12 settings. There are two options of study. The first is a 30 semester hour option for students already holding a bachelor's- or master's-level professional educator certification in a teaching field. The second option is the Alabama Class "A" endorsement in Library Media, which requires completion of the 21 semester hour Educational Media Core coursework, passing a written exam, passing the Praxis II, and having at least two years of teaching experience.

Those pursuing option 1, toward the M.Ed. with certification in Library Media, complete coursework across three areas: Diversity and Support, Educational Media Core, and Research and Evaluation. Core courses include Microcomputing Systems in Education, Workshop for Ed Media, Curriculum Media for Children and Youth, Information Literacy, Media Center Management, and Library Media Programs. An internship is also included in the core.

For admission to the program an application, transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of goals and purpose are required.

Eastern Washington University - M.Ed. in Library Media

This 49 credit hour program may be completed in as little as 12 months and is offered fully online. EWU's M.Ed. in Library Media places an importance on the development of critical thinking skills in learners of all ages. The curriculum emphasizes the application of theory in modern schools and current issues and trends in education. An internship provides opportunities for experiential learning in a school library setting. Students work closely with a mentor, complete a comprehensive exam, and submit a professional portfolio.

The program consists of 20 credit hours of core coursework (including an internship) and 29 hours of specialization courses. Each course runs for six weeks. Core courses include Current Issues in Education, Philosophy & Organization of the American School, Methods of Educational Research, and Transformation of Teaching & Learning. Sample specialization courses include Librarian Leadership & Administration and Collaborative Content Integration.

EWU offers seven start dates per year. To be admitted, candidates must hold a bachelor's degree (with a cumulative 3.0 grade point average) and a teacher certification. Tuition is $300 per credit hour, for a total of $14,700.

What is the difference between the M.Ed. in Library Media and the MLIS?

The Master’s of Education in Library Media prepares holders of the degree to serve as library-media specialists, or teacher-librarians, in a K-12 setting. These professionals work primarily with school-aged children and other teachers. Important aspects of the M.Ed. in Library Media is school library collection development and management and classroom instruction. Some of these programs are accredited by CAEP, which is an organization that publishes standards in support of quality, evidence-based educator preparation. Additionally, many Master’s of Education in Library Media degree programs are recognized at the state-level for teacher certification.

An ALA-accredited Master’s in Library and Information Science is a degree program recognized by the professional organization for librarians.
The Online MLIS and Online MLS programs prepare information professionals to work in a variety of libraries and information centers. Graduates may be employed in academic libraries (colleges and universities)Academic Librarianship, special libraries, or Archival Studies.

Unlike M.Ed. in Library Media degree programs, these do not always place an emphasis on classroom teaching – though instruction has become more integral to librarian roles over the years. The exception is MLIS/MLS programs with a concentration in School Library Media Specialist.

When considering a degree program, with the goal of working in a K-12 setting, it is important to determine whether CAEP or ALA accreditation is desired by employers and if a teaching certificate is required for the position.

More Masters programs in library science or related fields

Masters in Library Science Degrees

Typical Online Master of Education in Library Media Curriculum

Course curricula will vary based on program and state. Generally, coursework covers important topics relevant to library media centers. These include classroom technology, reference services, information literacy, teaching and learning strategies, and research methods. In addition to coursework, some programs may require teacher candidates to sit for a comprehensive exam. This examination evaluates the knowledge and skills educator candidates gained through the course of study. Students must adequately demonstrate these to successfully complete the degree program. It is important to carefully evaluate a graduate program’s coursework to ensure requirements align with personal and professional teaching goals.

Technology and Education

Library media specialists must be prepared to evaluate and integrate appropriate technology to meet the needs of learners. This course provides a foundation in strategies and tools necessary for effective use of technology in the modern K-12 classroom. Students will evaluate hardware and software, discuss current issues and trends, and learn best practices for computer assisted instruction. Application in in-person, blended/hybrid, and virtual learning environments are considered. Emphasis will be placed on exploring the possibilities and challenges of emerging technologies utilized in diverse classroom settings.

Information Literacy

Information literacy, the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to access, evaluate, and utilize needed information, is central to both education and librarianship. In this course, students will explore the core concepts and skills required to produce information literate learners. Topics include principles and theories of information literacy, the research process, critical thinking skills, digital citizenship, and the ethical use of information. Students will gain practical, hands-on experience with information literacy applications in the school library. Additionally, students will explore electronic resources, internet research, and citation style formats (APA, MLA, Chicago). The course will culminate in the development of a student-centered, technology-focused lesson plan.

Cataloging, Classifying and Collection Development for School Libraries

This course introduces the theory and practice of cataloging, classifying, and collection development in K-12 libraries. Through discussions and case studies, students will learn the role of data, metadata, and digital tools for effective collection management. Students will explore and apply AACR2, Dewey Decimal classification, and Sears List of Subject Headings.

School Library Media Management

To encourage effective use of school library collections, the collection, staff, and facility must be effectively managed. In this course, students investigate and evaluate the managerial role of the school librarian. Emphasis is placed on data collection, research, and data-informed decision making. Topics include evaluation and improvement, materials acquisition, budgeting, staff/volunteer management and scheduling, equipment and facilities management, conflict resolution, and advocacy. Special emphasis will be placed on state and national standards, current issues and trends in K-12 libraries, and policy and procedure development. Through discussions and case studies, students will develop a framework for the daily operation of a school library.

Reference Services and Information Storage and Retrieval

In this foundational course, students gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective delivery of in-person and virtual reference services – including the evaluation of reference materials. Additionally, students learn the theory and principles of information storage and retrieval. This course explores strategies for information location, evaluation, access, and use by learners in K-12 learning environments. With an emphasis on information literacy and critical thinking, students will gain necessary skills to develop 21st century information literate learners.

Foundations in Instructional Design

Classroom instruction is an important responsibilities for many school library media specialists. This course introduces the theory, concepts, strategies and best practices for the design and delivery of instruction. In-person, virtual, and blended/hybrid learning environments are considered. Topics include standard alignment, creating student learning objectives, developing instructional activities and materials, learning outcome assessment, and instructional effectiveness evaluation. The culminating experience for the course will be the development of a lesson plan and delivery of classroom instruction.

Research Techniques

Research informs collection and instructional decisions in the school library. This course prepares students to evaluate historical and contemporary research in education, pedagogy, and librarianship with the purpose of developing the skills necessary to apply findings and develop original research ideas. Students are introduced to the principles and methods of educational research, including literature review, data analysis, research writing, and applied research. Emphasis is also placed on ethical research, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and tools for research dissemination.

Children’s Literature

The ability to evaluate available resources for specific K-12 audiences is crucial for the effective management of school library media centers. This course explores the types of materials appropriate for pre-kindergarten and elementary age children. Classic and contemporary materials, in both physical and electronic form, are considered. Students will learn to evaluate materials based on age placement and literary value, develop strategies to encourage a literate classroom, and investigate strategies to choose and adapt instructional content. This course places an emphasis on understanding technology-based materials, language and cultural needs of diverse learners, and genre and text types.

Young Adult Literature

This course considers the reading interests and materials appropriate for middle/junior and high school age audiences. To develop effective young adult literature collections, students will investigate classic and contemporary materials – in physical and electronic formats. Topics include material evaluation, instructional content, technology in the classroom, meeting the needs of diverse learners, and genre and text types. Special consideration is given to current issues and trends in young adult literature and material evaluation.

Internship or Practicum in Library Media

This culminating experience provides educator candidates the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained through graduate coursework in a school library. Students are paired with a professional mentor at a pre-approved elementary, middle/junior, or high school. This mentor will serve as the site supervisor and will work in conjunction with the student’s faculty advisor. Successful completion of the internship/practicum requires a minimum of 300 hours of observation and experience. In addition to completing a pre-determined project or activities, students will develop a competency portfolio to further demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities.

What can you do with a Master of Education in Library Media?

Those earning a Master of Education in Library Media are educators qualified to deliver both library and instructional services in a K-12 setting – with an emphasis on technology. With a teaching degree and certification graduates may work with elementary, middle/junior, or high school students in public or private schools. While those earning this degree typically seek employment in schools, it is not uncommon for opportunities to exist in public libraries Public Librarianship
as well. This degree may also create future opportunities for employment as an academic or special librarian. However, it is important to determine whether the job requires a degree from an ALA-accredited library and information sciences program.

Common responsibilities for School Librarians/Library Media Specialists include creating library material databases, assisting library patrons (students and teachers) with research, managing physical collection materials, teaching information literacy skills, maintaining library equipment, overseeing budgets, and managing library staff. These professionals also play an important instructional role, developing lesson plans, delivering instruction, and supporting content area teachers in the classroom. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS, the 2021 median pay for Library Media Specialists is $61,190 annually. Careers in this area are expected to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031.

Common job titles include:

  • Library and Media Specialist
  • Youth Services Coordinator
  • Head of Children’s Services
  • Children’s Librarian
  • Coordinator – Library Media Services
  • School Librarian
  • School Library Media Specialist