Texas School Librarian Certification Guide - 2023
AKA: School Librarian License
What's Here? - Table of Contents
A school librarian in the state of Texas is responsible for managing the library, ensuring that guests and frequent users get the assistance they need. School librarians may come from virtually any academic background. However, excellent organizational, computer operation, communication, and reading skills are vital to this role. The many responsibilities of school librarians include collecting, organizing, and managing books, newspapers, journals, e-learning documents, and other learning materials.
The Texas State Board for Educator Certification is the government body responsible for overseeing all certification-related matters. This includes certification regulations for teachers and librarians. One of the mandatory certifications for professionals in Texas is the School Librarian Certification.
A school librarian certification is an academic qualification for librarians interested in working in a school environment. It proves that the recipient has completed the required coursework, passed the assessments, and is deemed proficient in the discipline. With this certificate, you may be considered for employment in the school librarian role. However, there are other requirements and processes in the application you would go through.
We will explain how to get the librarian certification and the certification renewal further. Likewise, we will explain the process of certification reciprocity for those from outside Texas. First, we will start with the reasons it is mandatory to have a School Librarian Certification.
For any school library position, various requirements make a candidate eligible. In the United States, a Master’s degree program in library science (MLS or MLIS) and a School Librarian Certification are mandatory. Furthermore, institutions prefer that candidates get their degree from an institution accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
The goal of having a school librarian certification is to work in an educational institution as a school librarian. Thus, you should keep an eye on the requirement for this role.
To work as a school librarian, you must meet the following requirements:
The librarian licensure is a non-negotiable requirement for any school librarian role in Texas. Having this certification gives the school management the confidence that their library facility is safe. More importantly, the certificate shows that the new hires are ideal professionals to assist students in their academic pursuits. The certification required to work as a librarian in a Texan k-12 school is the School Librarian Certification. The American Library Association (ALA) is the premier accreditor of library science-based certifications and institutions. They are operational in over thirty-two U.S. states, including Texas for Masters and Ph.D. certifications.
Texas is home to many established institutions offering the School Librarian Certification for graduate programs. In most certificate awarding institutions in Texas, you can only use the School Librarian Certification within the state. That implies that anywhere outside of Texas does not recognize the certification.
Education is an essential requirement to be eligible for a School Librarian Certification. In Texas, the education requirements mirror that of other states with only a few alterations.
The least academic qualification for this program is a master’s degree in library and information science and the completion of a school librarian preparation program. You would need to select a major (for example, Library Science) and indicate your interest in getting the certification. Upon enrollment, you would likely begin taking courses in School Librarianship or Use and Production of Instructional Materials. Find all Library and Information Science degree programs in Texas.
While researching the ideal institution for you, look for those offering flexible schedules and enrollment procedures. Likewise, some institutions in Texas provide financial assistance to their applicants upon enrollment. Find out the ones that support students in applying for graduate scholarships and other financial aid.
Candidates for the school librarian certification program are encouraged to possess the qualities of professional school librarians. From organizing hard copy textbooks to managing electronic files to understanding technology, a candidate of school librarian certification must have the vital knowledge to assist students. This includes the experience required for the role.
Firstly, school librarians work with children and young adults. Thus, they must have not less than two years of experience in a teaching role. This must be in a public school or a government-approved private school. Also, candidates of the school librarian certification ought to have experience with managing library facilities, including electronic files and gadgets.
It is advised for interested candidates to first apply for these jobs and gain the required knowledge. Then, they would be equipped to complete the School Librarian Certification program.
To be awarded the school librarian certification, you must pass a series of assessments. The testing requirements vary from institution to institution. However, most institutions require candidates to have at least a B-grade in all courses included in the certification. These courses have a decent fusion of teaching and expert library management methods.
Additionally, Texas requires a specific examination for school librarian certification candidates. This exam is offered through the TExES organization. The examination is called School Librarian EC-12 and you must score a minimum of 150 to pass.
For virtually every professional role in the state of Texas, background checks are mandatory. Background checks are essential for professionals, including teachers and librarians, working with minors to ensure their safety.
Every approved school in the state of Texas runs a fingerprint-based background check. Through this check, they upload the information of all new employees to the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS). Each new hire would have to pay $40.25 for the ECOS fingerprint-based background check. However, this fee is to facilitate the national criminal history background check spearheaded by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), DPS, and the FBI.
The fingerprint screening will be conducted, including the scanning, which would cost the employee an additional $10.00. This must be completed before the candidate resumes work. Please note that the fees go directly to ECOS. The process takes between 5 and 7 business days before TEA gets the results from ECOS.
The additional information the candidate presents will be assessed to make sure that they are valid. Some of the information that would be verified include:
Not only will these details be collected, but they will also be checked thoroughly. Thus, each candidate must provide valid, recent, and accurate information. If there are any expired I.D.s, make sure to renew them as soon as possible. Also, if there are any recent legal changes to the documents, the candidate should inform the authority beforehand.
The application process for a school librarian role in Texas varies slightly from other states in the U.S. An applicant would need to open a TEAL and ECOS account. These platforms have educator portals where school librarians can process and manage their information. Subsequent information and credential management tasks will be performed using these platforms.
To apply for a school librarian role in Texas, applicants should follow this process or possess the following:
In Texas, the application process for educators and librarians outside the state slightly differs from those within Texas. Besides the application process above, out-of-state applicants should note the following:
A school librarian certification is only valid for five years, after which it expires. At this stage, the status of your certificate will automatically be set to inactive. After its expiration, you may opt for a Continuing professional education (CPE). CPE is the standard procedure to renew any formal certification in Texas state.
The primary requirement for renewing your School Librarian Certification is to have a standard educator’s certificate. Also, you must have both the ECOS and the TEAL accounts with your correct details in them. You may find instructions for opening an educator’s account here.
The candidate usually receives a notification via email not less than six weeks before their certification expires. However, due to technical challenges, not all candidates receive notice of expiration.
To renew your School Librarian Certification, you need to apply online. First, be sure to have ECOS and TEAL accounts through which you can log in. Next, follow this procedure:
To renew your school librarian certification, you must complete between 150 and 200 CPE hours. For more information on this and the entire certificate renewal process, you use the TEA Helpdesk or visit this CPE page.
The fees vary for renewing your School Librarian Certification. However, it increases when you delay in renewing the certificate. For early renewal, the fee is $22, which will be paid during the renewal application. Late renewal incurs an additional sum of between $10 and $20. For late renewals between the first six months after expiry, it costs $32. Meanwhile, you would have to pay $42 for your renewal after the first six months of expiry.
Reactivation of the certificate’s status also costs $42. However, if there is a “Reinstatement” after resolving a child support issue or student loan repayment, the renewal fee becomes $50.
The state of Texas accepts out-of-state certified librarians and educators. Texas is part of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Educator and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. In other words, Texas permits standard certificate holders from other states to legally work there.
Provided a candidate has a standard certificate, they would have to apply to review their credentials in Texas. First, they must have both ECOS and TEAL educator’s accounts to complete the application process. Next, they must do the following:
Texas State also accepts out-of-country standard credentials. For standard certificates obtained outside the U.S., follow these instructions:
Please note that you are only allowed to send transcripts through one means. For instance, if you send your documents electronically, don’t ask your institution to send others by mail.
It takes about two weeks for an applicant to receive a notification of the document’s submission. An email notification will be sent to applicants once the review of documents is complete. This means that the details of your application and document review will be visible to you on your educator’s page. Open the My Documents page to find details.
While awaiting the review of your credentials, you may apply for a temporary certificate. This is a one-year certificate that allows you to apply for school librarian jobs. However, the certification is for those whose credentials have been successfully reviewed. While you are given a temporary certificate, you must complete one or both of the following:
Library science-related professions are perfect for brilliant people. Working in a school library offers more job satisfaction to librarians as it would impact the lives of children. However, the School Librarian Certification is the ideal path to achieving this goal.
Fortunately, the state of Texas is open to school librarians within and outside Texas to get employment. Also, if you are not a current U.S. resident, Texas permits an out-of-country review of certifications. So, there is an opportunity for every willing candidate in Texas.
Take the next brave step. Follow the requirements. Gain the knowledge and experience for this profession. Your expertise will help students become better readers, learners, teachers, and leaders. You will be making an impact in the lives of the younger generation in no distant time.