Highly Effective School Libraries

Graduate Certificate

School librarians lead the way for 21st century skills and literacy development in their school buildings. You can foster a love for learning and a collaborative environment by completing this certificate at CU Denver.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Education & Human Development Campus: Online Classroom: Fully Online Recommended completion time: 1 year Credits required for completion: 9 Application deadline: Rolling decision

The Details

What you'll learn

School libraries are important learning hubs. Professionals are needed to create and maintain the type of library environment that fosters learning, collaboration and success.

The University of Colorado Denver’s Highly Effective School Libraries certificate prepares school librarians who are not endorsed as a certified school librarian with the knowledge and skills necessary to establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students. This certificate aims to increase a demonstrated focus around the school library program using data to impact student achievement. Additionally, it will update current librarians’ skills based on the Colorado State Library’s competencies for highly effective school library programs.

You will be prepared to:

  • Plan an effective library program.
  • Design and implement lessons that integrate 21st century skills and state standards while collaborating with classroom teachers.
  • Promote collaboration and problem-solving with colleagues as well as students.
  • Manage a diverse collection of materials in the library to promote both literacy and a love for learning.

Become a professional who helps schools thrive by creating a learning space that is inclusive, high-tech and effective for students and staff members. 


Faculty at CU Denver match your passion for professional success in libraries. Engaged in school library work at the local, state, national and international levels, these professionals bring with them a wide breadth of experience. Additionally, our faculty network and collaborate with local district leaders to ensure you are prepared for the current challenges that school libraries and districts face.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your library career. We have a name that is recognized for preparing leaders of excellence who value diversity and inclusion. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


SCHL 5030: Information Literacy

Teaching, assessment, and integration of information literacy skills. Reference collection development, policies and procedures, and use of and reference tools, including electronic resources. Emphasis is placed on standards-based collaborative planning and instruction with classroom teachers. 3 credits

SCHL 5160: Managing School Libraries

Case studies in the organization and administration of school library and instructional leadership of programs and projects. Topics include project management, personnel administration, budget development, management strategies, copyright and intellectual freedom. 3 credits

Choose one course:

INTE 5300: Media Literacy

In this course students learn to create, use, extend, and evaluate media products to support decision-making and real world problem-solving. Students also become more aware of the significant role of mass media, popular culture, and digital media in our lives. 3 credits


SCHL 5200: Promoting Literature in Schools

Approaches the school library as a resource to promote literacy and development in children and young adults. Topics include genres of literature, methods for advising students toward appropriate reading and media resources, and the promotion of multiple literacies - information, new media and transliteracy. 3 credits

Admissions Requirements

Registration for CPE courses can be completed online using the following steps.

For new CU Denver students or those that have not taken a course within the past three semesters:

  1. Please apply for your student ID here: CPE Application.
  2. Create your password and obtain your username at: My Account.
  3. Register for courses in UCD Access using your specific CPE course information. 

CU Denver students who have taken a course within the past three semesters should be able to enroll through UCD Access (step 3 above).

Please contact the Office of Continuing and Professional Education to learn more about the program or for assistance with your application at 303-315-5000 or cpe@ucdenver.edu.