Inclusive Internship Initiative

PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative (III) logo


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 at least five hours a week of one-on-one mentoring and coaching
  • Attend a June kick-off event in Washington, DC, and a September wrap-up event in Chicago
  • Participate in monthly virtual learning and networking opportunities
  • Share their successes, challenges and 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:

  • Design and deliver a connected learning project; examples of past intern projects include:
    • Inter-generational LGBTQ+ community roundtable
    • Outreach to teens held in local temporary detention center
    • Audio engineering and videography workshops to create a music video
    • Library resource booklet for at-risk youth: how to get your GED, clear criminal records, look for jobs
    • Local history digitization project
    • Translation of library policy and rules documents
    • Naturalization Study Group for community members with transitional immigration statuses
    • Digital literacy training for Chinese speaking senior citizens
    • Panel discussion on the impact of violence on communities
  • Work up to 35 hours per week in the library to complete the project
  • Spend dedicated time writing about and reflecting on their internship experience
  • Attend a kick-off event in June in Chicago and make a presentation about their project at a wrap-up event in September in Washington, DC
  • Participate in monthly virtual learning and networking opportunities
  • Complete short, bi-weekly surveys
  • Share their successes, challenges and 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
  • Support monthly 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. 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

Also, an "office hours"-type webinar was presented on Jan 14, 2019, during which PLA staff reviewed the application process and program expectations, and answered questions about III. View the webinar recording.

How To Apply

The deadline to apply for the Summer 2019 cohort has passed. Accepted libraries will be notified by March 22, 2019. This is a competitive application process and we regret we may not be able to accept all applicants.