Maine School Librarian Certification Guide - 2022

AKA: Conditional Library Media Specialist Certification, Professional Library Media Specialist Certification

Last Reviewed: November 18th, 2021

School Librarians are a vital resource not only for helping students find the materials they need , but one that empowers them with the skills they need to find the information themselves.  The role of a school librarian involves a wide array of duties ranging from locating specific resources for patrons to teaching research skills to students. 

To ensure librarians are properly equipped for these tasks, Maine upholds a set of requirements to obtain a Library/Media Specialist Certification. These requirements exist to make certain that aspiring school librarians have undertaken enough preparation and training to adequately prepare themselves for their role. This includes obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and having a minimum number of Graduate semester hours in library science completed before being eligible for certification. Maine is also a part of an Interstate Agreement that allows for current and aspiring out-of-state school librarians to apply for certification in Maine.

Conditional Library Media Specialist Certification

The State of Maine offers a three-year conditional certificate for prospective school librarians and media specialists. There is also a five-year professional certificate with more rigorous requirements.

Educational Requirements:

The three-year conditional certificate requires applicants to have completed one of the two following educational routes:

Route A:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Completion of a total of 36 Graduate semester hours in Library Science courses

Route B:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Currently hold a valid Maine professional teaching certificate
  • Completion of a total of 6 Graduate semester hours in Library Science

If you are planning to become a librarian or media specialist in Maine, then it may be beneficial to speak with a school’s representative to ensure that the coursework offered will align with the certification requirements. Find schools offering Library and Media Science degree programs in Maine here. If you have any questions about any of the certification requirements and your own eligibility, you can contact cert.doe@maine.give for more information.

Background Check Requirements:

Both the three-year and five-year certification require that applicants successfully pass a fingerprint-based Criminal History Records Check (CHRC). Criminal History Record Checks are administered to ensure that prospective school librarians do not have any criminal convictions relating to children. This prevents individuals with past cases of child abuse, child neglect, or other child-related crimes from being employed in a school setting.

To apply for a CHRC in Maine, you will need to make an account with the Maine Department of Education. From here you will be able to verify your information and request a CHRC. For detailed steps on applying for the Criminal History Records Check, please see the Maine Department of Education’s handout. 

The CHRC costs $15 and requires you to first answer a set of background questions and then have your fingerprints taken at an IdentoGo location. You can set up an appointment for fingerprinting on the Maine Department of Education website. After the appointment, the Department of Education will receive the outcome of the CHRC in 2-3 business days. If the Background Check comes back clear then the CHRC is issued right away. You will be able to access your results on your Maine Department of Education profile and print out a the results should you require a hard copy.

Application Process:

The application for a three-year conditional certificate is online-only. You will need to make an account with the Maine Education Information System (MEIS). 

Once you are logged in, the home page will contain a box that says “Maine Certification Education System” with a link for “EDU – Educator“. Click the EDU link and then click “Apply for Your New Maine Credential Here” on the following page. Fill out the required information and upload any necessary documents. 

At the end you will be prompted to submit your application as well as enter in a valid credit card number. The fee for the application costs $35.00. Once entered, you can finally submit your completed application and see an explanation of next steps.

5-Year Professional Library/Media Specialist Certification

The State of Maine offers a five-year professional certificate for prospective librarians and media specialists. This certificate is valid for two more years than the conditional three-year equivalent but also contains more requirements to obtain the certification.

Educational Requirements:

The five-year professional certificate requires completion of the following education requirements:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Completion of a total of 36 Graduate semester hours in Library Science
  • Completion of 3 hours of Teaching Exceptional Children in the Regular Classroom
  • Successfully completed a state-approved education program OR passed either the Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6 or 7-12 Exam (Test Code 5622 or 5624)

If you are planning to become a librarian or media specialist in Maine, then it may be beneficial to speak with a school’s representative to ensure that the coursework offered will align with the certification requirements. Find schools offering Library and Media Science degree programs in Maine here. If you have any questions about any of the certification requirements and your own eligibility, you can contact cert.doe@maine.give for more information.

Testing Requirements:

In addition to the aforementioned educational requirements, the State of Maine also requires all professional certification applicants to have passed the PRAXIS II Library/Media Specialist Exam (Test Code 5311).

The PRAXIS test requirements can be found here. The site provides a study plan and study companion to familiarize yourself with the test. The exam itself is two hours long and requires a $120 fee to take the exam. A score of at least 143 constitutes a passing score.

If the applicant is choosing to take the Principles of Learning and Teaching K-6 Exam or 7-12, then they will need a 160 or 157 respectively to pass. Both of these tests are two hours long and require a $146 fee to take the exam.

Background Check Requirements:

Both the three-year and five-year certification require that applicants successfully pass a fingerprint-based Criminal History Records Check (CHRC). Criminal History Record Checks are administered to ensure that prospective school librarians do not have any criminal convictions relating to children. This prevents individuals with past cases of child abuse, child neglect, or other child-related crimes from being employed in a school setting. 

To apply for a CHRC in Maine, you will need to make an account with the Maine Department of Education. From here you will be able to verify your information and request a CHRC. For detailed steps on applying for the Criminal History Records Check, please see the Maine Department of Education’s handout. 

The CHRC costs $15 and requires you to first answer a set of background questions and then have your fingerprints taken at an IdentoGo location. You can set up an appointment for fingerprinting here. After the appointment, the Department of Education will receive the outcome of the CHRC in 2-3 business days. If the Background Check comes back clear then the CHRC is issued right away. You will be able to access your results on your Maine Department of Education profile and print out a the results should you require a hard copy.

Application Process:

The application for a five-year professional certificate is online-only. You will need to make an account with the Maine Education Information System (MEIS) at the following link: MEIS website. 

Once you are logged in, the home page will contain a box that says “Maine Certification Education System” with a link for “EDU – Educator”. Click the EDU link and then click “Apply for Your New Maine Credential Here” on the following page. Fill out the required information and upload any necessary documents. 

At the end you will be prompted to submit your application as well as enter in a valid credit card number. The fee for the application costs $35.00. Once entered, you can finally submit your completed application and see an explanation of what your next steps look like.

Certification Renewal Procedure

Both certificates are named after the length of time for which they are valid- three years for the conditional certification and five years for the professional certification. The professional certification must be renewed every five years through your MEIS account.

Requirements for Recertification

In order to renew a professional certification, 6 college credits or equivalent Professional Development Credits (PDC), must be accrued before the currently held certificate expires. Options include:

  • Completing relevant college courses
  • Attending workshops
  • Serving on professional committees

Activities that count towards recertification differ by school district, so it is best to cross-check them with the local recertification committee.

Cost of Recertification

A renewal application costs $100 

Certification Reciprocity Process

Maine allows those who hold teaching certifications in other states to earn a teaching certification in Maine through out-of-state education programs and tests. For a list of states that have signed an interstate reciprocity agreement with Maine, view this webpage. 

The reciprocity agreement allows out-of-state applicants to apply for either a professional certification or a conditional certification depending on which requirements they have met of the following:

For a Professional Certification: 

  • You have taught at least 5 of the last 7 years under the teaching endorsement you are seeking in Maine
  • Have graduated from a state-approved teacher education program
  • Possess a valid teaching certificate in the endorsement you are seeking in Maine 

For a Conditional Certification: 

  • Have graduated from a state-approved teacher education program
  • Possess a valid teaching certificate in the endorsement you are seeking in Maine 

The certification cost is $35, the same as applying in-state.