ALA and Council Committee Intern Program

The ALA and Council Committee Intern Program provides an opportunity for newer library workers to become familiar with ALA structure, in particular its committees; to network with peers and library leaders from around the country; and to participate in a service learning activity. Official Intern Guidelines, which govern the program were established by the ALA Council. For additional information, please reference the ALA and Council Committee Intern Guidelines as amended by the ALA Council, Monday, June 27, 2011. (Learn more about about the Intern Program from a recent Twitter Chat)

Who can be an intern?

  • The Intern Program  is open to any ALA member who has never been appointed to a position on a Committee of the Association or a Committee of Council, nor held an elected office within the American Library Association or any unit of the Association (including its Divisions, Round Tables, etc.).
  • Interns are appointed by the ALA President-Elect. The President –Elect solicits suggestions from throughout the association as part of the overall committee volunteer and appointment process.
  • Historical feeder programs for intern selection have been: Spectrum Scholars, ALA Scholarship recipients, Emerging Leaders, ALA Student Chapter Associations, the Divisions, Roundtables, Chapters and Ethnic Caucuses of the Association.

Why should I apply to be an intern?

The ALA Intern program offers the possibility to connect, to learn, to succeed, to advance, and to lead! 

  • Connect: Engage with library leaders through committee service, organized networking events and participate in an intern cohort group designed to inspire and support you throughout your tenure as an intern and provide an in-depth introduction to ALA leadership.
  • Learn:  Participate in experiential programming designed to introduce members with leadership potential to the complex structures of the Association and prepare them for active roles within their respective Council or Committees. Resources are provided.
  • Succeed: Follow in the footsteps of successful former interns that have graduated to larger roles within the association.
  • Advance: Climb the leadership ladder to positions of responsibility within the Association. 
  • Lead: Strengthen leadership abilities through active committee and council participation and contribute to the overall advancement of the Association.

What does an intern do?

Each committee chair will determine the most appropriate duties for the intern on a specific committee, depending in large part on the nature of the work of a particular committee. Please find below a brief sample of roles and responsibilities held by previous Council and Committee Interns:

  • Interns provide assistance planning and presenting committee programs and events.
  • Interns perform administrative duties to facilitate committee/association processes.
  • Interns assist the ALA staff liaison and/or the committee chair in posting announcements to ALA Connect and maintain general committee correspondence.
  • Interns may author the official committee report, with input from the committee chair.

What is expected of an intern?

  • Interns are expected to participate in all virtual and in-person committee meetings. In most cases, this requires at minimum attendance at both the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences.
  • All interns are expected to actively participate in the work of the committee to which they are appointed.
  • All interns will be expected to serve a two year appointment. 
  • All interns will be required to sign a Letter of Commitment upon entry to the program indicating compliance with the above.

How can I learn more about the program? 

Please contact Kim Copenhaver, Chair of the Training, Organization and Leadership Development Committee with any questions regarding the ALA Council and Committee Intern Program at  In the interim, you may also learn more about the benefits and responsibilities of serving as an intern by viewing this  recorded presentation. Please note that the presentation begins after the first presenter's picture.)

This page was created under the direction of the ALA Training, Orientation  and Leadership Development Committee (TOLD).  For additional assistance, comments or questions please contact the committee's staff liaison, Lorelle Swader, Director of the  Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) at