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College Internships & Library Practicum

Library internships are designed for college students and are appropriate for many disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, arts, and business. Thoughtfully constructed projects are supervised by library staff who mentor and guide students. Time commitment is usually 100-150 hours during a semester (10-15 hours per week). Available internships change each term.

The Library Practicum is designed for MLIS/MIS graduate students preparing for library careers. It offers both breadth and depth of experience through a carefully structured sequence of assignments in different Nashville Public Library divisions and branches, followed by an extended assignment in an area of professional interest. The practicum is normally a 150 hour commitment within a semester (10-15 hours per week).

During the summer, the Library participates in the Opportunity Now initiative of the Mayor’s Office. Opportunity Now provides opportunities and internships for youth ages 14-18. High school students seeking summer internships should check http://www.nashville.gov/Mayors-Office/Opportunity-Now.aspx for more information.

Application Process

Apply online using the form linked at the end of each position description. You may indicate interest in more than one position on the form. Applicants will be contacted to schedule a telephone interview and may be asked to submit additional materials. Applications undergo a thorough review and students will be notified of their status.

The Library offers internships and library practica for spring, summer and fall terms. Position descriptions, requirements, and qualifications are posted for individual positions as they become available, up to one year in advance.

Internship and practica are open until filled. Placement is competitive and not guaranteed. We are not able to accommodate late requests or applications.

Opportunities

Internship Available:
Fall 2020
Project Description:

The Metropolitan Archives in the Nashville Public Library seeks an intern to assist with archival processing of its collections. Duties include inventorying, arranging, describing and creating finding aids for a specific collection(s), to increase access to the public and researchers. Among records to be processed are the collections of the Council of Community Services, an organization involved in the coordination of social services in Davidson County; the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance; the Chamber of Commerce (Nashville Board of Trade); and the records of the Tennessee State Fair.

Qualifications:

Applicants should be college students with an enthusiasm for history, political science or related subjects, and an interest in archival processing and data collections. Applicants should have the ability to work independently, with accuracy and attention to detail. Knowledge of Excel, digital imaging and basic document preservations skills is desirable.

Position Type:

Unpaid, part-time internship; 8-12 hours per week (minimum of 100-150 hours) during weekdays, with additional hours possible if needed for credit; otherwise flexible scheduling.

Internship Available:
Fall 2020
Project Description:

Nashville Public Library is seeking a qualified intern to assist Adult Education Systems staff with new long-term, capacity-building projects, focused on a Collective Impact initiative.  The intern will play a role in developing collaborative and innovative approaches to professional development, teacher training and volunteer management, in support of partner non-profits that rely on part-time staff and volunteers to teach ELL classes.  Projects may include researching and recommending electronic resources; analyzing new approaches for common challenges; or serving as a catalyst for starting conversations about collaborative approaches to recruiting, training and retaining volunteer teachers.

Qualifications:

Applicants should be college students with a background in education, community development, communications or foreign languages, with an enthusiasm and dedication to serving others.  Applicants must have excellent communication skills, and excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well with a diverse team and in a diverse community.  Ideal candidates are reliable self-starters, with problem-solving abilities, who exhibit creativity and resourcefulness.  Bilingual skills, expecially in Spanish or Arabic, are a plus.  Interns must have reliable independent transportation.

Position Type:

Unpaid, part-time internship, 15-30 hours per week (minimum 150-300 hours); weekday availability, with some evenings and weekends possible; otherwise flexible scheduling.

Internship Available:
Fall 2020
Project Description:

Nashville Public Library’s practicum offers both breadth and depth of experience through a carefully structured sequence of assignments in different divisions and branches of the Library system, followed by an extended assignment in an area of professional interest. Within the established guidelines, efforts are made to accommodate academic requirements, previous experience, professional goals, and a variety of work or school schedules, so that the practicum is tailored to the needs of individual students.

Practicum students with different professional backgrounds and levels of experience gain insight into many dimensions of public library service.

Recent practicum students say...

“Everyone was excited to have me there and willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me. I felt like I was part of the team.” -Morgan, Fall 2014

“This opportunity allowed me to reflect on how practical library experiences can be guided by theoretical principles learned during graduate study.” -Raemona, Spring 2015

“I appreciated the balance between observation, hands-on work, and research. NPL’s internship program should be commended for being so well-organized and offering opportunities for breadth and depth.” -Lauren, Summer 2015

Practicum students agree to a schedule of assignments created by Volunteer Services, but division or branch managers are responsible for specific assignments at each location and designate appropriate levels of staff supervision. Students may shadow staff or may be assigned independent responsibilities, including circulation, reference, collections management, programming, patron services, and staff support. 

Qualifications:

Applicants should be currently enrolled students in an MLIS or other similar program of library studies or information sciences. Preference may be given to applicants who have previous experience volunteering and/or working in libraries. Applicants must have reliability, commitment and enthusiasm for learning; they must have the ability to work well with a diverse team in varied locations and with diverse patrons; excellent communication skills; and the ability to work independently. A clearly defined area of professional interest is desirable.

Position Type:

Unpaid, part-time internship; 10-12 hours per week (minimum of 150 hours, with additional hours possible if needed for credit) during weekdays; otherwise flexible scheduling.