Inclusive Internship Initiative

PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative (III) logo

Guidelines

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.

Participating host libraries must:

  • Assign a staff person to serve as a lead mentor
  • Recruit and hire an intern, in compliance 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
  • Execute an MOU with PLA, which may involve working through appropriate local governing authorities
  • Be able to accept a $3,500 stipend, or work with Friends, Foundation, or other non-profit partner to accept stipend on the library’s behalf

Participating mentors must:

  • With the intern, develop a connected learning project
  • Offer at least five hours a week of one-on-one mentoring and coaching
  • Attend a kick-off event June 19–21, 2020 in Washington, DC and a wrap-up event September 25–27, 2020 in Chicago
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities across the III cohort, within the library, and to community stakeholders
  • Engage virtually between the kick-off and wrap-up events

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 June 19–21, 2020 in Washington, DC and make a presentation about the internship at a wrap-up event September 25–27, 2020 in Chicago
  • Participate in monthly virtual learning and networking opportunities
  • Complete short, biweekly surveys
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities across the III cohort
  • Engage virtually between the kick-off and wrap-up events

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
  • Support virtual engagements
  • Provide access to Project Outcome survey tools
  • 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. Mentors will develop leadership, communication, and coaching skills. Participating libraries will better understand how to engage and support diverse students while also creating career and programmatic pathways to increase diversity.


For more information, please see the FAQ. If your questions isn't addressed in the FAQ, then contact us at plinterns@ala.org.

Also, a free, "office hours"-type webinar was presented on January 7, 2020 at 1:00 PM Central. During the webinar, past III mentors shared their insights and experiences from participating in this program; and PLA staff went over the application process, deadlines, and program requirements. PLA staff and past mentors answered questions about applying to or participating in the program. View the webinar recording.

How To Apply

The application to host an intern over Summer 2020 is now open, and will close on February 3, 2020: