UNT offers rare library certification online

Thursday, September 23, 1999

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- To fill a growing need for certified school librarians in Texas, the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences has begun offering a 19-hour online certification program for a Learning Resources Endorsement. Most states require the endorsement for all K-12 school librarians. Only UNT, Texas Woman's University and the University of Texas at Austin are accredited by the American Library Association to offer the endorsement in Texas. But UNT is the only local school to offer the degree online. Throughout the nation there are only 56 ALA accredited programs in library schools who offer the endorsement."You can only get this endorsement in two cities in Texas -- Denton or Austin," said Dr. Barbara Stein, professor and director of UNT's Learning Resources Endorsement Programs. "But hundreds of schools within the state need certified librarians. Once you get outside of Denton and Austin it's pretty difficult to find certified librarians -- there's really a great need for access. By making the endorsement available through the Internet we do our students a service."Stein said before the online courses started this summer, students were making overnight drives or flying into the area just to attend weekend courses to gain certification. Students must have a teaching certificate to be certified as a school librarian. Participants must attend an initial orientation on campus, then they can gain certification over the Internet. They must also complete a practicum, a 120-hour internship, in a qualified school library -- which can be wherever they live. UNT's Library Endorsement Program has existed since 1939. U.S. News and World Report recognizes UNT's School of Library and Information Sciences as one of the best in the nation.For more information call Dr. Barbara Stein, UNT professor of library information sciences at (940) 565-2445.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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