Alabama School Librarian Certification Guide - 2024

AKA: Library Media Interim Employment Certificate (IEC), Library Media Endorsement

by Staff

Updated: May 1st, 2023

In the state of Alabama, the School Librarian certification is a special endorsement on a teaching license that allows you to be a school librarian or media specialist at a P-12 level. If you want to be a librarian at a public or private school in Alabama, you’ll need to seek licensure.

Library Media IEC

If you don’t have an existing teaching license, you’ll need to go through a 2 year internship-style program mandated by the state of Alabama. You’ll receive what’s called an Interim Employment Certificate (IEC). This allows you to be hired as a Library Media Specialist even if you don’t have previous experience teaching.

One of the most important things to know is that you will not be able to file any of the forms. To get the license, you must go through the school where you wish to be hired. They will be required to submit the state paperwork on your behalf, the state of Alabama doesn’t take paperwork submitted directly by the prospective educator.

Educational Requirements

Whichever path you choose, you’ll need to complete an Alabama State Certified Master’s Degree in Library Media OR a Master’s Degree in Library Media/Library Science from an accredited university.

Your GPA at this university must be at least a 3.25 on a 4.0 scale to receive an IEC. This is a degree specific GPA, so any additional credits don’t necessarily apply.

Find additional Library and Information Science degree programs in Alabama.

Experience Requirements

While there aren’t any particular experience requirements to receive your IEC, you’ll be placed under a mentor, provided by your hiring school, that has a professional educator’s license in Alabama with the Library Media endorsement and has at least three full years of teaching experience. 

This mentor will not only help you with the specifics of the Library Media job you’re taking, they will also help you learn how best to interact with and help the children and/or teens as their library media specialist.

Testing Requirements

To receive your IEC, you’ll be required to pass a PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist Exam, receiving a current passing score (148 as of June 2021). This exam costs $120. 

Background Checks

You’ll be required to submit to both an Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (ASBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check. If you are an Alabama resident, this will cost you $48.15. If you live outside of Alabama or can’t go to a certified fingerprinting site, you’ll pay $56.15.

On top of the background check, you’ll be required to submit verification of citizenship and/or ability to work in the United States.

Application Process

You’ll be applying to the specific school where you’d like to work. The state of Alabama mandates that all documentation for teaching licenses must come from school or district administration directly. The school administration will guide you through the process and work with you to take care of the paperwork.

License Renewal

This license will last you one year and will be able to be renewed once. At that point, you will apply for – and receive – your Professional Educator’s license with a Library Media Endorsement. 

The second license will cost an additional $30 to the state of Alabama. 

Library Media Endorsement

It’s significantly easier to become a librarian in Alabama if you’re already an educator with a current teaching license. 

Educational Requirements

If you wish to get an additional endorsement, you’ll want to start by searching for a Library Media State-approved master’s degree program. Once you find a degree program and complete it, you’ll need to speak with the school you’d like to be hired by so that they can fill out the applicable forms. 

This endorsement will cost $30. 

Certification Renewal

License Renewal of an IEC

This license will last you one year and will be able to be renewed once. At that point, you will apply for – and receive – your Professional Educator’s license with a Library Media Endorsement. 

The second license will cost an additional $30 to the state of Alabama. 

License Renewal of a Professional Educator’s License

A standard teaching license in Alabama lasts five years before requiring renewal. You’ll need to provide proof of at least 3 of those 5 years spent full time as an educator, and also provide documentation of either 50+ hours of Allowable Professional Development or 3 semester hours of allowable credit from a valid Alabama approved teaching course.

You’ll have to work with your employer’s administration to get the documentation to submit. Each renewal costs $30.

Certification Reciprocity Process

Alabama does offer certification reciprocity across all US States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This means that if you have a valid teaching license in one of these locations with a valid school librarian or media specialist endorsement, you can most likely transfer this license.

However, the only way for a Library Media specialist endorsement to transfer is if you have previous experience as a Library Media specialist. You’re required to have at least 3 full years full time within the previous ten. 

You will also need to have a completed Master’s program in Library Science or Library Media, as well as pass a background check and provide proof of U.S. Citizenship and/or your right to work in the United States.

This license transfer will cost $30 and must go through the school that you’re applying to work in.