Due to budget constraints, we will have to cancel the Student-to-Staff program for 2021. We value our student members and enjoy working with them each year. We believe the opportunity that is afforded to students through the Student-to-Staff program is beneficial to the students, ALA, and the profession. We are disappointed that we will not be able to engage students in this program for 2021.
For questions, contact the program manager, Beatrice Calvin.
What Is It? | How Does a Student Qualify for the Program? | What Do Participating Students Receive? | How Are Students Selected by School? | How Are Students Nominated? | Official Announcements | Deadlines | Answers to Other Frequently Asked Questions | Help CRO Help You | For Information about the Student-to-Staff Program |
Each year every ALA student chapter is encouraged to nominate one and only one student to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program (S2S), established in 1973, and coordinated by the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) with support from Conference Services.
The Student-to-Staff Program (S2S) provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 40 students engaged in ALA Student Chapters both the opportunity to work behind-the-scenes with ALA staff at each ALA Annual Conference and to attend meetings, programs, and other Annual Conference events in their spare time.
Calls for nomination are sent to the Student Chapter business e-list. Faculty advisors are asked not to send nominations before receiving the call for nomination or through regular e-mail. Instead, faculty advisors will be asked to complete a nomination survey. The link to that survey will be included in the November invitation.
What Are Students Accepted into the Program Expected To Do?
Students are expected to work 12 - 16 hours for three to four days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) for a division or office or unit of the American Library Association. Therefore, in general, students are expected to arrive on Thursday and depart on Monday. A few students may be asked to arrive on Wednesday or depart on Tuesday.
- Each student must be a current ALA member and a student chapter member, and cannot have previously participated in the program;
- In addition, all students selected must be ALA members and current students during the ALA Annual Conference (Note: A student can be nominated who will graduate from his or her school in May immediately prior to the Annual Conference);
- Students are expected to work 12 - 16 hours for three to four days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) for a division or office or unit of the American Library Association. Therefore, in general, students are expected to arrive on Thursday and depart on Monday.
- ALA supports student members through a wide array of programs and services. ALA Spectrum Scholars receiving funds to attend a Spectrum Leadership Institute through their scholarship are not eligible to participate in the Student-to-Staff program for the Conference in conjunction with the Leadership Institute. Required attendance at the Institute and conference events precludes the work requirements of the Student-to-Staff program. Incoming Spectrum Scholars and alumni are encouraged to apply.
- Free Annual Conference registration;
- $50 per diem [4 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) x $50 = $200];
- Free housing for 4 nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - a few will be asked to stay through Monday).
- NOTE: Students are responsible for all their transportation costs (airfares, taxis, etc.). Schools may cover the students' transportation costs.
Each ALA Chapter may establish its own selection process (e.g., by a random drawing, essay contest, interview, etc.), but the chosen student’s name must be submitted to ALA by the group’s faculty advisor, who completes a nomination survey.
Because only 40 students may participate and there are 60 active student chapters, participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Faculty Advisors submit nominations by completing a brief survey that asks for:
- The faculty advisor’s name;
- The name of the school;
- State where the school is located;
- Country where the school is located if other than USA;
- The faculty advisor’s e-mail address;
- Whether the nominated student is or will be an ALA member in good standing through the Annual Conference;
- Whether the nominated student is an ALA Student Chapter member;
- Whether the nominated student has not yet participated in the ALA Student-to-Staff program;
- Affirmation that the nominated student is not an ALA Spectrum Scholar receiving funds to attend a Spectrum Leadership Institute through his or her scholarship. (ALA supports student members through a wide array of programs and services. ALA Spectrum Scholars receiving funds to attend a Spectrum Leadership Institute through their scholarship are not eligible to participate in the Student-to-Staff program for the Conference in conjunction with the Leadership Institute. Required attendance at the Institute and conference events precludes the work requirements of the Student-to-Staff program. Incoming Spectrum Scholars and alumni are encouraged to apply.); and
- The nominee’s name, primary e-mail, secondary e-mail, if known, and ALA membership ID Number, if known.
Information about the program is sent to the schools each year in late October or early November. All official announcements about when the nomination has opened, how to nominate a student by survey (including the link to the survey), and when the nominations have been closed are made through firstname.lastname@example.org, the business e-list for the student chapters (usually those subscribed to this list are the faculty advisors and student chapter presidents).
Please contact Mariel Colbert at email@example.com to be sure you and your student chapter are subscribed appropriately to the business e-list and to update your student chapter's entry on the directory.
Because there is only space for 40 students and there are currently over 40 active student chapters, qualifying participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
My school has a student chapter but also has several affiliated groups in other cities with their own LISSA chapters with separate officers and faculty advisors. May these affiliated groups nominate a student for the Student-to-Staff program, along with the main student chapter, or should the main student chapter nominate only one student from among all these groups?
The main student chapter should nominate only one student from among all its affiliated groups for the Student-to-Staff program. The reason is found in the definition of an officially recognized ALA Student Chapter:
ALA student members at the master's level and beyond are eligible to form official ALA student chapter groups at schools offering ALA-accredited programs of library and information services, or a master's degree with a specialty in school library media from an AASL-CAEP School Librarianship Education Programs.
In other words, there is only one student chapter per school offering ALA-accredited programs of library and information services, or a master's degree with a specialty in school library media from an AASL/CAEP-accredited program, and therefore each ALA student chapter may nominate only one student for the ALA Student-to-Staff program.
Who at each school is notified about the next Student to Staff program, or, how can each school find out when to start the process for selecting a student for the program?
Faculty advisors, directors, and/or student presidents are notified by e-mail and asked to complete a brief survey to nominate their students.
As was mentioned above, information about the ALA Student to Staff program is sent to the schools each year in late October or early November. Because only 40 students may participate, participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Contact information, which is used to contact eligible schools, is obtained from the Student Chapter Directory.
Because information about the student-to-staff program is sent to the schools via e-mail, student chapter leaders must provide the Chapter Relations Office (CRO) with accurate contact information for both faculty advisors and directors. CRO also need faculty advisors and directors to provide accurate contact information about student chapter presidents.
To correct this contact information, contact Mariel Colbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A good way to keep informed about the student to staff program, as well as other information related to student chapters, is to be subscribed to the student chapter e-list. If you're not subscribed to the STUCHAPT e-list, created and maintained by the Chapter Relations Office, and you are eligible to be subscribed, please send a note to email@example.com.
How many hours is each student expected to work?
Students are expected to work 16 hours for four days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday).
What does each student receive in return?
In return, each student receives free registration, $50 per day per diem (4 days x $50 = $200) and housing for 5 nights (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday). The $200 and housing information is sent before conference.
How are students assigned to work?
Students will receive a short questionnaire to help us match them with appropriate ALA unit. Based on their assignment, students may be expected to perform a range of duties (e.g., sales, setting up and staffing events, writing articles for Cognotes).
Who pays for transportation, including airfares, cabs, shuttles, etc?
All transportation costs are the student’s responsibility.
Will there be an announcement of all the participants in the program?
Yes. There will be an article in the student member blog.
I want to nominate a student to the program but I want to be sure my student's special need will be addressed properly. Who should I contact to discuss this need?
Please contact Mariel Colbert, firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-312-280-2429.
Who pays for hotel amenities and other incidentals?
Hotel amenities (e.g., Wi-Fi and entertainment) and other incidentals—just as they are for all ALA staff—are the student's responsibility. Be especially aware of consuming bottles of water and candy in the room placed there by the hotel. Hotels charge an arm and a leg for those!
What if one of the students chosen is unable to participate after all? Is there a waiting list?
There is a waiting list. If one of the 40 qualifying students drops out, the first student chapter that nominated a student after 40 students were chosen will be contacted, and so on, until a 40th student is chosen.
When is this opportunity available?
This program is available only at the ALA Annual Conference.
Are there other volunteer opportunities?
No. And at this time there is not a student-to-staff program opportunity at ALA Midwinter Meetings.
Students are expected to work 16 hours for four days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday of Annual Conference). May students choose alternate hours?
Usually students work the 4 day/4 hours a day schedule, and often for just one ALA division or office. However, depending on the assignment and where students are needed, students may work 8 hours for one unit and 8 hours for another, for example.
Why are students required to fly in on Thursday?
Students must be willing to arrive in conference city on Thursday evening and leave Tuesday morning because they are required to fulfill 16 hours of work, four hours a day, Friday through Monday. Work can begin quite early at conference, so students need to be prepared to begin work bright and early on Monday.
When do students receive their registration and housing information? And their per diem checks?
Registration and housing information are sent before conference to preferred addresses provided by the students. A $200 per diem check is sent a week or so before the conference to each participating S2Ser.
How are qualifying students notified? Do they need to do anything after being accepted?
After students are accepted into the S2S program (nominated by their faculty advisor by survey, their ALA membership status identified, etc.), they are each sent a welcoming letter. In that letter, further program details are explained. Moreover, students are asked to complete a short questionnaire to help match them with appropriate ALA units (e.g., Public Library Association, Office for Library Advocacy, Cognotes). Depending on their assignment, students may be expected to perform a range of duties. For example, a student will be assigned to the ALA Store. Those duties include sales and set up and packing up. Other staff will be assigned to set up and staff events, writing articles for Cognotes, American Libraries, etc. In addition, students are asked to choose their preferred assignments, from first to fifth choice. As you can imagine, many may ask to be assigned to a division (e.g., PLA, AASL, ACRL, YALSA) but only two students are assigned to each of these divisions. However, participating students have been enthusiastic about supporting this program, and understand that the program is not just about the assignment, it's about participating and gaining the experience!
Because information about the student-to-staff program is sent to the schools via the business e-list for student chapters, we need student chapter leaders to provide CRO with accurate contact information for both faculty advisors and directors. We also need faculty advisors and directors to provide accurate contact information for student chapter presidents. Please review current contact information ( Directory of Student Chapters) and provide corrected contact information with a change of address information form provided immediately below.
Change of Address
Please contact Mariel Colbert, Chapter Relations Office, to submit addresses and address updates. If you have comments and questions regarding these pages, please contact Don, as well.
ALA Student Member Blog
For information about the Student-to-Staff program, contact:
Beatrice Calvin, CDF
Manager, Professional Development
American Library Association
Office for Human Resource Development & Recruitment (HRDR)
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1-800-545-2433, Ext. 4280
American Library Association
Office for Human Resource Development & Recruitment (HRDR)
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1-800-545-2433, Ext. 2468