UNI’s School Library Studies program prepares students for many roles in an elementary or secondary library setting. Under the Curriculum & Instruction Department, this program develops K-12 teacher librarians with the leadership and expertise to implement a school library program that is central to the curriculum. The program is offered at the master’s degree level or as a specialization for elementary (K-6) or secondary (7-12) teacher education students.
Classes and experiences help students become professional teacher librarians who collaborate with classroom teachers in many different ways. Teacher librarians help teachers find print and electronic materials for classroom use, help teach classes, teach students how to use library materials, and review materials to buy.
Excellence in hands-on education
With offices and classrooms on the first floor of the UNI Rod Library, the division of School Library Studies makes hands-on learning readily available. Students can access the library’s main collection of more than one million books and periodicals. UNI’s library also boasts a large youth collection, an essential resource for teacher librarians and one not found at all university libraries.
Students will take classes in school library studies, library materials, library curriculum and administration, and an internship experience. Graduate students may also specialize in either elementary or secondary school library studies and receive an elementary or secondary teacher librarian endorsement.
Here are some of the class activities:
- Learn to evaluate the best fiction, non-fiction and electronic materials to purchase.
- Conduct studies of books and authors for promoting literature for classroom use or students’ informal reading.
- Assemble materials to support an elementary or secondary school unit of study.
- Use your teacher librarian skills in area schools during observation and teaching experiences.
Distance-friendly teacher education
The School Library Studies program offers nearly all courses as distance classes via the internet or the Iowa Communications Network, the state’s two-way face-to-face communication system. Most graduate students use the distance education opportunity yet still feel they are part of the UNI campus as they develop a network of other students across the state.
Excellence in class and faculty resources
The UNI Rod Library gets superior marks for the size and content of its collection at a mid-sized university. Students have access to a wide variety of print sources and online databases through the Rod Library, such as the web version of Library Literature as well as K-12 databases commonly used in school library programs. A technology/lab classroom for the program is available in the Library where students will learn about automated library catalogs and other new technologies that will affect school libraries.
School Library Studies faculty members have all been teacher librarians in elementary, middle and high schools. Some also served as public librarians, so they teach from experience They are participating members of national and state professional organizations and make major written contributions to significant library studies resources.