Please note: The interested student’s critical first step is to submit an Internship Request Form to his/her advisor at least one semester prior to an internship. The student and advisor should discuss the type of work environment which might be most appropriate and beneficial. Then the advisor and the SLIS internship coordinator will work together to find the best available internship opportunity. Internships are voluntary and subject to availability. The internship coordinator places students on a first-come, first-served basis.
General internships (LS 570) are either two (2) or three (3) credit-hour courses. Two-hour internships require one hundred hours of unpaid work, and three-hour internships require 150 hours of unpaid work. Although a wide variety of learning situations exist, the advisor and the internship coordinator will make every attempt to place the student based on career objectives and interests. The program seeks to provide hands-on experience in a setting similar to the student’s desired post-graduation environment.
Students who wish to arrange volunteer opportunities in libraries are free to do so, and may wish to discuss those plans with their advisor. However, those experiences are not arranged or organized by SLIS, and do not require application.
The school identifies potential host sites in one of three ways:
- information organizations and professionals volunteer to host an intern by contacting the internship coordinator
- the coordinator identifies potential host sites and solicits their participation
- the student suggests a potential host site
The internship coordinator reviews all potential host sites to verify that they meet hosting criteria.
The internship coordinator negotiates all arrangements; the student may, however, discuss the possibility of an internship with a host and then provide the contact information to the internship coordinator. The potential host site has the right to accept or reject any applicant.
The general intern works under the guidance and observation of a host supervisor. This information professional holds an MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution or a professional degree in another subject discipline such as Archives/Records Management. The host supervisor and the internship coordinator evaluate the student’s performance in these areas:
- completing assigned tasks
- interacting with staff and clientèle
- exhibiting initiative
- understanding the organization’s mission and operation
- integrating librarianship practice and theory
- clarifying career goals
Interns will keep a journal that documents the following:
- hours worked
- description of the work performed
- reflections on their experience
Host supervisors are sent an evaluation form near the end of the internship experience. This evaluation will factor into the grade the student receives for the internship.
The student also submits a two- to three-page report upon completion of the internship. The internship coordinator makes a final assessment based on the host supervisor’s evaluation, the student’s journal and paper, and discussion with the student. The internship coordinator then issues a pass/fail grade.
Internship hours must be completed in the semester in which the student is registered; no carryover hours to next semester are allowed. Generally, students may begin the internship on the first day of classes according to the academic calendar. The only exception is an internship performed during a summer semester; the student can begin a summer semester internship the first day of classes for the interim semester.