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Frequently Asked Questions


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

Please see Prerequisites on the Teacher Librarian Services credential website. For information about the application process, please see the Application Process page.

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

Please see the Program Description webpage.

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

Yes: the master's degree in Educational Technology & Media Leadership. This Master's enables you to work in school libraries. The master's 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 regionally and state accredited. The program is not ALA-accredited at this point. If you are applying for both the Teacher Librarian Services Credential and the Educational Technoloy & Media Leadership master's degree, you do need to have a teaching credential.

What are the requirements for a Master's Degree in Educational Technology and Media Leadership?

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

The program has been designed to be completed in two years. 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. With careful planning, a full-time student could possibly complete the entire credential and master's degree in two years.

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. International students who do not meet the eligibility for the Teacher Librarian Services credential should consider applying to the Educational Technology & Media Leadership degree.

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

CSULB offers a Educational Technology & Media Leadership master's degree, which provides solid academic preparation for becoming a competent school librarian, and other type of librarian or information professional. 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.

The program is intended as a residential program, offering some hybrid courses. Courses are taught in English, and students must meet the University's English Language Demonstration Requirement. Please reference the Center for International Education website for addition applicant information.

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

No, students must apply and be admitted to the program in order to take Teacher Librarian Services credential program courses.

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

The program may accept transfer units from an accredited Teacher Librarian Services credential program 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.

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 Teacher Librarian Services Credential. If you ever plan to work in another type of library, however, you will want to have a master's 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.

What about the Emergency Teacher Librarian Services Permit?

Teacher Librarian Services Credential Program Coordinators are not allowed to sign these annual renewal forms; they must be signed by staff in the CSULB Credential Center, located in Ellis Education Building, (EED) Room 42. The Credential Center may also be contacted at 562-985-4109 or

Requirements include:

  1. admission to the CSULB Teacher Librarian Services Credential Program
  2. completion of at least 6 units of coursework toward the Teacher Librarian Services Credential within the lifetime of your emegency library permit
  3. estabishment of a Credential Center file. The Credential Center may be contacted at 562-985-4109. Please allow at least a 10 working day turnaround for an evaluation and completion of the CL 469 Emergency Permit Renewal Form. 

You may be asked to show an official transcript if courses were not taken at CSULB, and coursework must be pre-approved by the program coordinator

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. CSULB offers the course needed to meet this voluntary authorization: ETEC 523. Newly admitted students in the Teacher Librarian Services Credential Program will automatically receive the added authorization because ETEC 523 is a required course in the credential program.

Current Teacher Librarians will be able to add this authorization to their library credential by taking ETEC 523 which is offered online through CSULB's Open University- Special Class Authorization website.

Why do I need another credential?

The Teacher Librarian Services credential allows you to be a Teacher Librarian in any K-12 school in California. You MUST have a California teaching credential to be eligible to start working towards the Teacher Librarian Services Credential. It supplements your initial teaching credential (e.g., multiple subject, single subject, special education, designated subjects, adult education).

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. In 2011 the program became the Educational Technology and Media Leadership program in order to reflect the technology and leadership skills of 21st century librarians and information professionals. The Teacher Librarian Services Credential program exists within that framework.

Are scholarships available?

There are many organizations sponsoring scholarships for Librarianship students. Beyond those listed on this page, other library groups also sponsor scholarships, which are announced to current students.

  • California School Library Association offers these scholarships and awards (deadline in June)
  • Leadership for Diversity Scholarship recognizes the need for teacher librarians who reflect the diversity of California's multicultural, multilingual population.
  • The California Library Association lists information about their scholarships.
  • The College of Education and CSULB award close to 150 scholarships to deserving students each year, including some awards specifically granted to Librarianship students (Barbara Ward Memorial Scholarship, the Orange County Library Association, and Friends of the Library at Leisure World).

How is School Librarianship as a Profession?

Each year there are notices of more K-12 Teacher Librarian positions open in southern California than there are candidates to fill the positions (see the California School Library Association). The majority of the credential candidates currently enrolled in the CSULB Librarianship Program already work in their respective school library media centers under an emergency credential.

Representative professional websites for Teacher Librarians include:

Along with CSULB, some of these organizations provide scholarships; check their web sites for details.

The Profession of Library and Information Science

In the broader field of librarianship, graduates work in school, academic, public, and "special" sectors (e.g., museums, agencies, industry). Most librarian positions incorporate three aspects of library work: user services, technical services, and administrative services. Librarians and other information professionals must have knowledge of a wide variety of information sources, be organized and analytical, be able to collaborate and manage, have good communication and often instructional skills; most need technical skills. Some of these careers require additional education or experience.