The school media specialist is employed in places such as school libraries and gives advice to administrators or teachers on how to use things such as audiotape materials, films, slides, or movies as educational tools. For example, the work might entail helping teachers choose films or video maps to show in their classes. If you aspire to become a school media specialist, you will generally need a college degree and teaching certification.
There are two paths to becoming a school media specialist. One path involves getting a bachelor's degree in teacher education with a specialization in library science or school media studies. This will enable you to attain teaching licensure and specialize in school media studies. Coursework will typically include courses such as media technologies, information sources, bibliographic methods, children's and adolescents' literature, media center organization, and reading motivation.
An alternative path to become a school media specialist would be to get a bachelor's degree in teacher education and attain initial teaching certification in a non-media specialist area. Then, you could attend graduate school where you could take the courses needed to get a teaching specialization in school media specialist studies. The Master of Library Science (MLS) degree with a specialty in school media specialist studies is typically recommended for anyone who aspires to become a school media specialist.
If you hope to become a school media specialist, it is also important to check specific local requirements for school media specialist certification in the location you plan to work, particularly if you plan to work in a different locale than where you attended college. Locations differ in terms of their requirements for school media specialist licensure. Thus, it is necessary to make sure you meet the specific requirements for licensure in whatever locale you plan to work in.
As there is a lot of interaction with teachers, it is helpful for a school media specialist to have good communications skills. Also, if you want to become a school media specialist, it is helpful if you have strong abilities in knowing what types of media materials will work for various different academic subjects. For example, for history courses, films may sometimes work best while science courses may be helped more with using slides, depending on what the teachers' goals are.
If you become a school media specialist, you could work in a school setting for the duration of your career. Or, you could pursue other options. For instance, you could choose to get a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in library science, which would enable you to teach library science courses on the college level. By contrast, you could choose to get a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in education administration, which would enable you to pursue a career as an elementary school principal, a high school principal, a school system superintendent, or a college administrator.