PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative


With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services RE-00-17-0129-17, the Public Library Association (PLA) will fund library internships this summer for 50 high school juniors and seniors from diverse populations. Libraries should select interns that reasonably reflect the diversity of the community it serves.

In addition to identifying an appropriate intern, participating libraries must:

  • Assign a staff person to serve as a mentor
  • With the intern, develop a connected learning project
  • Offer approximately five hours a week of one-on-one mentoring and coaching
  • Attend a June kick-off event in Washington, D.C. and a fall wrap-up event in Chicago
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities across the III cohort, within the library, and to community stakeholders
  • Comply with applicable nondiscrimination laws, including but not limited to those in the Assurances and Certifications, throughout the grant award and the intern application and selection process

Under the guidance of library mentors, interns must:

  • Contribute to the design and delivery of a connected learning project
  • Work up to 35 hours per week in the library to complete the project
  • Spend dedicated time writing about and reflecting on the experience
  • Attend a kick-off event in June in Washington, D.C. and make a presentation about their project at a wrap-up event in the fall in Chicago
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities across the III cohort

To support these activities, PLA will:

  • Provide stipends to pay the interns
  • Provide travel funds for participants to attend the kick-off and wrap-up events
  • Provide materials to guide successful mentor-intern relationships
  • Collaborate with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the American Library Association's Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services (ODLOS), and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), to ensure that the internship provides a well-rounded view of librarianship

At the end of the summer, interns will increase skills in their identified project areas. They will also more fully understand the scope of library work and be able to identify how their interests and skills match that work. Participating libraries will better understand how to engage and support diverse students while also creating career and programmatic pathways to increase diversity.

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