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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the requirements for a Teacher Librarian Services credential at CSULB?

1. Six Technology and Media Leadership courses completed at CSULB, or equivalencies transferred from another accredited credential or MLS program:

  • ETEC 510: Foundations of Educational Technology and Media
  • ETEC 523: Information and Digital Literacies
  • ETEC 525: Digital Culture and Society
  • ETEC 530: Leadership in Educational Technology and Media
  • ETEC 551: Education and the Internet
  • ETEC 570: E-learning Design and Development

2. Two Librarianship specialization courses completed at CSULB, or equivalencies transferred from another accredited credential or MLS program:

  • ETEC 540: Organization of Resources
  • ETEC 545: Reading for Leisure and Learning

3. ETEC 580: Field Experience  (both elementary/MS and HS library levels)

The services credential supplements your CA basic teaching credential (which may consist of multiple subject, single subject, special education, or designated (CTE or Adult))
Note that you also must pass your CBEST; this is part of the requirement for admittance into the TL program as well.

What courses do I take if I want to be a librarian, but NOT in a school setting?

The courses are designed to be useful in any library setting. However, you would not need to take the CBEST or have a basic teaching credential.

International students would likely be in the same situation if they plan to work outside the United States.

What is the Special Class Authorization, and how can I earn it?

In 2012 the California State Department of Education approved a Special Class Authorization for Teacher Librarians to become instructors of record to teach information and digital literacies. This authorization is currently finalizing regulations review, and intends to be available late spring 2013. CSULB offers the course needed to meet this voluntary authorization: ETEC523. New students in the Teacher Librarian Services Credential Program will be eligible to apply for this added voluntary authorization because their coursework includes those courses: ETEC 523 Information and Digital Literaries (or ELIB570), and ETEC 551 Education and the Internet are the required courses for previous CSULB TL credential holders (within 5 years of applying for the SCA).

Current Teacher Librarians will be able to add this authorization to their credential by taking ETEC523which is offered online through CSULB's Open University (

What is the MLS degree, and is it required for a credential?

The Master of Library Science (MLS) degree is not required for a California Media Teacher Librarian Services Credential. If you ever plan to work in another type of library, however, you will want to have a MLS degree from an American Library Association accredited library school in California. Those universities offering that degree include UCLA and SJSU (UCLA does not offer the TL credential). For international students, the CSULB Master's in Art, Option in Technology and Media Leadership degree provides a solid academic foundation. The program is nationally accredited through NCATE, and prepares you to be a technologically skilled librarian and informatoin professional.

Does CSULB offer a Master's degree for Teacher Librarians?

Yes: a Master of Arts in Education, Option in Technology and Media Leadership. This Master's enables you to work in school libraries. As of fall 2007, the degree also prepares you to work in other types of libraries/information organizations. This program has been nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education since 2001, and the credential is also nationally and state accredited. The program is not ALA-accredited at this point.

What are the requirements for a Master of Art in Education, Option in Educational Technology and Media Leadership?

The masters degree includes all the credential requirements plus the following:

  • EDP 520 Quantitative Research Methods in Education OR EDP 595 Qualitative Research Methods in Education (pre-requisite of EDP 400 Educational Measurement and Statistics)
  • Comprehensive examination (ETEC 695 Seminar in Educational Technology and Media -- 3 units) or Thesis (6 units).

Most applicants earn a credential simultaneously while pursuing the M.A. Students who are earning or have already earned their Teacher Librarian Services Credential at CSULB recently may be eligible to apply for the M.A., incorporating prior units of study. Note that at least 24 units must be taken at CSULB.

What do I need to be accepted into the Teacher Librarian program?

  • Admission to CSULB as a graduate student (two classes of 3 units my be taken through Open University/Extension)
  • Current valid California Teaching Credential
  • Passing CBEST examination score
  • 3.0 GPA (or better) for the last 60 units

To be officially admitted to the program, you must also have on file with the Graduate Office:

  • Completed supplementary application form
  • Official college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume and statement of career objectives (and relevant experience)

Working knowledge of word processing, databases, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, presentation software, Internet searching, and e-mail usage is expected in all classes.

Applicants for the degree program must also take a WPE (Writing Proficiency Examination) by the end of the first semester within the program, and submit a passing score before being able to graduate.

Academic achievement is measured by GPA in making admission decisions. However, candidates who otherwise appear to be well-qualified but do not meet the 3.0 GPA may be admitted conditionally and allowed to complete 15 units of graduate work toward the credential. If they maintain a 3.0 GPA for these 15 units, they will be considered to have met the 3.0 GPA requirement.

Once admitted to CSULB's graduate program, you may take classes while working to fulfill the credential program requirements (except for Field Experience). All documents should be addressed to:

Graduate Office, College of Education
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-2201. As of fall 2007, if you plan to pursue an MA degree but NOT the credential, then the teaching credential and CBEST tests are not required.

I live in another country. What are my options for pursuing a librarian degree at CSULB?

CSULB offers a Master of Arts, Option in Technology and Media Leadership degree, which provides solid academic preparation for becoming a competent school librarian, and other type of librarian or information professional. The degree is nationally accredited through NCATE, which the American Library Association recognizes. The program is especially strong in educational technology and international aspects of technology and librarianship. Individual faculty have special expertise in East Asian, Middle East, Latin American, and European practices; a sizeable proportion of the student population consists of international students.

The program is intended as a residential program, offering hybrid course, so students should expect to live in the United States (which normally requires a visa). Courses are taught in English, and students must pass a reading/writing examination (such as TESOL examination with at least a score of 550, or 80 if taken online). Most students take two years to complete the master's, and may be eligible for state residency (and lower tuition) after the first year. Some tuition waivers exist for international students. For details about support for international students, go to

May I take courses through Open University before I formally apply to the program?

Yes, you can take up to 6 units, but it is better to be accepted into the program instead.

May I transfer class credits from one credential program to another?

CSULB will accept transfer credits from any of the accredited LMT credential programs in California, and may accept transfer credits from library media programs in other states (though not through the University of Phoenix). Other programs may accept a limited number of transfer units from CSULB. At least 24 units at the 500/600 level must be taken through CSULB for the M.A. program.

What about the Emergency Teacher Librarian Services Permit?

TL Services Credential Program Coordinators are not allowed to sign these annual renewal forms; they must be signed by staff in the CSULB Credential Processing Center (ED1-42, (562) 985-4109).

Requirements include:

  1. admission to the CSULB LMT Services Credential Program
  2. completion of at least 6 units of coursework toward the credential since your last annual renewal

You may be asked to show an official transcript if courses were not taken at CSULB.

How long does it take to get the Teacher Librarian Services credential -- and the master's degree?

Generally, the TL Services Credential Program at California State University Long Beach offers two classes each semester (usually on Saturdays), including summer session. Nine classes (27 units) are required for the credential. Field experience is typically scheduled in schools near the student's home or work setting. With prior approval of the Coordinator, equivalent classes may be transferred into the CSULB credential program from other accredited credential programs.
Generally, the master's takes an additional year to complete. Another course directed to that degree is offered most semesters.

With careful planning, a full-time student could possibly complete the entire credential and master's degree in one calendar year.

How well established is this program?

The librarianship program started in 1968, and has offered a school librarianship credential that has been state-accredited since the 1970s. A master's degree has been part of the program off and on, and was re-established in 2003. In 2007 the program expanded to a comprehensive library program, which is accredited by NCATE. In 2011 the program became the Technology and Media Leadership program in order to reflect the technology and leadership skills of 21st century librarians and information professionals. The Teacher Librarians Services Credential Program exists within that framework.

Where can I earn the Teacher Librarian Services Credential?

Six colleges and university offer this credential in California; three of these are located in Southern California: CSULB, Azuza Pacific and San Jose State University (on-campus in San Jose and Fullerton and online).

Why do I need another credential?

The Library Media Teacher Services credential allows you to be a Library Media Teacher (LMT) in any K-12 school in California. You MUST have a California teaching credential to be eligible to start working towards the LMT credential. It supplements your basic CA K12 teaching credential (e.g., multiple subject, single subject, special education).

Are scholarships available?

Yes! Scholarships are available from CSULB, CSULBs College of Education (particularly the Barbara Ward Memorial Scholarship), the California School Library Association, the Orange County Library Association, and Friends of the Library at Leisure World.