Mentor Role

Welcome to the School Library Certification Mentor Program. We realize that this is a time commitment for you and appreciate your role in helping in the training and development of school librarians who will be leaders in the field.

The mentorship program encourages a community of practice that provides an opportunity for school library students in the UNT Department of Information Science (IS) to:

  • Communicate with experienced practitioners
  • Observe and learn professional standards and behavior
  • Experience the practical application of the theories studied in school library classes

The following requirements must be met to be considered for approval as a mentor:

  1. 3+ years as a school library professional
  2. Certification as a school librarian through an American Library Association (ALA) or Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) approved university school library program
  3. Currently working as a school librarian in a school library
  4. A willingness to serve as a role model and a commitment of time and leadership

The following aptitudes and competencies are necessary for successful mentorship:

  • Dedication to the profession of school librarianship.
  • Interest in contributing to the professional development of pre-service school librarians.
  • An understanding of the roles and responsibilities of school librarians.
  • A realization that the mentorship will last over a period of several months to years.
  • Demonstration of a positive attitude and enthusiasm.
  • Willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • Proficiency in coaching, delivering guidance, and providing constructive feedback.
  • An understanding of the School Library Program: Standards and Guidelines for Texas which can be found here:

Every School Library Certification (SLC) and/or Masters student must spend 160 clock hours or more in a 70-30 or 60-20-20 combination of school library types (elementary, middle, or high) under the mentorship of a qualified school librarian:

  • The mentorship will begin with the initiation of the student’s school library program of coursework and the official UNT Practicum Checklist.
  • The mentorship will continue over the timeframe of that coursework and include 4 or more formal observations of student demonstrations of competency in library program activities, to be completed by a UNT Field Supervisor. (Mentors may liaise with the field supervisor and coach the students in preparation, but will not conduct the observations.) Observations by the UNT Field Supervisor may be conducted face to face, electronically, or video recorded by the students for submission.
  • The mentorship will culminate with the completion and submission of the UNT Practicum Checklist that demonstrates proficiency in each objective and area of the checklist. 

The Mentor will fulfill the following expectations:

  • Schedule time with the student on a regular basis to discuss the role of the librarian, library practices and programs, in coordination with the coursework. The mentor should meet with the student at least three times each semester.
  • Coordinate activities so that the 160 clock hours can be accomplished within the timeframe of the scheduled coursework. It should be noted that:

       - 36 credit hours are required for a Masters degree; of these, 24 credit hours are required for school librarian certification.

        - If a student takes 1 course per semester (3 credit hours), then it could take 3 years to complete the required school librarian coursework.

        - If a student takes 1-2 courses per semester (6 credit hours), then the scheduled time with the student will span 1+ years to complete the required school librarian coursework.

       Mentors should also be aware of the educational goal of the student:

        1. School librarian certification added to an existing master’s degree

       2. Master’s degree with school librarian certification

       Note: students pursuing a Masters degree will need to complete 12 credit hours beyond the 24 required for school library certification.

  • Coordinate the completion of the Practicum Checklist with the student’s coursework and mentor interactions.
  • Provide ongoing guidance, coaching, and constructive feedback during the span of the mentorship.
  • Allow student to observe, engage in, and lead lessons and activities conducted in the library.
  • Assist in the coordination of formal observations of student proficiency with the UNT administrative coordinator, if necessary.  Observations will be conducted by a UNT Field Supervisor.