Nebraska School Librarian Certification Guide - 2022

AKA: School Librarian Endorsement

Last Reviewed: August 23rd, 2022

A good school librarian can come from any walk of life but typically librarians have a deep desire to care for others, a love of literature, an interest in technology, an innate desire to teach others, and enjoy being around young children. Additionally, a good school librarian needs to have an exceptional level of skill and knowledge of library technologies as well as experience navigating the various roles required of a school librarian. This is where certification comes in.

A Nebraska PK-12 school librarian certification is the certification required of anyone wishing to become a librarian at any Nebraska state school. The reasoning behind the certification requirement is threefold. 

  1. Ensure that every applicant has the required skills, qualifications, and knowledge to be an effective school librarian. 
  2. Ensure that applicants don’t have any prior felonies or any history of being dangerous towards children. 
  3. Ensure that each new school librarian has enough experience under their belt to immediately be an asset to a hiring school and their students.

The certification can also act as a barrier of entry to the general public who might otherwise create considerably more competition in the job market. This barrier helps to increase and hold steady jobs, salaries, and benefits for school librarians. 

Initial School Librarian Certification Guide

Requirements for certification to be a school librarian in Nebraska include an initial or standard Nebraska teaching license, or concurrently satisfy initial teaching license requirements, and satisfy the requirements associated with adding the School Librarian Endorsement. 

Education Requirements

Teacher Certification Education Requirements

To receive an initial teaching license in Nebraska, an individual is required to have completed a handful of assessments. The requirements are the completion of the following:

  • Teacher Education Program at a state approved school
  • Human Relations Training Requirement (read more about the contents of the training here): To receive human relations training the applicant must take a particular human training program, the recommended and most affordable one is at Central Community College (CCC), it is a two-week class and costs $107 to register for the course. To register, visit this website: www.cccneb.edu/educ. More expensive and time-consuming alternatives include Peru State College (PSC), Wayne State College (WSC), University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), and Chadron State College (CSC).
  • Special Education Training Program: Special education training is less particular in terms of how to get it than the human relations training. The requirement can be met in three primary ways. In all of these situations the applicant must learn and understand five topics: the exceptional needs of the disabilities defined under the Special Education Act, the major characteristics of each disability in order to recognize its existence in children, the various alternatives for providing the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities, methods of teaching children with disabilities in regular classrooms, and referral alternatives, referral systems, multidisciplinary team responsibilities, the individualized education plan process, and the placement process.

    The most straightforward way to complete these training requirements is by completing a special education course titled “The Exceptional Child in the Classroom” at an approved teacher education institution and then submitting a transcript that reflects the course. If the applicant did take a special education course that doesn’t have that name, they may be asked to submit a course syllabus to confirm that it satisfies the training requirements.Alternatively, if the applicant has first-hand employment experience with special education children, then they can verify their employment and write a narrative that demonstrates the required five skills. For more information about crafting a special education narrative, visit this link: https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NarrativeFiveSkills-for-SPED.pdf.

School Librarian Education Requirements

Candidates will need to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours in school library coursework. This includes leadership, library administration, technology, information access, children’s and young adult literature, resource management, and curriculum and instruction. The 30 semester hours in school library course work is not offered at some institutions so if the applicant needs to get a teaching certificate, the applicant must have two years of experience as a teacher or receive a teaching certification through the reciprocity agreement (see the last paragraph for more information about the reciprocity agreement).

Find all Library and Information Science degree programs in Nebraska.

Experience Requirements

For Teaching Certification

  • Verification of college credits or employment experience within the past five years
  • To receive a standard teaching certificate, an additional two years of teaching experience as a contractual teacher are required.

Testing Requirements

For Teaching Certification

  • The Praxis I CORE Academic Skills and Praxis Subject Assessment tests will include subjects such as reading (test code 5713), writing (test code 5723) and mathematics (5733). To take or practice the Praxis I CORE Academic Skills and Praxis Subject Assessment tests, visit this website: www.Ets.org/praxis. 

For School Librarian Endorsement

  • A minimum of a 153 of the Praxis II Library Media Content Test: This test will include program administration questions, collection development questions, information access and delivery questions, learning and teaching questions, and professional development, leadership, and advocacy questions. The applicant has two hours to complete 120 questions on their personal computer. For more information on the Praxis II Library Media Content Test and practice Praxis II tests, visit this website www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/5311. 

Background Check

For both teaching certification and school librarian endorsement

  • If the applicant has not lived in Nebraska for the past five years the applicant is required to submit a fingerprint card and pay a fingerprint processing fee of $50. If the applicant has lived in Nebraska for the past five years, the fingerprint card and payment are not required.

Applying for School Librarian Certification

Finally, candidates may apply for an initial or standard teaching certificate by filling out a teaching certificate application, the applicant must visit the website: https://teach.education.ne.gov. 

Once at the site, the applicant must select the “Register Here” registration section found within the login page. From there, the applicant can follow the prompts that appear on screen to begin their application. 

The application fees for online applications are as follows: $40 for a non-public school certificate, $90 for a non-public school certificate plus fingerprint cards, $55 for an all-school certificate, and $105 for an all-school certificate plus fingerprint cards. 

Furthermore, for the application process E-transcripts must be sent to Bethina.Garrett@nebraska.gov from the institution that the applicant received their degree from (not from the applicant’s personal email address. 

Alternatively, the applicant’s institution could mail transcripts to the following address:

Nebraska Department of Education Educator Certification
PO Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987

This is the Nebraska Department of Education’s email in case there are any questions about the application process nde.tcertweb@nebraska.gov.

To add the School Librarian Endorsement, please follow the instructions listed on this Nebraska Department of Education webpage.

Certification Renewal Procedure

Both a standard and initial teaching certification must be renewed every five years. To renew either of these teaching certificates the requirements include the following: the applicant must have had teaching experience (1 year within the immediate past 5) or 6 graduate semester hours within the last five years or before your certification has expired or within 5 years after it has. 

If the applicant hasn’t had teaching experience, they must complete 15 graduate semester hours in education satisfying the following:

  • A course in instructional techniques
  • A practicum consisting of one hundred or more clock hours of contact with students in a classroom setting, devoting fifty percent of the time to performing instructional duties under the supervision of a cooperating teacher
  • A course that addresses current issues in education
  • The remaining coursework must be primarily devoted to the applicant’s area of endorsement (in the case of a school librarian, the area of endorsement is field)

Certification Reciprocity Process

Nebraska does offer interstate teacher reciprocity agreements from 43 states including Alabama, Kansas, New York, Utah, Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina, Vermont, Arkansas, Maine, North Dakota, Virginia, California, Maryland, Ohio, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Georgia, Missouri, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Montana, South Carolina, Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota, Illinois, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas. 

A teaching reciprocity agreement is an opportunity for current out-of-state teachers to qualify for teaching certifications in Nebraska based on the state they live in, their current credentials, verification of experience, and competence shown in appropriate skills and examinations. These qualifications include college transcripts that show a completed education, an Institutional Verification form to be completed by the college that the transcripts are coming from, a completed fingerprint card (see above), a successfully completed basic skills test or two years of teaching experience, and a content test for every area the subject the applicant has requested teaching credentials in. To learn more about teacher reciprocity agreements in Nebraska, visit this website: https://www.education.ne.gov/tcert/.