INF 7980: Practicum: School Media

Credits: 2-3 (graded)

Prerequisite(s): The completion all required SLM and MLIS courses except 7996 and one technology class.

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

The major objective of the practicum is to enable a student to work in a school library under the direction and with the guidance of a certified school library media specialist (SLMS) mentor. This experience offers an opportunity for students to test professional skills and to re-examine concepts and theories within an actual school library media center (SLMC) environment.

In this course students: a) Experience the interaction between the practicing librarian, students, and school library stakeholders (e.g., teachers and administrators) with unique service needs; b) Understand the sociological environment within which the SLMC operates; the community within which the SLMC is situated; and the personnel relationships within an actual SLMC; c) Develop a sense of personal identification with the profession and its attendant responsibilities and competencies; d) Apply academic and professional preparation.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Contrast theory and experience.
  • Participate in those activities appropriate to their type of placement such as:
    • Collaboration with teachers and students
    • Collection development and maintenance
    • Developing and delivering instructional programs
    • Materials processing
  • Evaluate services, policies, collections and programs


  • Practicum mentors must be certified SLMS as defined by the state of Michigan. That is, the supervising SLMS must have a Master’s degree in Information and Library Science and a current Michigan teaching certificate with School Library (ND) endorsement. Mentors must also have been SLMS for at least 3 years.
  • Placements may not occur in the student’s present building.
  • A minimum of 135 hours on site for one academic semester for three credits; 90 hours for two credits.
  • Hours may be scheduled throughout the semester or be clustered in a shorter time span. No work period should be less than three consecutive hours.
  • SIS recommends no one particular practicum structure since libraries vary widely in their hours, clientele, resources and facilities.
  • Student duties will be professional as enumerated in the ALA’s policy statement “Library Education and Personnel Utilization.” Tasks that might be routinely assigned to clerical and technical staff may be included only to the extent that they contribute to an understanding of the interdependence of library/information center functions.
  • Contact with all operational units of the library should be included in the practicum experience.

Course methodology

  • Practicum placement is determined by information in the practicum application and communication with the practicum mentor and as appropriate with the student’s advisor.
  • The practicum mentor will contact practicum sites for updates.
  • Students will document and reflect on their activities and time in a journal submitted to the practicum coordinator in 30 hour increments.
  • Students will, with the assistance of their mentor, devise and complete a project intended to enhance the site.
  • Students will critically evaluate their experience in a reflective paper at the end of their practicum experience.

Bases for evaluation of student performance

The supervising librarian/information professional at the placement site will complete a written evaluation of the student’s performance. Students must also attend three mandatory seminars, document all of their practicum hours in a journal, submit a project proposal, complete the proposed project, and turn in a critical analysis of their practicum experiences.


To be determined

Revised: 7/11/2018