2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Library and Information Science: School Media, MS

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Information Studies


Megan Oakleaf
Program Director
(315) 443-2911




The School Media program is a major specialization within the Library and Information Science (LIS) program and requires that students meet not only the core LIS requirements, but also specified coursework in information literacy, youth services, information technology in schools, literacy and reading support, and management in school libraries. School librarians provide active curriculum support services and library and information skills instruction in elementary and secondary school settings. School librarians serve as intermediaries between the information needs of students, faculty, administration, and community and the information systems and resources required to fulfill those needs. In this capacity, school librarians provide print and non-print media in support of the curriculum; collaborate with classroom teachers by teaching research/information literacy skills in the context of the general curriculum; guide students in selecting reading materials and provide literacy support; introduce and facilitate effective use and delivery of current and emerging technologies; and implement a range of 21st century skills-based programs and services.

The traditional role of school librarians has expanded to include:

  • designing, delivering, and assessing instruction that motivates students to acquire and use skills needed for learning in an information environment.
  • planning inquiry-based learning experiences.
  • selecting and using information resources and instructional technologies to facilitate student motivation and inquiry-based learning.
  • connecting instruction to national and state standards.
  • integrating instruction across the curriculum.
  • providing instructional leadership, collaboration, and support in the area of information and inquiry skills in schools and districts.
  • collection management based on a unified media concept.
  • teaching, support, and guidance in the use of information resources from a problem-solving perspective;
  • promotion of print, media, and digital literacy.
  • curriculum consultation and technology innovation;
  • information management beyond the walls of the centralized library facility; and program management.

The current educational focus on inquiry-based lifetime learning, critical thinking skills, and multiple literacies directly links overall educational goals to the services and resources of the school library program.

The nationally ranked (U.S. News & World Report) School Media Program at Syracuse University prepares students for the exciting and challenging role of the school librarian. The School of Information Studies has developed a competency-based academic program, based on the New York State Teaching Standards and School Librarian Competencies based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and leading to New York State certification as a school library media specialist.

The LIS master’s degree in school media also enables graduates to enter other specializations in the library profession. For example, in public libraries there is a critical need for librarians for children and young adult services. In community college libraries, the need for librarians trained in teaching information and technology skills is high. Some school media students are choosing to become digital librarians in government and corporate settings. Students trained as school librarians are highly qualified for these and other library positions.

The School Media specialization is available in an online only format.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Mission, Vision and Core Values -  Develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education
2. Ethical Principles and Professional Norms - Act ethically and according to professional norms
3. Equity and Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness -  Strive for equity and inclusivity of educational opportunity, and culturally and linguistically responsive practices
4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment - Design, deliver and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction and assessment
5. Community of Care and Support for Students - Cultivate an inclusive caring and supportive school community
6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel -  Develop their personal professional capacity and practice to best support other school personnel
7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff - Foster development of a professional community of teachers and other professional staff
8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community -  Engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually  beneficial ways
9. Operations and Management - Manage resources and operations to promote each learner’s academic and/or professional success and well-being by creating an inviting environment, providing a flexible program, developing the collection, curating and organizing the resources, integrating digital and technology access, managing appropriate funding and encouraging critical thinking to create a community of lifelong learners
10. School Improvement - Act as agents of continuous improvement
11. Literacy and Reading - Promote reading for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment (and) are aware of major trends in children’s and young adult literature. They select reading materials in multiple formats to support reading for information, pleasure, and lifelong learning. They use a variety of strategies to reinforce classroom reading instruction to address the diverse needs and interests of all readers. Literacy takes many forms (EX: digital, information, cultural, etc.) that all rely on the foundational literacy of reading
12. Technology Competence - Integrate and effectively use current and emerging technologies for teaching and learning to support other school personnel


The School Media program requires 36 credits for the MSLIS and completion of additional New York State certification requirements. Because of the specific knowledge and skills required by school librarians, all courses in the program are required. Students are required to take the following courses.

I. Introductory Courses (3 credits)

III. Management and Policy Courses (6 credits)

V. Fieldwork (100 hours, 50 hours on each level)

School media students must complete a total of 100 (non-credit) hours of fieldwork in elementary and secondary school libraries before their first practicum experience. A minimum of 15 hours must be with students with special disabilities.

VI. School Media Practicum

Fully supervised and evaluated school-based library experiences at the elementary and secondary levels (120 hours each).

VII. Additional Requirements

Students must complete the school media competencies checklist at the beginning of the program, after their second fieldwork experience, after their first practicum experience, and after all coursework, fieldwork and practica have been completed. This instrument is used as a means for documenting student growth and as a guide for fieldwork and practicum placement.

Upon completion of the School Media Program, combined with New York State requirements including (1) completion of the New York State child abuse, substance abuse, and violence prevention workshops; (2) the Child Health and Life Safety Prevention workshop (fire and arson prevention; highway safety and traffic regulations and school safety patrols; child abduction prevention; and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse)*; (3) fingerprinting; (4) Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) workshop*; and (5) successful completion of the appropriate New York State certification exams, students will have fulfilled all the necessary requirements for certification as a school library media specialist in an elementary or secondary school in New York State. The School of Education, with approval from the School of Information Studies, will recommend a student for a New York State School Media Specialist initial certificate, preK-12, necessary for employment for New York State public schools and accepted for employment by most other states. Students from other states must verify the certification requirements of their own state.

*graduation requirements

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Information Studies