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    Information for the University MLS Practicum Student

     - partnering with Denton ISD -


    Congratulations on making the decision to work on a Master of Library Science degree.  Not only do you have an opportunity to engage with students is a variety of ways, but with the inclusion of both technology, art, and makerspaces (STEAM) into libraries, every day is a new adventure!

Steps to Request a Mentor

    • Read and complete all requirements on the Denton Human Resources website for Denton ISD Clinical Teaching, Observation, & Practicum Applicants.
    • Once your criminal background check has been returned, the Library Coordinator will contact you with information on your mentor and when you may begin visiting your site.
    • Please contact your mentor to set a good time to make your first visit.  You can coordinate future visits during the first meeting.
    • The Library Coordinator will make 3 observations during your practicum. She will work with you to find the best dates for these visits.

Best Practices for Interns

    • For employees, all internship hours must be collected outside of regular contract hours. This is not a change in policy or procedure. In the past, interns have taken personal time in order to complete the hours needed for their internships.

    • Because librarians in Texas are certified K-12, it is important that during the internship there is ample opportunity to work at a level that is different from your teaching experience. While the work of a librarian, regardless of level, is focused on the literacy needs of the student and the school, the manner in which that work is accomplished varies widely from elementary to middle to high school. Texas Administrative Code requires you to spend 160 hours in your practicum. The state allows this to be broken down into 70/30 or 60/20/20. In Denton ISD we ask you to spend 70% of your time in the area where you have the least experience. If you choose the 60/20/20 option, we would like 60% in the area where you have the least experience and 20% where you have teaching experience. The 60/20/20 option requires you to spend time in all three levels--elementary, middle, and high school.

    • Setting up internships at neighboring campuses (an elementary school next door to a middle school, for example) is the best way to ensure that the ratio of required hours is properly collected. It also gives you experience with another practicing librarian and gives you a broader perspective. All of this is designed to prepare you to be a better candidate when you are interviewing for positions.

    • Internship Guidelines from the university and/or the state dictate which librarians may serve as mentors. When possible, we select sites close to the intern's home or campus to help reduce travel time. However, it isn't always possible to find a mentor who meets the requirements set forth by the state and is also in close geographic proximity to the intern's home or campus.

    • Ethical guidelines now include specific information for Intern Site Supervisors. We want to ensure that we do not create a situation that would violate these guidelines.

    • We want to support the growth of our practicum students and staff while we meet the requirements set forth by our governing boards.

Practicum Activities for Denton ISD Librarian Interns

  • The librarians of Denton ISD have put together a list of activities candidates will need to know in order to be hired in Denton ISD.  These are things librarians in Denton ISD are routinely asked to do or consider important in the school librarian job description.   

    This checklist includes, but is not limited to, observing the practicum student perform the following tasks:

    • Instruction--a variety of instructional methodologies with skillful use of advanced pedagogy.
    • Ethical Use of Information, which might include digital health, digital citizenship, copyright, fair use, student research methods, and citing sources, etc.
    • Curating resources, both print and digital
    • Checking materials in and out, adding and removing items from the catalog, processing materials, equipment, or other acquisitions.
    • Collection development or library special projects, as needed.
    • Meeting with the librarian and a teacher to observe a collaborative lesson plan
    • Emerging trends which might include video or multimedia production, 3D printing, makerspace activities, etc.  
    • Discussion of appropriate use of social media and motivational displays
    • Discussion of building a culture of reading and literacy
    • Budgeting
    • Surveying stakeholders
  • It is our goal that you are an exemplary library candidate and in the best position to obtain a library job. If you have any questions, please contact Denton ISD Library Services.