IFLA SL Newsletter

– a commentsblog

Plunging into the SPA: Educating School Librarians in USA

By Johan Koren
Coordinator, Library Media Program
Murray State University, Kentucky,


The United States is far from the uniform country that we might expect: each state has its own laws, regulations andsystems, especially in the area of primaryand secondary education. Imagine ifevery Land in the Federal Republic ofGermany or every département in Francehad its own, separate way of organizingthe schools! Even within states, thereare differences; for example, regardingthe 11-16 age range, where some schoolsare called junior high, and others aremiddle schools. Even the range of classesthat are included within these types ofschools varies enormously: in CallowayCounty, Kentucky, middle school coverswhat is pretty much the norm in manyplaces, namely 6th (where 1st is 6 years old)through 8th grade, while within CallowayCounty, tiny little Murray IndependentSchools (in a town of 16,000), puts 4th-8th grade in the middle school.

For moreinformation on each of these two schooldistricts, go to



In every state, teachers are recognized bytheir state’s department of education, butwhat that recognition is called varies.In Kentucky, teachers are certifiedhttp://www.kyepsb.net/certification/index.asp), but in neighboring Tennessee to thesouth,you have to have a license in order tobe able to teach in their schools


In general, school librarians are officiallyconsidered teaching personnel throughoutthe United States, although the termteacher librarian has not caught onhere as it has in Canada and Australia.Thus, they must be licensed or certified.However, many states do not require thatschools employ certified school librarians.Kentucky passed such a law in 2000.On the other hand, the law does havea loophole: “A certified school medialibrarian may be employed to serve two (2)or more schools in a school district withthe consent of the school councils.



January 8, 2007 - Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, USA

1 Comment »

  1. Hi, everything is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s really excellent, keep up writing.

    Comment by Download Virus | July 4, 2013 | Reply

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