Library Information Specialist (LIS) Certificate Field Experience

The information provided is designed to assist students as they prepare to complete the field experience requirement for the LIS Certificate. Below is general overview of the process and required documentation.


If you have any current or prior experience in a library/media center setting or similar position approved by the field experience coordinator you are required to complete a 3 credit (100 hours) field experience. If you have no current or prior experience in a library or media center then you must complete a 6 credit (200 hours) field experience.


You can begin working on your hours as soon as you have a set of goals approved by the ETRA field experience coordinator and secured an appropriate location and field supervisor as documented by a completed Field Supervisor Agreement form and have completed the Criminal Background Check and TB test requirements. Students often need more than one academic semester to complete their necessary number of hours and that is not a problem at all but we do not have you register for the course until the semester in which you will complete the total number of required hours.


Regardless of the total number of field experience hours required you must complete at least one-third of your total hours in a K12 library setting under the supervision of a certified librarian. The remainder of your total hours can be completed at any other combination of library settings (K12, university, public etc).

For each location, you complete hours at you need to have a field supervisor who is willing to supervise the field experience and write an evaluation report. Field supervisors must be identified before you begin collecting hours at a location and each field supervisor must be documented using a field supervisor agreement form which can be found in the field experience forms and documents section. Learn more about field supervisor qualifications and responsibilities.

Once a fieldwork placement has been secured, you should work with a fieldwork supervisor and will create a list of internship goals/objectives that will be accomplished during fieldwork placement. Both you and a fieldwork supervisor need to mutually agree upon internship goals/objectives. Internship goals/objectives need to be described well, with as much detail as possible and should be aligned with AASL standards. Include a variety of goals/objectives to meet each technology standard. ETRA field experience coordinator must approve internship goals/objectives before a student can start collecting any internship hours.

Goal Requirements/Standards

  • Start with two documents, ISBE certification standards and AASL standards.
    • Identify your areas of weakness using the standards.
    • Make a list of four to eight personal goals that will help you strengthen your weak areas.
    • One goal must include experience working in all areas of general school library operations. Another must include working collaboratively with teachers to plan a unit or lesson and delivering that collaborative unit/lesson.
  • You must share these goals with your NIU supervisor and with your filed site supervisor(s)
  • Goals may be revised as needed. Your experiences must be documented in all four AASL standards.
  • Goals must cover all four areas of the AASL standards
  • Goals must also provide for evaluation of the effect you have on student learning

Part of the field experience is the opportunity to work with diverse learners in diverse settings. Field experience students must document these experiences for the field experience final portfolio.

Diversity Experience Requirements

The Field Experience Portfolio contains specific directions and formats for reporting on diversity experiences

The ETRA department will count as "extensive and substantive" diversity experiences the field experience, ETT 586: Internship in Instructional Technology and the field experience, ETT 569: Practicum in which at least one of the following criteria is met by the candidate:

  • Delivers a lesson to a group of students at least 20 percentof whom are members of ethnic minority groups, are from low socio-economic status households, have limited English proficiency, or have a disability;
  • Delivers a lesson appropriately modified in content or methodology in order to address ethnicity, low socio-economic status, limited English proficiency or disability;
  • Interacts one-on-one in a tutoring relationship or other educational setting with a student who is a member of an ethnic group or socio-economic status different from their own or with a student who has limited English proficiency or a disability.

The diversity experience will be documented in the ETT 586 or ETT 569 student journals, by the supervising teachers and academic supervisor, and in the Internship, Practicum, and Masters' portfolios. (In the very slight chance that none of these are addressed during the Internship, the student will then be required to meet #2 above in ETT 533: [Administration of] school library media centers.)

Diversity Experience Data Collection

Data for the "extensive and substantive" LIS/SLM diversity experience will be collected using the "diversity report" form. This form identifies K-12 students based on race, class, income, and special needs. (This document also identifies faculty diversity.) The field experience student will obtain diversity information for his/her field experience school from the Illinois Report Card and/or from the local district.

Note: In the very slight chance that the student is required to meet “delivery of a lesson appropriately modified in content or methodology in order to address ethnicity, low socio-economic status, limited English proficiency or disability” in ETT 533: (administration of) school library media centers, data will be collected identifying how this was met by the ETT 533 instructor and also reported on in the student's masters' portfolio.)

A required element of an LIS field experience is to complete the Content Collaboration Assignment. This assignment provides the field experience student the opportunity to develop and implement an information literacy lesson.

Information Literacy/Content Curriculum Collaborative Assessment

This assignment includes the lesson activity, itself and a paper detailing and reflecting on that collaborative endeavor.

Information Literacy/Content Curriculum Lesson

In collaboration with a classroom teacher: identify, develop, teach, and evaluate an information literacy lesson that will support selected curriculum content in that teacher's class. Seek to use a variety of media - print, non-print, and electronic - appropriate to the selected information literacy/content curriculum lesson. Oral lesson can be from half-hour to a unit stretching over several days.

Note: Oral portion of lesson is to be observed and evaluated by the site supervisor. You are then to share your comments with the NIU Library Information Specialist field experience supervisor.

Information Literacy/Content Curriculum Collaboration Paper
  • Identify the age/grade level and content area for which you developed the lesson plan; i.e., an eighth-grade literature class, a tenth-grade science class, etc.
  • Name what particular area(s) of information literacy you collaborated on; i.e. internet searching strategies for science careers, blogging about the war in Afghanistan, etc.
  • State at least one of AASL's four "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" (2007) or one of the nine AASL "Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning" found in Information Power (1998) which supports this collaborative effort.
  • List goals and objectives created and used for the collaborative project.
  • Write up an explanation of how the lesson was taught: instructional strategies, media used, etc.
  • Write up an explanation of how the lesson was evaluated.
  • Attach copies or URLs of all lesson materials (PPT slides, web pages, wikis or blogs, handouts, worksheets, etc.).
  • Include resources used for this lesson (references and/or bibliography).
  • Reflect on the collaborative process.
  • Reflect on the instrument used to collect data in order to measure student learning outcomes (e.g. checklist, observation, interviews etc.)

This paper has no proscribed length; however, it is expected that you will sufficiently cover all requirements. Written portion is to be turned in to the NIU Library Information Specialist field experience supervisor.

Note: This assignment can be used in your masters' portfolio as an example of an instructional design artifact. Given that, you may wish to use an ID model (for example the ASSURE model) as part of this assignment.

The following AASL standards are met with this assignment: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, and 4.3.

Documenting Your Field Experience

During fieldwork experience each intern will keep a log documenting all fieldwork activities and hours by date. A spreadsheet or a table is a good way to do it. At the end of the semester in which a student is registered for the field experience course, you must submit a log to Blackboard as part of your field experience portfolio.

Internship Experience Evaluation

Internship evaluation procedures include the following: field supervisor's evaluation, meeting with university field experience coodinator, and field experience portfolio. In addition, if you are pursuing a Library Information Specialist Certificate you must submit the content collaboration assignment. Field experience portfolio should be visible in your Blackboard soon after your enrollment in the internship course.

If this is not the case, contact the ETRA field experience coordinator, Olha Ketsman at 815-753-9687 or Field experience portfolio includes several sections. Follow the instructions included in each section to complete your field experience portfolio.

At least once during your internship the ETRA field experience coordinator will visit with you at one of your field experience locations to evaluate first hand your performance. You must work with the ETRA field experience coordinator to schedule the field site visit.