ALA Unit/Subunit: PLA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
In 2017, the Public Library Association, with funding from IMLS, supported paid internships for 50 high school students at public libraries across the US through the Inclusive Internship Initiative. The goal of the program was to introduce students to librarianship as a career as they were preparing for their next educational and career steps. Through the Inclusive Internship Initiative, several libraries identified ways they could revamp existing internship and volunteer programs to develop library-related job skills. Teens who participate in these programs develop portable skills that can be applied in many libraries. And libraries increase awareness of the profession, potentially attracting new recruits to the workforce.
Participating libraries will discuss their experiences with the internship, what they learned, and how they have changed their approach to engaging with teens as a result. They will share how the experience went, beyond supporting teen interns to uncovering paths that build towards an inclusive future workforce. Libraries will share strategies such as revamping intern orientation programs to include a broader focus on librarianship, instituting connected learning projects along with their day-to-day work to inspire them and develop a passion for the field, and pointing interns to future job and career pathways. These are simple, free or nearly free adjustments every library with a teen intern program can make.