PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist Exam (5311)

The PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist Exam (5311) is designed for individuals who would like to be the administrator of a school library media program for students in grades, K-12. You will be given two hours to complete this 120 question, multiple-choice exam. There will be approximately 14 questions regarding professional development, leadership, and advocacy, 33 questions regarding learning and teaching, 26 questions regarding information access and delivery, 26 questions regarding collection developments, and 21 questions regarding program administration.

Professional Development, Leadership and Advocacy
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of the Children’s Internet Protection Act, laws regarding equal access and intellectual freedom, accreditation and certification legislation that impacts libraries and education, advocacy, and community involvement. Your knowledge of ethics codes, professional resources and journals, the purpose of professional organizations such as a AECT, AASL, ALA and of continuing professional development programs will also be assessed.

Learning and Teaching
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of copyrights, legal and ethical guidelines concerning the usage of information, library environments, scheduling, equal library access for all individuals, staff and facilities, online resources, distance learning, and interlibrary loan. Knowledge of communication technology, search engines and retrieval processes, literature awards and reviews, various information resources, curriculum development and integration, collaborative planning and instruction, utilization of appropriate teaching strategies for various grade levels, and library orientation techniques for students will also be assessed.

Information Access and Delivery
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of acquiring and organizing resources, circulation, cataloging and classification of materials and, promotion of resources. Your knowledge of publications subscriptions, ordering procedures, and publisher evaluations will be covered in this section of the exam.

Collection Development
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of selecting audiovisual equipment, computer equipment, supplies and services, bibliographic resources, information resources, and policy selection of materials for a library.

Program Administration
This section of the exam will assess your knowledge of facility renovation, new facility planning and, building and service access for the disabled. Your knowledge of budgeting, supervision of students, volunteers, and paid staff, staff scheduling and training will be assessed in this section of the exam. Your knowledge of needs assessment, priority setting, planning, organization, administration, and evaluation of a library will be assessed. Your ability to determine a libraries philosophy and mission statement will also be included in this portion of the exam.

PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist Practice Questions

1. The mission of school librarians includes:

A. helping students learn to read
B. enhancing background knowledge
C. providing material in multiple formats
D. encouraging acceptance of ethnic and gender groups
E. All of the above

2. Which of the following indicates intellectual freedom is not encouraged?

A. Restricting information
B. Studying all sides of an issue
C. Freedom to disseminate ideas
D. Exposure to a variety of opinions
E. Encouraging creative problem solving

3. Censorship suppresses intellectual freedom by restricting what people can:

A. watch
B. read
C. listen to
D. look at
E. All of the above

4. What should not be done when technology is introduced into an educational environment?

A. Create a realistic plan.
B. Address issues before purchases are made.
C. Provide off-site assistance when problems arise.
D. Train teachers and students.
E. Adapt technology to existing teaching and learning styles.

5. Which of the following is included in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights?

A. Resources should be interesting and informative.
B. Material should represent all points of view.
C. All forms of censorship should be challenged.
D. Space should be available on an equitable basis.
E. All of the above

Answer Key For Library Media Specialist

1. Answer: E

In the twenty-first century, librarians are media specialists whose responsibility is to help students learn to read and appreciate the variety and volume of information available in all types of resource material. When students hone their reading and comprehension skills, they grow into critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers. Enhancing their background knowledge means they are better informed about their community and the world beyond their own backyard. They learn to understand diversity and how to function in an environment that demands acceptance of different ethnic, cultural, economic, and gender groups.

There are many ways librarians can help students accomplish these important goals:

Provide access to material in many formats: fiction, nonfiction, reference books, CDs, videos, newspapers, Internet access, etc.
Stimulate interest in reading, watching, listening, and integrating new information and ideas.
Work with teachers to plan, teach, and evaluate various resources so all students have an opportunity to be exposed to engaging learning experiences.
Be a leader in designing and implementing strategies to involve the community in the education of the next generation.

2. Answer: A

The American Library Association defines intellectual freedom as “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive, and disseminate ideas.”

If one of the main responsibilities of education is to teach students to be critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers, they must be exposed to a variety of thoughts, opinions, and interpretations on whatever topic or event they are studying. If they are not allowed to explore all sides of an issue, they will be at an enormous disadvantage, and their conclusions will be based on incomplete and/or biased information.

America is defined by its acceptance of intellectual freedom. There is no restriction on having and expressing thoughts and ideas. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas said, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights of free speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

3. Answer: E

The American Library Association defines censorship as “the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons-individuals, groups or government officials-find objectionable or dangerous.” Censors try to use the power of the state to restrict what other people can watch (films, television, theater), read (books, magazines), listen to (music), and look at (paintings, sculptures). They believe they know what is offensive and objectionable and feel a moral obligation to protect others. Censors are cautious about exposing the public, particularly young children, to questionable material.

Censorship, however, can interfere with intellectual freedom-“the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.” The First Amendment protects that right even if someone disagrees with and opposes the ideas expressed. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas summed it up this way, “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” In modern times, however, cases of censorship have most often arisen around issues such as pornography, which is not shielded by the First Amendment.

4. Answer: C

Technology is a powerful tool for expanding instructional approaches and enriching the learning experience. It is an integral part of today’s world, and schools have a duty to instruct students in the use of technology and to explain the benefits as well as the risks. The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory believes “technology is transforming society, and schools do not have a choice as to whether they will incorporate technology, but rather how well they use it to enhance learning.”

The key to successfully integrating technology in the educational environment is creating a realistic plan based on existing learning and teaching styles and the expectations of the users. Librarians should be involved in developing the plan so issues are addressed before purchases are made. It is important teachers and students are trained in its use and encouraged to adapt the technology to their unique teaching and learning styles. It is critical that on-site assistance is readily available. If operational issues can’t be addressed quickly, teachers and students will stop using the technology and return to familiar methods.

5. Answer: E

The American Library Association “affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas” and believes they should embrace these basic policies:

Resources should be interesting, informative, and enlightening. Material should not be excluded because of the “origin, background, or views” of those who wrote it or collaborated in its creation.
Material should be provided that represents all points of view. Resources should not be removed or avoided because of “partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
Challenge censorship in all its forms.

Cooperate with any entity that works to prevent the obstruction of “free expression and free access to ideas.”
Do not deny access to the library’s resources because of “origin, age, background, or views.”
If space is available for the public’s use, it should be open to all on an “equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.”