Arizona School Librarian Certification Guide - 2022

Last Reviewed: November 18th, 2021

If you’re interested in becoming a school librarian in the state of Arizona, you’ll need a valid teaching license from the state of Arizona or another US State. Certifications are important both to ensure that a school’s librarian has the education and experience needed to not only manage the library properly, but to work effectively with the children and teenagers in the schools.

Initial School Librarian Certification Guide

The only way you can become a librarian in the state of Arizona is to have a valid Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Special Education certification. The simplest way to go about it is to choose a standard certification in the age group that you’re interested in working with. All of these licenses last 12 years before needing to be renewed.

Education Requirements

All of these licenses require either completion of an Arizona certified education program in the field you want to pursue, OR 2+ years of experience working with your age group combined with Education Board-Certified coursework.

You’ll also need to have at least a bachelor’s degree of some sort from an accredited college or university. If you’re looking to get a bachelor’s degree, consider getting it in a field such as “elementary education,” “secondary education,” or similar. This will be the shortest path for you.

Experience Requirements

You don’t necessarily need experience to get the teaching certification, but you can bypass the teacher preparation program by having 2+ years of verifiable experience teaching your intended age group and a selection of Arizona board approved coursework.

Testing Requirements

There are two different exams that need to be submitted for this certification: a Professional Knowledge Exam requirement and a Subject Knowledge Exam requirement.

There are a few options for the professional knowledge exam, you choose one of the below to submit your passing scores with your application.

  • An Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) exam in your area of intended certification.
  • An out of state exam such as the PRAXIS I general educator’s exam or other state specific equivalent to the AEPA.
  • A valid comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
  • 3 Years of verifiable teaching experience in any state in your area of intended certification.

Your subject knowledge exam is a bit different, you’ll be showing proficiency in the subject you intend to teach. Provide one of the following:

  • An Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) exam in your area of expertise.
  • An out of state exam equivalent to the AEPA or a PRAXIS II exam.
  • 24 hours of coursework in a subject (only valid if there is no AEPA exam for your area of expertise)
  • A valid comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
  • 3 Years of verifiable teaching experience in any state in your area of intended expertise.
  • A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution in a relevant content area
  • Experience teaching courses relevant to the subject area for the last two consecutive years and for a total of at least three years, at one or more regionally or nationally accredited colleges or universities
  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience in your subject area

Background Checks

These background checks are in place to ensure the safety of the students and staff in Arizona schools. The background check is in two parts.

The basic application contains a series of questions that you will be asked. Be honest; you’ll be able to explain the situations. Here are the questions:

  • Have you ever received any disciplinary action, including revocation, suspension or reprimand, involving any professional certification or license?
  • Are you currently under investigation or have you ever been the subject of any investigation by the Department of Child Safety or a similar department in this state or another jurisdiction?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony offense?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense involving a child, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?

You’ll also have to submit a Fingerprint Clearance Card, which certifies that a state sponsored background check has been completed on you.

Other Requirements

The state of Arizona also has a selection of miscellaneous coursework requirements that must be completed within 3 years of receiving your certification.

  • A college course or the appropriate examination covering the provisions and principles of the Arizona Constitution.
  • A college course or the appropriate examination covering the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution.
  • At least 3 semester hours or 45 clock hours of training in research-based systematic phonics, including language and literacy development.
  • A college course or Board approved or accredited training in research-based instructional strategies for delivering differentiated reading instruction, assessment, intervention and remediation to support readers of varying ages and ability levels, including students with dyslexia.
  • A college course or Board approved or accredited training in professional responsibility and ethical conduct.

Application Process

To apply, assemble all of the documentation required above plus your Application for Certification and either apply online or mail to:

ADE – Certification

P.O. Box 6490

Phoenix, Arizona 85005-6490

This certification and each additional subject area cost $60 apiece.

School Librarian Endorsement

Once you have your educator certification and have been working for a year, you can start working towards the librarian endorsement. Many of the requirements are the same or similar as the original certification, but with specific additions for your endorsement.

Education/Testing Requirements

To get your endorsement, you’ll need to provide one of the following:

  • A passing score on the School Library Media Specialist portion of the Arizona Educator Exam
  • A passing score on a similar School Library Media Specialist exam from another state or a Praxis II.
  • A valid comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
  • A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree from an accredited institution in Library Science.
  • Three years of full-time teaching experience in any state in Library Science,
  • Experience teaching courses relevant to Library Science for the last 2 consecutive years, and for a total of at least 3 years, at an accredited college or university.
  • Demonstration of expertise in Library Science through five years of relevant work experience.

Experience Requirements

You need to have at least a year of teaching experience before you can apply for this endorsement.

Background Checks

These background checks are in place to ensure the safety of the students and staff in Arizona schools. The background check is in two parts.

The basic application contains a series of questions that you will be asked. Be honest; you’ll be able to explain the situations. Here are the questions:

  • Have you ever received any disciplinary action, including revocation, suspension or reprimand, involving any professional certification or license?
  • Are you currently under investigation or have you ever been the subject of any investigation by the Department of Child Safety or a similar department in this state or another jurisdiction?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony offense?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense involving a child, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?

You’ll also have to submit a Fingerprint Clearance Card, which certifies that a state sponsored background check has been completed on you.

Application Process

To apply, assemble all of the documentation required above plus your Application for Certification and either apply online or mail to:

ADE – Certification

P.O. Box 6490

Phoenix, Arizona 85005-6490

This endorsement costs $60.

Certification Renewal

Your certification will last 12 years, but it most be renewed between 6 months before and 1 year after the expiration date.

To renew, you need to show documentation for either 1 semester hour of college coursework or 15 hours of professional development for each year you have held the certificate.

To renew, assemble all of the documentation required above and either apply online or mail your Application for Renewal of Certification to:

ADE – Certification

P.O. Box 6490

Phoenix, Arizona 85005-6490

This renewal costs $20.

Certification Reciprocity

If you already have a teaching certification and a Librarian endorsement in another US state, you qualify for reciprocity. Essentially, you’ll be able to transfer your valid certification to count as some of your requirements for your certification.

This license will last for 12 years.

Education Requirements

You’ll need to have at least a bachelor’s degree of some sort from an accredited college or university.

Testing Requirements

In place of your testing requirements, you’ll simply submit a copy of your current out-of-state teaching license.

Background Checks

These background checks are in place to ensure the safety of the students and staff in Arizona schools. The background check is in two parts.

The basic application contains a series of questions that you will be asked. Be honest; you’ll be able to explain the situations. Here are the questions:

  • Have you ever received any disciplinary action, including revocation, suspension or reprimand, involving any professional certification or license?
  • Are you currently under investigation or have you ever been the subject of any investigation by the Department of Child Safety or a similar department in this state or another jurisdiction?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony offense?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?
  • Have you ever been arrested, cited and released, or received a criminal summons for any offense involving a child, regardless if eventually convicted of a crime or if a conviction was set aside or expunged?

You’ll also have to submit a Fingerprint Clearance Card, which certifies that a state sponsored background check has been completed on you.

Other Requirements

The state of Arizona also has a selection of miscellaneous coursework requirements that must be completed within 3 years of receiving your certification.

  • A college course or the appropriate examination covering the provisions and principles of the Arizona Constitution.
  • A college course or the appropriate examination covering the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution.
  • At least 3 semester hours or 45 clock hours of training in research-based systematic phonics, including language and literacy development.
  • A college course or Board approved or accredited training in research-based instructional strategies for delivering differentiated reading instruction, assessment, intervention and remediation to support readers of varying ages and ability levels, including students with dyslexia.
  • A college course or Board approved or accredited training in professional responsibility and ethical conduct.

Application Process

To apply, assemble all of the documentation required above plus your Application for Certification and either apply online or mail to:

ADE – Certification

P.O. Box 6490

Phoenix, Arizona 85005-6490

This certification and each additional subject area cost $60 apiece.