Public Library Association to offer diversity-focused youth internship program in 2018

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/14/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

Applications due March 25

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) is now accepting applications from public libraries interested in participating in PLA's Inclusive Internship Initiative (III) for the summer of 2018. Last year, PLA piloted III, an internship program designed to introduce young people from diverse backgrounds to careers in librarianship. The project was a tremendous success, and PLA is proud to offer III once again with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (grant RE-00-17-0129-17).

Through III, PLA will sponsor paid, mentored summer internships at public libraries for 50 high school juniors and seniors. With individual guidance from a mentor, each intern will engage with multiple facets of library life, from administration to programming to user services, while also completing a connected-learning project on behalf of their host library.

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

  • Assign a staff person to serve as a mentor
  • Develop a connected learning project in conjunction with the intern
  • Offer approximately five hours per week of one-on-one mentoring and coaching
  • Attend a June kick-off event in Washington, D.C. and a September 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

"Participating in the 2017 cohort was an eye-opening experience for both the libraries and the interns. The libraries discovered how much passion, talent and enthusiasm the teens can have for their work, and the interns discovered the powerful contributions that libraries make in our communities," remarked PLA President Pam Sandlian Smith, director of Anythink Libraries (Adams County, Colo.).

All public libraries, regardless of PLA membership, are eligible. Small, rural, and tribal libraries are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Central Time on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

PLA will host an “office hours” webinar on Monday, Feb. 26, to give interested libraries a chance to learn more and ask questions. Information about III, including an application for libraries interested in participating, can be found at

# # #

About PLA
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or