School Library Systems Program

New York State Library 101:
School Library System Directors -- Getting to Know Your State Library!

Overview and Highlights | Program Information | Library Media Specialist Certification | Guidelines | Contacts

Fact sheets: School Library System Membership pdf file [253k] | The New York State Library in Partnership with School Library Media Centers pdf file [240k]

SED School Library Services resourcesexternal link

Empire State Information Fluency Continuum: Benchmark Skills for Grades K - 12 Assessments / Common Core Alignment
Developed by the New York City School Library System (.PDF only; .pdf file external link); letter from the State Librarian

NYCC "Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement; October 2011" (.PDF only; .pdf file 287k) | Executive Summary (.PDF only; .pdf file 90k)

Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries. The New Jersey Study of School Libraries: One Common Goal – Student Learningexternal link

Program Overview

This state-aided program creates and funds 40 School Library Systems (SLS) based in the Big 5 Cities and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which serve multiple districts in an area. Main functions of the program are outlined in Commissioner's Regulations 90.18.

Program Highlights

Established in 1984, the School Library Systems program provides a formalized network for public and nonpublic school library media centers across the State and provides for the development of a standardized automated catalog which enhances interlibrary loan of resources among the participating schools. The systems also provide services to their members such as consulting, continuing education and professional development, cooperative collection development plans, services addressing special client needs, database searches of professional research and literature, and connections to other types of libraries and library systems across the State and beyond. School Library Systems transact over 500,000 interlibrary loans each year. The number of school library media center holdings converted into standardized format and entered into a database (Union Catalog) for electronic access by School Library System students and teachers is 40.4 million. School Library Systems sponsor staff development workshops for 56,000 participants each year.

Program Information

Library Media Specialist Certification

All teacher certification in New York State has been updated and changed to meet new Part 80 Regulations of the Commissioner as of February 2004. Library Media Specialist (all grades) is the new, and only, title for school library media specialists obtaining certificates after February 2004. The Office of Teaching Initiatives issues certificates certifying that an individual has met degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements. Certificates are issued in many titles preK-12 in three major categories: classroom teaching, administrative and supervisory, and school service (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, social worker). Library Media Specialist is in the classroom-teaching category.

Obtaining an Initial Certificate

Because individuals are educated throughout the country and enter teaching through various paths, there are two ways to obtain an Initial teaching certificate in NYS. Each method requires candidates to acquire the same level of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Both methods of obtaining a certificate require three assessments, including a LMS content test, and child abuse and violence workshops.

See Library Media Specialist Certification Requirements; from the Office of Teaching Initiatives, State Education Department

Guidelines and Fact Sheets


Last Updated: June 14, 2019 -- sm; for questions or comments contact Carol Desch