Hawaii School Librarian Certification Guide - 2022

AKA: Hawaii School Librarian License, Hawaii Provisional Librarian Certification

Last Reviewed: August 23rd, 2022

Licensor: HSDE

If you’re interested in becoming a school librarian in the state of Hawaii, you’ll need to be licensed and certified the same way that any other teacher in the state would be. If you work in a school as a librarian without the certification, you and your employer will be fined $500. 

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.

Librarian Certification Process

If you have more than three verifiable years of experience in either a classroom as a teacher or as a school librarian and a master’s or doctorate degree in library science, you’ll want to apply for the Standard License. Hawaii uses the NASDTEC certification requirements, and this license is considered a NASDTEC Stage 3 teaching license. This license will last up to 5 years and is infinitely renewable.

The licensing process for the state is handled by the Hawaii Teaching Standards Board, or the HTSB. 

Broad Overview of the Licensing Requirements

The requirements are summarized below, with more detailed explanations following.

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution OR equivalent from a non-U.S. school
  • Have one of the below certifications or programs completed:
    • Complete a state-approved librarian program
    • Hold a valid National Board Certification in Library Media 
    • Hold a valid license from a jurisdiction with the Meritorious New Teacher Candidate (MNTC) designation
    • Have a license issued by another qualifying jurisdiction that was issued for the first time on or after July 1, 2006
    • You have a license issued by another qualifying jurisdiction that was issued before July 1, 2006, from another state for at least three (3) out of the last five (5) years
    • Pass a board approved performance assessment in combination with any other requirements determined by a Hawaii preparation program to recommend you for licensure
  • If you do not have a National Board License, a MNTC license, or an existing license from another US state issued after July 1, 2006, you will need to meet basic skills and content knowledge requirements.
  • Meet the professional fitness requirements 
  • Verify that you’ve spent three (3) of the last five (5) years in a contracted teaching or librarian position in a P-12 educational environment in the United States

Education Requirements

All applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or a non-U.S equivalent. 

While there are no in-person bachelor’s programs in library science, there are master’s degree programs in library and media sciences in Hawaii. If you need to first get a bachelor’s degree, consider a degree in education, as it would count towards one of your other requirements for state licensure. Another option would be an online bachelor’s degree program from a college elsewhere in the United States. Make sure the program is accredited!

If you received a degree in a library media/librarian type field, your degree program enrollment will also count toward your basic skills and content knowledge.

If you do not have a degree in library sciences or education, you may need to complete an educator preparation program. There are 13 of these in Hawaii, listed here. If you attended a program in one of the other 49 states, District of Columbia, the territories of Guan, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI), fill out the HTSB form RA5010 L, found here. Non-US preparation programs that are verified as professional educator licensure programs may also be accepted when verified by a NACES evaluator, found here.

Experience Requirements

Requiring experience for educators is vital to ensure that students are getting the very best care and education possible. This experience ensures that the applicant knows not only how to work with children, but that they are capable of working with the equipment and systems required by librarians.

For a standard teaching license in the state of Hawaii, you need to have at least three years of full-time, contracted teaching experience that took place within the last 5 years. That experience does not need to be in Hawaii, you can use experience you received elsewhere in the United States.

Basic Skills and Content Knowledge Requirements

If you do not have either a National Board License, a MNTC license, or an existing license from another US state issued after July 1, 2006, you will need to meet basic skills and content knowledge requirements to receive a license to be a school librarian in the state of Hawaii.

These two requirements ensure that you have the knowledge and education necessary to do the job of school librarian. 

To verify your basic skills, you must provide one of the following:

  • Proof of enrollment in a Hawaii based undergraduate program (you don’t need to provide anything, HTSB will contact the institution to verify)
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution of higher education (simply upload a copy of your transcript as part of your application)
  • Pass a required licensure test such as a Praxis II for Library Media Specialists  (To submit, either add the HTSB as a recipient of the scores, or attach the scores to your application)
  • Submit SAT or ACT Scores (Simply upload a copy of these to your application)
    • Minimum required ACT Scores – Mathematics: 19, Reading: 18, Writing: 6 OR combined Reading/Writing of 22
    • Minimum required SAT Scores for tests taken prior to March 2016 – Mathematics: 560, Reading: 530
    • Minimum required SAT Scores for tests taken after March 2016 – Mathematics: 580, Writing: 520, Evidenced Based Reading/Writing: 540

Content knowledge is a bit more extensive, focusing on your specific knowledge of library sciences. You’ll need one of the following: 

  • If you are currently enrolled in a Hawaii based preparation program, the program will verify that you meet the content knowledge requirement (your program will handle this, just check with your advisor and ensure that you are on track)
  • Masters, specialist, or doctoral degree in library sciences, library media, or similar from an accredited institution of higher education (upload your transcript with your application)
  • Thirty (30) semester credit hours in the license field from an accredited institution of higher education (Upload your transcript with your application)
  • Pass required licensure test such as the Praxis II for Library Media Specialists (To submit, either add the HTSB as a recipient of the scores, or attach the scores to your application)
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification in the license field (Upload a copy of your NBPTS certificate to your HTSB online license record. OR Ask your HTSB specialist to verify your certification from the NBPTS Directory.)

Professional Fitness Requirements

The professional fitness requirements is a form of background check to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and other staff. You will be asked the following questions and be sure to answer honestly:

  • Have you ever had a professional license or professional certificate sanctioned or disciplined by receiving a letter of censure, warning, reprimand, fine, probation or any other restriction or special condition?
  • Have you ever been denied a professional license or certificate even if the certificate or license was later issued with conditions or limitations?
  • Have you ever had a professional license or certificate suspended or revoked?
  • Have you ever surrendered or relinquished a professional license or certificate during or following an investigation into allegations of misconduct?
  • Do you have any current investigative or disciplinary action pending against a professional license or certificate or against an application for a professional license or certificate?
  • Have you ever been dismissed or resigned employment during or following an investigation into allegations of misconduct?
  • Have you been convicted or pled “nolo contendere” (no contest) to a felony or misdemeanor? 

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions during the application process, you’ll be required to submit additional documentation. This does NOT mean you’re automatically disqualified from receiving your license.

Process of Applying for a License

To begin the process of applying for a license and collecting your documentation, create an account on the HTSB website. This process does not cost anything on its own, but some of the documents may cost money to acquire. 

All of the documents can be submitted electronically on the website or by traditional mail. However, traditionally mailed documents will see a longer processing time than digitally submitted documents.

Any mailed documents should go to the following address:

Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board

650 Iwilei Road

Suite 268

Honolulu, HI 96817

Provisional Librarian Certification Process

If you do not have a full three years of experience or you’re still working on finishing your graduate work, you can apply for a non-renewable provisional license that will last for 3 years. Hawaii uses the NASDTEC certification requirements, and this license is considered a NASDTEC Stage 2 teaching license.

Understand the Licensing Requirements Overview

The requirements are summarized below, with more detailed explanations following.

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution OR equivalent from a non-U.S. school
  • Have one of the below certifications or programs completed:
    • Complete a state-approved librarian program
    • Possess a valid unrevoked provisional, or equivalent, teaching license from another state issued for the first time on or after July 1, 2006
  • Meet basic skills and content knowledge requirements.
  • Meet the professional fitness requirements 

Education Requirements

All applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or a non-U.S equivalent. 

While there are no in-person bachelor’s programs in Library Sciences in Hawaii, there are master’s degree programs in Library and Media Sciences. If you need to first get a bachelor’s degree, consider a degree in education, as it would count towards one of your other requirements for state licensure. Another option would be an online bachelor’s degree program from a college elsewhere in the United States. Make sure the program is accredited!

If you received a degree in a library media/librarian type field, your degree program enrollment will also count toward your basic skills and content knowledge.

If you do not have a degree in library sciences or education, you may need to complete an educator preparation program. There are 13 of these in Hawaii, listed here. If you attended a program in one of the other 49 states, District of Columbia, the territories of Guan, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI), fill out the HTSB form RA5010 L, found here. Non-US preparation programs that are verified as professional educator licensure programs may also be accepted when verified by a NACES evaluator, found here.

Experience Requirements

Requiring experience for educators is vital to ensure that students are getting the very best care and education possible. This experience ensures that the applicant knows not only how to work with children, but that they are capable of working with the equipment and systems required by librarians.

For a provisional teaching license in the state of Hawaii, you do not need to have any experience. This license is used primarily for new teachers, but if you’re going to receive your master’s degree or doctorate in library sciences within the next 3 years you may consider going ahead and getting your provisional license and gaining your experience as you finish school.

Basic Skills and Content Knowledge Requirements

You will need to meet basic skills and content knowledge requirements to receive a license to be a school librarian in the state of Hawaii.

These two requirements ensure that you have the knowledge and education necessary to do the job of school librarian. 

To verify your basic skills, you must provide one of the following:

  • Proof of enrollment in a Hawaii based undergraduate program (you don’t need to provide anything, HTSB will contact the institution to verify)
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution of higher education (simply upload a copy of your transcript as part of your application)
  • Pass a required licensure test such as a Praxis II for Library Media Specialists  (To submit, either add the HTSB as a recipient of the scores, or attach the scores to your application)
  • Submit SAT or ACT Scores (Simply upload a copy of these to your application)
    • Minimum required ACT Scores – Mathematics: 19, Reading: 18, Writing: 6 OR combined Reading/Writing of 22
    • Minimum required SAT Scores for tests taken prior to March 2016 – Mathematics: 560, Reading: 530
    • Minimum required SAT Scores for tests taken after March 2016 – Mathematics: 580, Writing: 520, Evidenced Based Reading/Writing: 540

Content knowledge is a bit more extensive, focusing on your specific knowledge of library sciences. You’ll need one of the following: 

  • If you are currently enrolled in a Hawaii based preparation program, the program will verify that you meet the content knowledge requirement (your program will handle this, just check with your advisor and ensure that you are on track)
  • Masters, specialist, or doctoral degree in library sciences, library media, or similar from an accredited institution of higher education (upload your transcript with your application)
  • Thirty (30) semester credit hours in the license field from an accredited institution of higher education (Upload your transcript with your application)
  • Pass required licensure test such as the Praxis II for Library Media Specialists (To submit, either add the HTSB as a recipient of the scores, or attach the scores to your application)
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification in the license field (Upload a copy of your NBPTS certificate to your HTSB online license record. OR Ask your HTSB specialist to verify your certification from the NBPTS Directory.)

Professional Fitness Requirements

The professional fitness requirements is a form of background check to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and other staff. You will be asked the following questions and be sure to answer honestly:

  • Have you ever had a professional license or professional certificate sanctioned or disciplined by receiving a letter of censure, warning, reprimand, fine, probation or any other restriction or special condition?
  • Have you ever been denied a professional license or certificate even if the certificate or license was later issued with conditions or limitations?
  • Have you ever had a professional license or certificate suspended or revoked?
  • Have you ever surrendered or relinquished a professional license or certificate during or following an investigation into allegations of misconduct?
  • Do you have any current investigative or disciplinary action pending against a professional license or certificate or against an application for a professional license or certificate?
  • Have you ever been dismissed or resigned employment during or following an investigation into allegations of misconduct?
  • Have you been convicted or pled “nolo contendere” (no contest) to a felony or misdemeanor? 

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions during the application process, you’ll be required to submit additional documentation. This does NOT mean you’re automatically disqualified from receiving your license.

Complete the License Application Process

To begin the process of applying for a provisional license and collecting your documentation, create an account on the HTSB website. This process does not cost anything on its own, but some of the documents may cost money to acquire. 

All of the documents can be submitted electronically on the website or by traditional mail. However, traditionally mailed documents will see a longer processing time than digitally submitted documents.

Any mailed documents should go to the following address:

HTSB

650 Iwilei Road

Suite 268

Honolulu, HI 96817

Adding a Librarian Endorsement to an Existing License

If you already have a license in the state of Hawaii but would like to add the School LIbrarian specialization field to your license, you must complete a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP) first. As of 2021, the only verified programs for this in the state of Hawaii are located at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

Once you have done so, log into your HTSB account and go to “Licensing/Permits.” Start the “Add Teaching Field” application, and add the documentation for your SATEP.

Certification Renewal

You may renew your HTSB license or permit between January and June of your renewal year, and will receive renewal instructions to the email address on file in your HTSB account. A reminder email will be sent every month between January and July until you renew. 

Provisional Licenses are not eligible for renewal, so make sure you have all of the requirements for your full License by the time your provisional one expires. 

Hawai’i DOE Employees

If you work in the state DOE, you just need to log into your HTSB account and go to My Profile>Licenses/Permits. You’ll find a “Renew License” button. Click it and complete the application, then submit your request.

Non-DOE Employees

For non-DOE employees, you’ll have to fill out some extra forms before you fill out your renewal form.

Print and have your principal or director fill out the RA4010 form, and then you’ll need to print and fill out the RA5010L form. Once these documents have been uploaded to your account, then you’ll be able to fill out the online Renew License form in your HTSB account under Profile>Licenses/Permits

Audits

You will be eligible for a random audit up to one year from the date you actually renew. For example, if you renewed their license on July 1, 2021, you’re eligible for an audit through June 30, 2022.  

If you are selected, you will be notified by an official letter from the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board.  If you have not heard anything after the one year anniversary date of your license renewal, you haven’t been chosen for an audit. 

If you are a DOE employee and are selected for an audit, the DOE will verify that you had an effective teacher evaluation and experience at the time of renewal. If you are not a DOE employee and are selected for an audit, the forms that you uploaded to the HTSB website will be used for the audit. 

Certification Reciprocity

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board honors reciprocity, meaning that if you have an existing school librarian certification from any of the below locations, your certification will transfer. 

These credentials will cover part of your licensing requirements in the state of Hawaii. You’ll still need at least a Bachelor’s Degree and to pass the professional fitness requirements to receive a teaching license in Hawaii. If you have less than three years of experience teaching in the past five years, you’ll need to apply for a Provisional License to get the necessary experience.

Hawaii honors reciprocity for:

  • All 50 states
  • District of Columbia
  • Puerto Rico
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Guam
  • CNMI 

If you received your degree, experience, or license outside of one of these locations, HTSB will evaluate whether they meet the criteria of the standards board.