Becoming a School Library Media Specialist

To be a School Library Media Specialist (SLMS) you must complete the training and certification requirements established by the NJ State Board of Education. The training requires the completion of coursework in both library science and education. The certification process requires that you meet all of the application requirements through the NJ Department of Education

What do SLMS do?

The school library media specialist (SLMS) endorsement is required for any person who serves as a school library media specialist in all public schools. The functions include delivery of instruction in information literacy skills and the development and coordination of school library media programs and resources. The functions also include the delivery of instruction in the evaluation, selection, organization, distribution, creation and utilization of school library media. Media are defined as all print, non-print and electronic resources including the technologies needed for their use.

Where can I learn about the coursework in library science and education for the SLMS certificate?

You can review the study requirements for SLMS certification on NJDOE’s website 

How do I determine what coursework I need to complete?

If you have taken some library science and/or education coursework, NJDOE can assist you to determine what courses you will need to complete. Effective October 1, 2015 NJDOE will again be accepting applications to review applicants' transcripts to determine if their coursework meets the requirements for specific certificates. 

What NJ Colleges/Universities offer Programs Leading to Certification as a SLMS?

New Jersey City University

Contact: Laura Zieger, Ed.D.

Phone: 201-200-3420




Contact:  Joyce Valenza, Ph.D.

Phone:  215-518-1846

Certification Process

Contact: Allison Machiaverna

Phone: 848-932-8742


Seton Hall

Contact: Joseph Martinelli, Ed.D.

Phone: 973-275-2733


William Paterson

Contact: Ellen Pozzi, Ph.D.

Phone: 973-720-3784

Review the information provided by the Universities offering approved programs for the SLMS certificate. Make an appointment at the University to discuss your educational background and to find out more about the program you must complete. Universities generally assist enrolled students who complete a program or course of study with the certificate application process. You should also review the state’s certification regulations and application process.

Where do I get information about becoming certified?

The NJ Department of Education is the agency that administers the certification regulations including the application process. The SLMS certificate is an Educational Services Personnel endorsement. Go to the NJDOE Certification Home Page and click on the Educational Services Personnel tab at the top of the page to go to the Overview page and follow the guidance provided.

How do I find out the requirements for the certificate(s) I want?

You will note there are three different types of SLMS certificates available – CE, CEAS and Standard. You may apply for the CE, CEAS, or Standard certificate depending on your educational background.

  • Certificate Type: CE  The certificate of eligibility is a credential issued to an individual who has completed some, but not all, of the library science and education coursework. The CE allows an applicant be employed as a SLMS while completing the required education and library science coursework.
  • Certificate Type: CEAS  The certificate of eligibility with advanced standing is a credential issued to an individual who has completed all of the required coursework but not the yearlong residency in a school library. The CEAS allows an applicant to be employed as a SLMS and to begin the required residency program.
  • Certificate Type: Standard  This is a permanent certificate issued to an individual who has met all requirements for state certification. Individuals who hold a Standard SLMS certificate are eligible for employment without needing to complete any additional requirements.

The Standard certificate is issued to an individual who has successfully completed the coursework and a yearlong residency program in a school library. Individuals who hold a permanent New Jersey School Librarian or standard Educational Media Specialist endorsement are also eligible to receive the standard SLMS endorsement.

NJDOE’s website provides specific detail about the required coursework and application process, including fees and documents that must be submitted. Also, Customer Service is available to the public during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except major holidays). The Customer Service telephone number is (609) 292-2070.

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