Host libraries sought for 2020 PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/07/2020


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

Applications due February 3rd

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) is now accepting applications from public libraries interested in participating in PLA's Inclusive Internship Initiative (III) this year. In alignment with PLA’s strategic goal related to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, III was piloted in 2017 as a pathway program to increase diversity in public librarianship. The initiative has been 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 internships at public libraries for 50 high school juniors and seniors during the summer of 2020. 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 complete the following items:

  • Assign a staff person to serve as a mentor;
  • Develop a connected learning project in conjunction with the intern;
  • Provide the intern at least 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, Ill.;
  • Share their successes, challenges, opportunities across the III cohort, within the library, and to community stakeholders; and
  • 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.

The 2020 application for host libraries can be found here. All public libraries, regardless of PLA membership of applicants, are eligible. Small, rural, and tribal libraries are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Central Time on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.

For more information, please see the program guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ). If your questions isn't addressed in the FAQ, please contact PLA at

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About the Public Library Association
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 10,000 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