1902 License Competencies

UW Whitewater Library Media Competencies

These are the library competencies that must be demonstrated to earn the 1902 license in Wisconsin.  The numbers in parentheses indicate the DPI library media specialist content guidelines covered by item.  They are organized in five categories.  Those working on public library certification also must meet the competencies in community outreach.  Down the PDF of the competencies for a quick overview.

For a history of the competencies and a tie to state and national standards, scroll to the end of this page.

Collection Development, Organization, and Access


    • Finding and Using Information  / Virtual Libraries
    • Organizing Information
    • Library Administration
    • Children's Literature
    • Young Adult Literature 
    • Practicum / Student Teaching

The student demonstrates the to build and maintain organized resource collections that include both internal and external access points to support the educational goals of the school or community and the personal, developmental, and curricular needs of students and teachers (or library patrons) as shown by:

  1. Responding to needs: Responding to the spontaneous and curricular and information needs of students, faculty, and other library patrons; using listening and open questioning and other techniques to conduct the reference interview in a manner that encourages further inquiry; Maintaining confidentiality and ensuring information security as one of the legal rights of users
  2. Evaluating and selecting to meet needs: Engaging in needs analysis; involving teachers, administrators, students, and/or library patrons; evaluating and selecting appropriate information resources in all formats; following acquisition procedures; and discarding materials that are no longer useful to create a developmentally appropriate physical and virtual collection that
    1. takes into account individual learners' strengths, interests, learning styles and needs
    2. supports the curriculum and instructional strategies employed (school library) or needs of the community (public library0
    3. reflects the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society and a diversity of perspectives (1c, 1d, 2c, 2d, 3e, 4h, 7f, 7l, 7k, 9a, 9b)
  3. Virtual Library: Monitoring, assessing and employing existing and emerging technologies for information access, organization and dissemination to the user; evaluating strategies supporting accessibility to all types of resources and equipment by creating a virtual library and identifying, evaluating, establishing, and using systems to retrieve information in all formats and for all ability levels. (7j)
  4. Budget: Planning, developing, justifying and implementing a budget. (7l)
  5. Organizing:  Organizing, classifying, and cataloging the collection to provide equitable access to library resources sing standardized protocols and procedures.  (7j, 3e)
  6. Circulation Systems: Using systems and processes to circulate materials and equipment, maintaining user confidentiality and ensures information security
  7. Policies - Privacy and Equity: Implementing and evaluating circulation, ILL, privacy and access policies and procedures and supporting equitable and flexible access to information, resources, devices, programming and services both within and beyond the school or library. (3f, 4n, 7f, 10d)
  8. Policies - Selection:   Collaboratively develop and communicate policies and procedures, including selection policies, consistent with principles of best professional practice and align to the mission and goals of the school and district and in compliance with state and federal law. ( 9c)
  9. Intellectual Freedom:  Understanding the principles and supporting the practice of intellectual freedom, free inquiry and access to information, intellectual property rights, privacy and security; establishing and following selection, copyright and Internet use policies and procedures. (4m, 9d)


Information Literacy and Teaching

School library portfolios only


    • Information Literacy / Design of Curriculum for Inquiry
    • Practicum or student teaching

The student demonstrates the ability to serve as a learning facilitator and a leader in the development of effective strategies for teaching and learning as shown by:

  1. Problem Solving:  Develop and implement authentic learning experiences leveraging a variety of resources and tools that foster innovation and real-world problem solving in local and global contexts. (4d, 5a, 5d, 5k, 7e, 8e)
  2. Instructional Design: Modeling incorporation of and collaborating with other educators on design, selection and implementation of research-based best practices inquiry and technology-enhanced learning experiences across the curriculum. (6c, 7b, 7g, 7h, 7m)
  3. Critical Thinking: Modeling the application of critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge and encouraging instructional strategies that enhance higher level thinking skills for students. (7b, 7h,8a) 
  4. Inquiry Process: Modeling an inquiry-based research process for solving problems:  (4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4f, 4i, 4g, 4h, 4i, 5a, 5b 5g, 5i, 5k, 8h)
    • Identifying information need / problems and developing a range of questions o   Employing variety of strategies and tools for finding and critically evaluating information from diverse sources,
    • Demonstrating strategies to select and organize knowledge to solve a problem or satisfy an information need and plan, manage and design projects and products o   Communicating effectively with diverse audiences in various formats, and
    • Evaluating the product and process.
  5. Integration of digital literacy skills:  Collaborating with teachers to develop a coordinated K-12 approach to information and technology literacy and integrating state and/or national digital literacy standards with content learning standards into teaching and learning activities. (5h,7g, 7a)
  6. Teaching:  Teaching information and technology literacy skills to students and teachers:
    • Responsive to diverse learning styles, cultural influences, abilities, and learner cognitive development (1a, 2b)
    • Applying knowledge of learning theory, human development, student cultures, instructional strategies, curriculum, and assessment. (6c)
    • Using a variety of instructional strategies, tools and resources to engage students in inquiry and empower them to achieve their learning goals (1b, 8b 8c, 10f)
    • Employing a variety of assessment methods to design, develop and modify learning experiences (6a, 6b)
  7. Digital Citizenship: Modeling and teaching responsible, safe, legal and ethical use of information, technology, and resources and complying with intellectual property rights, laws and guidelines. (4k, 4m, 9d)
  8. Staff Development: Planning and implementing staff development activities including personalized, professional learning in the skills needed in a digital age (10h)
  9. Coaching: Using effective coaching techniques to help colleagues improve teaching and learning (8i, 9h).
  10. Supporting Student Interests: Creating a flexible, engaging and respectful learning environment where curiosity and independent and collaborative learning is valued, promoted, and encouraged. (3a, 3d, 3h, 5j)  



    • Digital Tools ·
    • Practicum or student teaching  

The student demonstrates the ability to use technology effectively with students and faculty to facilitate teaching and learning and access to information as shown by:

  1. Tool use:  Demonstrating use of software and hardware to access, organize, create, and communicate information in multiple formats for a specific audience and demonstrating principles of message and screen design. (4l, 8h)
  2. Problem Solving: Identifying issues and problems in technology and related areas, and beginning to develop strategies for solving these problems individually and in a group.
  3. Technology Integration:   Facilitate use of current and emerging technologies to support student learning and innovation and serve as a catalyst for integration of digital literacy skills across the curriculum. (5f, 5h, 10f)
  4. Instructional Design:  Applying basic principles of instructional design to produce resources for specified learning objectives or library needs, modeling research-based best practices (7m)

Literature and Reading


    • Children's Literature
    • Young Adult Literature
    • Practicum or student teaching

The student demonstrates a knowledge of children's and young adult literature and related media (and adult literature for public libraries) and how to promote reading:

  1. Reading Guidance
  2. Selection: Using evaluation criteria and selection aids to identify books that meet the needs of library users (3e, 4h, 7k). c. 
  3. Programming: Working with teachers, parents, students, and library patrons to develop a school-wide culture to foster curiosity, critical literacy skills and engagement with and love of reading (3h, 5j) d.    
  4. Reading for Meaning: Planning and providing opportunities for students to read, view, and listen for information in a variety of formats in order to make inferences and derive meaning of an issue, field or problem. (7c)
  5. Reader Response: Plan opportunities for students to creatively respond to literature in various formats and genres. (7d) f 
  6. Knowledge of Literature: Demonstrating familiarity with the different genres of children's, and YA literature in multiple formats and how each might be integrated into the school curriculum. (4o) a.
  7. Public library . - Also demonstrate knowledge of adult literature



  • Library Administration
  • Librarians as Leaders
  • Practicum or student teaching  

The student demonstrates the ability to develop, manage, and evaluate library programs to meet educational goals (school) and community needs (public) as shown by:     

  1. School Culture: Understanding the culture of the school and the community and application of change theory
    • School library: Initiating relationships with administrators, teachers, staff, and students to develop resources, services, and programs to meet learning and teaching needs.
    • Public library: Initiating relationships with staff, administrators, and the community to develop resources, services, and programs to meet community information, resource, and service needs.
  2. Mission: Communicating the mission, goals, objectives, and functions of the library program, materials and resources to stakeholders;
  3. Committees:  Recognizing the need to be a contributing member of key committees including district and building planning teams (10a)
  4. Advocacy: Articulate the role of the library media and technology program in advancing student academic achievement and asset development. (9f)>
  5. Partnerships: Cultivate community partnerships and explore connections for resource-sharing, networking, and sharing access to information to promote engagement and lifelong learning process. (10g, 10j)
  6. Planning:  Engaging in short-term and long-range planning; planning, aligning, development and implementing the district library (and technology) plan; monitoring, assessing, and using existing and emerging technologies for media center management and support student learning. (7l, 10b, 10e, 10f)
  7. Legislation:  Demonstrating awareness of legislated requirements, resources, and restrictions that affect library programs, e.g., accounting codes, state funding, and Internet filtering;
  8. Facility / Environment: Designing a facility and virtual library that creates an environment conducive to learning, inquiry, information seeking, literature and equal access that anticipates curricular functions, user needs, and technological and resource requirements; creating a welcoming environment that is conducive to self-initiated and formal learning.  (3a, 3b, 3d)
  9. Staffing: Planning for recruitment, hiring, training, evaluation and providing leadership for volunteer, paraprofessional and student staff. (7l)
  10. Program Evaluation: Locating and using assessment tools to evaluate aspects of the library program; applying appropriate research findings to improve teaching and learning and the school library program and service to the community in a public library program. (7l,5c, 6d, 10e)

Community Outreach

Public library portfolios only


  • Library Administration

The student demonstrates the ability to serve develop, implement and evaluation programs and services for the library's users as shown by:

  1. Understanding the needs of the library's current and underserved user groups and how to assess these needs.
  2. Planning, implementing, and evaluating activities to serve different user groups.
  3. Participating in public relations and/or marketing activities such as development of displays, brochures, newspaper articles, announcements and special activities    

Background on the Program Competencies

The 1902 licensure as a library media specialist in Wisconsin requires that an applicant holds or is eligible to hold a teaching license in an area other than school library media service and completes an approved program of study to receive institutional endorsement OR competes an initial 1902 licensure program in an approved program of student. As part of the initial teaching license, the applicant has met the competencies outlined in the Wisconsin Teacher Standards and the core values of communications skills, human relations and professional dispositions, content knowledge in their teaching area, pedagogical knowledge, and teaching practice (PI34).

The library media preparation program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater builds on these standards but focuses mainly on the content competencies defined by Wisconsin DPI for library media specialists and prepares school library media specialists who work to "ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information; students are empowered to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information" (AASL. Empowering Learners, 2009). Such individuals are prepared to:

  • provide intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats;
  • provide instruction that stimulates interest in reading, viewing, and using information and idea and addresses multiple literacies, including information literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, and technology literacy;
  • collaborate with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the need of individual students and encourage them to be independent lifelong users and producers of ideas and information.


In 2001-2002, K-12 advisors and faculty from the five institutions in the University of Wisconsin System School Library Education Consortium or UWSSLEC ( UW-Whitewater, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Superior, and UW-Madison) reviewed and evaluated standards and competencies from the state, other states, AASL / ALA (approved by NCATE),  ISTE. and the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. The group designed courses based on competencies (902 with stipulations902 ) and grouped them into courses through consensus. All courses used by UWSSLEC and the UW-Whitewater. In 2010 the competencies and courses for 1901 license were reviewed and revised followed by a revision of the 1902 licensure competencies and courses over the next few years.  In late 2017, the competencies were reviewed again for alignment with the new state content guidelines and the new AASL National Standards.  The current 1902 competencies and coursework reflect these most recent guidelines.

Demonstrating Proficiency

To demonstrate proficiency in the standards at each benchmark, each student will be required to create and maintain a professional portfolio demonstrating progress on the competencies that will be reviewed at the end of all coursework and the practicum / student teaching. Students will be provided with a framework for organizing the portfolio. They will also be provided with a grid for connecting DPI guidelines with program. Before beginning the practicum or student teaching, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all library coursework. 

Tie to Other Standards

The following state and national standards were aligned to the program's competencies.

AASL Standards

To describe the competencies needed by a school library media specialist, the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries  were introduced by AASL in fall 2017.   The standards for libraries and librarians informed the revision of the program competencies. 

Wisconsin DPI Library Media Specialist Program Guidelines

The State of Wisconsin has also published new Library Media Specialist Program Content Guidelines  in late 2016.  These are aligned to the 10 Wisconsin teacher standards. 


  • Standard 1: Learner Development : The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  • Standard 2: Learner Differences; The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  • Standard 3: Learning Environments; The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.


  • Standard 4: Content Knowledge:  The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  • Standard 5: Application of Content: The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.


  • Standard 6: Assessment: The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.
  • Standard 7: Planning for Instruction: The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  • Standard 8: Instructional Strategies: The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.


  • Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Standard 10: Leadership and Collaboration:  The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, and other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.