History of the Program

The 1901 License

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction developed new content guidelines for school librarians and new rules for licensure in 2018.  Each campus in the cooperative has developed programs to address these new content guidelines and rules.  

Students will no longer apply for the 1901 license and then take three courses to earn the 1902 license.  Instead, they will complete all coursework and then apply for the 1902. Students who previously completed the 1901 license and need to complete courses to earn the 1902 license should contact the program director (Sarah Beth Nelson, nelsons@uww.edu) for advice on how to proceed. 

In general, the rule changes are:

  • Those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher but not a teaching license will be able to get the 1902 license as an initial teaching license.
  • There will no longer be two stages of licensure (1901 and 1902).  The courses for both will be combined into the 1902 license with slight modifications to the courses required.  The practicum will be the last course in the program. 
  • No master’s degree is required.  The majority of the courses can be done at the undergraduate level.

Prior to fall 2018, becoming a school library media specialist in Wisconsin was a two-stage process, available to those with an existing teaching license.  

1901 license (non-renewable)

The 1901 license qualifies you as a school librarian for five years. You must complete the full, renewable 1902 license during your first five years with the 1901 license.  

1901 License Requirements:

  • Hold or be eligible for a teaching license in an area other than school library media services
  • 21 credits of coursework plus supervised practicum experiences (3 to 6 credits). 
1902 license (renewable) 

This license is done after completing the library practicum and results in a renewable license added to an existing teaching license.

1902 License Requirements:

  • Have held an educator license for at least three years
  • Have completed the 1901 license
  • Must be completed in full within five years of the 1901 license

This license is available through three courses in the UWSSLEC program.


This process is no longer in place. All students now work toward the 1902 license without the intervening step of the 1901 license. However, there may still be some students who earned the 1901 license and need to take courses to complete the 1902. These students should contact the program director (Sarah Beth Nelson, nelsons@uww.edu) for advice on how to proceed. 


UWSSLEC Anniversary Grants

The UWSSLEC Anniversary Grant, in honor of the University of Wisconsin System School Library Education Consortium's twentieth year of successful education of school library media specialists was awarded to 12 alumni of the program. These proposals demonstrated the values of the program:  innovation, inquiry, technology, collaboration, and student learning. Names of the award recipients and the titles of their presentations:

  • Brandon Berrey, Somerset High School, Improving Literacy Through Audiobooks
  • Thomas Collins, Almond-Bancroft School District, Library Media Broadcast Studio
  • Jone Davis, Northland Pines School District, Computer Science Enrichment Course
  • Lindsey Dederich, West Salem Middle School, Mobile Makerspace @ WSMS
  • Shannon Furman, Lake View Elementary School, STEM Makerspace at Lake View Elementary Library
  • Stacy Gloede, North High School, Sheboygan Books on Bikes
  • Polly LaMontagne, Prairie River Middle School, Sphero Heroes @ PRMS
  • Mark Lee, Brooklyn Elementary School, Brooklyn Elementary Maker Space
  • Amanda Meloy, Lindbergh Elementary School, Creative Corner: LMC
  • Gail Murphy, Bose Elementary School, STEM Through Maker Spaces in the Bose Library Learning Commons
  • Tamara Schacht, OH Schultz Elementary School, Mishicot Reads!
  • Michelle Schaub, Sun Prairie High School, SPHS Production Studio