South Carolina School Librarian Certification Guide - 2024

AKA: School Media Specialist (PK-Grade 12) Endorsement

by Staff

Updated: August 23rd, 2022

Licensor: SC DOE

As a librarian in South Carolina, you will be responsible for assisting students in checking out new books and using them for research. In addition, delegating tasks among all staff members to ensure a productive workplace and creating an in-depth online database of materials.

You’ll also have to develop exciting and informative programs for people of all ages and offer suggestions to students about trying new books. Your knowledge of digital media and information is necessary for ensuring your eligibility and the advancement of children’s education in your school.

Before you start working as a school librarian in South Carolina, you will need to get your certification. Here we discuss in-depth the credentials you need, when you can renew them, and what tests you need to pass to start your career as a librarian in South Carolina.

Initial Librarian Certification Process

School libraries need skilled and certified librarians for effective and resourceful operations. These librarians ensure a personalized and high-quality learning environment and provide easy access to a wide range of academic books and journals.

Not just this, but school librarians may also be responsible for collating new material for library collections. With several years of experience at hand, school librarians may also start supervising junior librarians, clerks, and other prospective educators within the library.

School librarians should also remember that they have to continue training and acquiring new skills in information science. This way, they can always stay up-to-date with the latest information requirements in an ever-evolving, digital era.

To qualify as a school librarian in South Carolina, you will need to be a licensed educator and will then need to add the service field Library Media Specialist (PK-Grade 12) Endorsement. Let’s discuss what education, experience, and testing requirements you need to meet to become a certified school librarian in South Carolina:

Education Requirements

To become a professional librarian in South Carolina, candidates must have a master’s degree in Library Science (MLS). In addition, the state requires prospective educators to complete a series of state-approved specialist preparation education programs.

Educators who possess a master’s degree from a media technology program or library science from outside South Carolina must complete a postgraduate certificate program in South Carolina.

Experience Requirement

South Carolina requires Librarian’s to complete an approved preparation program. The state may require you to meet additional requirements depending on what grade you want to teach. You can learn more about this by reading its 43-65 Regulation.

South Carolina provides the following certificates based on work experience and educational certifications:

Initial Certificates

These certificates are provided to candidates who graduate from an accredited university. The certificate is valid for up to three years and may not be renewed.

Professional Certificate

The Professional Certificate is awarded to candidates who have graduated from an accredited university and have fulfilled additional requirements while being employed in a public school. The requirements may vary depending on the school you work at.

To get this certificate, a prospective educator must:

  • Participate in South Carolina’s induction program
  • Be employed in at a state public school
  • Complete the summative evaluation of teaching performance at the Annual contract level. This may be included in the state’s ADEPT system.

Testing Requirements

School media specialists or librarians may work in middle schools, high schools, and elementary schools to assist students in their research from various sources.

To ensure a certain standard of education across public and private schools, librarians must pass a series of tests. South Carolina requires prospective educators to pass the Praxis II tests. These tests are easily accessible via Educational Testing services and are multiple-choice questions.

Plus, you can get these tests in computer-based and pencil-paper form according to your convenience. You can divide the tests as follows:

  • The first test includes ways to develop a curriculum, how to manage a classroom and the teaching profession
  • The second test deals with the library science and media technology

If you’ve prepared and learned for K-12 library positions while getting your degree, chances are, you’ll notice that most of the Praxis II test resembles your college coursework. In fact, questions range in only the following five content areas:

  • Collection Development-Includes questions about circulating, organizing, and selecting library resources
  • Learning and Teaching-In-depth and comprehensive knowledge about materials required for various grade levels. It may also include questions about collaborations with faculty members.
  • Information Access and Delivery- The various print and digital formats, source citations, and copyrighted information
  • Professional Development, Advocacy, and Leadership- Related to code of ethics, advocacy for the library as centers of learning, and membership in organizations
  • Program Administration- Organization and management policies and practices for library media centers

You need to score at least 151 in your Praxis II to pass.

Backgrounds Checks

Schools often conduct a comprehensive background check to ensure a prospective educator hasn’t committed any significant criminal activity, including embezzlement, sex crimes, violent crimes, or felony convictions.

Ensuring a secure environment for learning students is imperative, and therefore, educational institutes typically run background checks. The South Carolina State Department of Education requires all candidates to undergo a proper, comprehensive criminal background check.

Moreover, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division may conduct the background check. The background check typically starts with the prospective educator having their fingerprints taken by visiting a local police department or a testing center in the state. A fingerprint test in South Carolina costs about $50.

Application Process

Once all of the eligibility requirements are met, you will need to submit all of the following to apply for adding a Library Media Specialist (PK-Grade 12) service field endorsement to your certification:

Materials should be sent to the South Carolina Department of Education at the following address:

SCDE Office of Educator Services
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223

Certification Renewal Process

Your South Carolina teaching certificate is valid for three years. You will then need to apply for a Professional Certificate. You must meet the school district’s ADEPT formal evaluation requirement. Once your school district receives this information, they will change your certification status.

Your Professional certificate is valid for up to 5 years, and you can renew it by completing 120 renewal credits. These credits are applicable regardless of whether you are employed in South Carolina or not.

Keep in mind that if you lack a master’s degree, up to 60 of your credits must be of graduate level and earned at an accredited and licensed university.

Certification Reciprocity Process

Media specialists and librarians who possess a media specialist or librarian license or certificate from another state can gain certification in South Carolina via two primary credentials. These are:

  • Reciprocal Initial Certification – which requires at least 27 months of full-time teaching experience
  • Reciprocal Professional Certification- for prospective educators who have less than 27 months of teaching experience

In the certification reciprocity process, educators are exempted from completing the state’s educator preparation program. Depending on an individual’s state’s requirements, out-of-state media specialists and librarians may also get access to an exemption from the Praxis II. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of out-of-state requirements:

Gaining a Certificate

To gain a certificate, professionals must:

  • Be employed in South Carolina’s public school
  • Participate in its induction program
  • Successfully complete its summative evaluation of teaching performance
  • Submit a qualifying score on an approved pedagogy assessment

State Grants Full Reciprocity

South Carolina does not provide out-of-state candidates full reciprocity.

Coursework Requirements

The state does not require teachers to provide additional coursework proof.

Assessment Requirements

South Carolina requires out-of-state applicants to pass their home state’s content exams. They must also take approved South Carolina equivalents before teaching at a school. Teachers with less than three years of prior experience can gain an initial certificate.

Out of state applicants with less than three years of experience can only get an Initial Certificate after passing a pedagogy assessment.

Performance Requirements

Out-of-state teachers are required to have at least three years of experience teaching in their home state.

Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials

If out-of-state teachers meet experience requirements for becoming a librarian in a school, they are exempted from a pedagogy assessment. If they meet other qualifications, they may be eligible for a Professional Licensure.

Find out more information about the requirements and processing for certification via reciprocity by either one of the following two ways: