Alaska School Librarian Certification Guide - 2024

AKA: Type C Special Services Certification, Library Media Endorsement

by Staff

Updated: August 23rd, 2022

If you wish to become a school librarian/library media specialist in the state of Alaska, you do not need to get a traditional teaching certificate, but you will need special certification to do so. This certification ensures that you are knowledgeable and ready to work both with the technology and the students.

Initial School Librarian Licensure

In Alaska, you don’t have to have a regular (Type A) teaching certification to become a librarian. However, this does mean that you can’t work in a classroom! You are only certified to work as a Library Media Specialist. 

Librarians get a Type C Special Services Certification. If you’ve never received a license in the state of Alaska, you’ll begin with an Initial Type C Special Services Certification and then graduate to a traditional Regular Type C Special Services Certification.

Education Requirements

You must have a Bachelor’s Degree or better in Library Media Science or similar from a regionally accredited university. When you fill in your application, your institution will be required to fill out this form. You’ll also need to send copies of your applicable transcripts; have them as part of your application packet. Don’t send them directly to the Certification offices.

Find Library and Information Sciences degree programs in Alaska.

If you completed your degree outside of the United States, a complete, original Foreign Evaluation must be submitted with your application. 

As well as the degree, you’re required to participate in a selection of mandatory trainings to teach you to recognize warning signs of possible serious issues in the lives of your students. If you have done any of these in the past five years for another position, they may count towards the requirement.

Due to the rich cultural heritage of the state of Alaska, you’re also required to have at least 3 semester hours of approved Alaska studies coursework, and at least 3 semester hours of approved Alaska Multicultural coursework. This is usually one course for each requirement, and you can choose from a number of topics for each requirement. You may NOT choose a single course to get the credit for both. You must take a total of 6 credit hours.

If you do not already have the Alaska studies and multicultural coursework completed, you can apply for a shortened version of the Initial Type C Special Services Certification. This will last 2 years (instead of 5) and will allow you to finish the cultural education requirements while you’re working. 

Experience Requirements

To receive this certification, you do not need to have any previous experience. 

Testing Requirements

You do not need to take any Praxis tests or other tests for this certification. 

Background Checks

Part of your application includes a professionally completed fingerprint card that will be used to get a criminal background check both through the Alaska Department of Public Safety(DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Make sure to include the $60 background check fee with the application.

This background check ensures the safety of the students and the other employees.

Also, on the standard employment application, there are a series of questions asked about any criminal record you may have (and a spot to explain the situation).

Application Process

For licensure in the state of Alaska, licensure applications are paper only. For the Initial Type C License, you’ll need to include the following:

Once you gather that information, send it in a packet to:

Department of Education & Early Development

Teacher Education & Certification

PO Box 110500

Juneau, AK 99811-0500

Adding A Library Media Endorsement as a Current Teacher

You do have the option of adding a library media endorsement to an existing Type A License for the state of Alaska if you’re already a certified teacher.

There are two ways to add a library science endorsement to your existing license: 

  1. Complete An Endorsement Program: Complete a state-approved endorsement program and passing scores on the endorsement-related content area exam. If an endorsement is completed outside of Alaska, the applicant must be eligible to gain a comparable endorsement or certificate, including any required testing, for that state.
  2. Get a Degree: Get a Master’s or Doctorate degree in Library Media or Library Science. 

Application Process

In the state of Alaska, this application is paper only. For the endorsement, you’ll need to include the following:

Once you gather that information, send it in a packet to:

Department of Education & Early Development

Teacher Education & Certification

PO Box 110500

>Juneau, AK 99811-0500

Certification Renewal

If you do the 5 year variation of the Initial license, the renewal will roll your certification over into a Regular Type C Special Services License. You must renew your license within a year of its expiration or you will have to completely reapply with the original requirements.

If you do the 2 year variation, you’ll need to submit the same requirements as the Initial License, but just use the Regular Type C Special Services Application and Checklist. It’s treated as a brand new license, not a renewal.

Over the course of the 5 years that you have your license, you’ll need to complete 6 semester hours of renewal credit related to Library Media and/or library science. 

 The six renewal credits must be related to/required for:

  • Your employment at the time of renewal
  • Your endorsements
  • A state-approved preparation program that will lead to an endorsement that you’re working on

At least three of the renewal credits must be graduate level courses. The remaining three renewal credits may be graduate credit, undergraduate credit, continuing education units or non-academic credit.

You’ll also need to refresh on your Mandatory Trainings.