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Staff Resources

Internships / Practicums

Guidelines for Library Internships

Introduction

The Central University Libraries invite graduate students of library and information studies to apply for internships. Students will participate in a structured field experience designed to enhance their graduate course work. The library and the graduate schools of library and information studies work together to ensure that the students receive appropriate academic credit for their work. The attached sample position descriptions are typical of the internships offered by the Libraries.

Interning in the Central University Libraries

The library will ensure that interns are assigned appropriate tasks and projects. The intern will be integrated into the community of librarians by participating in appropriate meetings and by receiving all materials routed to librarians in a given department. Interns will be given the opportunity to evaluate the experience and make suggestions for improvement.

Interns will work in one, or in exceptional circumstances, two, departments or units of the library. A librarian will serve as mentor or sponsor. Interns are expected to treat the internship as a professional appointment by keeping to an agreed-upon schedule, completing assignments, and cooperatively participating in all activities of the department or unit.

Applying for an Internship

Departments and units in the Central University Libraries may choose to offer internships on a regular basis or sporadically. Students desiring to intern in the Central University Libraries should begin by contacting the administrator who supervises practicums, fieldwork, or internships at their graduate school of library and information studies. The administrator may make inquiries on behalf of the student. After consultation with appropriate academic advisors/administrators, a student may apply for an internship. Applications should consist of a cover letter that includes a description of library functions in which the student is interested in doing an internship and a current resume.

The student’s application will be sent to an appropriate librarian. The prospective intern will be interviewed by the sponsoring librarian. If the student is accepted, the librarian and student will meet to negotiate the terms of the internship: goals and objectives, training program, schedule, and the means of recording work accomplished and evaluating the intern’s accomplishments.

Send inquiries or applications to:

Bill Dworaczyk
Assistant Dean, Human Resources and Facilities
Central University Libraries
Southern Methodist University
PO Box 750135
Dallas, TX 75275-0135
(214) 768-3140
Email: billd@smu.edu

Sample Position Descriptions

Information Services Internship
Fondren Library

Available: Academic year and summer semester.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

TASKS: Work in a busy reference department. Wide variety of tasks. Assist patrons with Primo (SMU's resource discovery interface) and a variety of electronic and reference print resources. Participate in and present continuing education for reference staff. Develop materials to support reference training and continuing education. May participate in reference materials selection. May process reference materials. May participate in user education. Special projects as required.

REQUIREMENTS: Graduate student in library and information studies program. Academic background in the social sciences or humanities. Able to learn quickly and take initiative. Excellent interpersonal skills. Good oral communication skills.

User Education Internship
Central University Libraries

Available: Fall and spring semesters only.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

TASKS: Observe user education sessions. Develop teaching materials to support user education and other teaching librarians. Team teach in user education program. Special projects as required.

REQUIREMENTS: Graduate student in library and information studies program. Academic background in the social sciences or humanities. Able to learn quickly and take initiative. Computer skills. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Excellent interpersonal skills.

Technology Services Internship
Central University Libraries

Available: Academic year and summer semester.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

TASKS: Participate in a team-based technical services department. Assist with processing tasks including periodicals check-in and claims, resource orders and receipts, bibliographic control, and authority control. Analyze system-generated reports in order to claim materials and provide authority control. Project may be devoted to distinctive materials, including music, rare books and special collections, foreign languages, or electronic resources. Special projects as required.

REQUIREMENTS: Graduate student in library and information studies program. Academic background in the social sciences or humanities. Completed course in cataloging or in information organization. Able to learn quickly and take initiative. Computer skills. Detail oriented.

DeGolyer Library Internship
Central University Libraries

Available: Academic year and summer semester.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

TASKS: Process archival materials. Develop finding aids. Assist with planning, developing, and presenting exhibits.

REQUIREMENTS: Graduate student in library and information studies program or graduate student in history program. Academic background in the social sciences or humanities. Able to learn quickly and take initiative. Computer skills. Interest in archives and special collections.

Reference / Special Collections Internship
Hamon Fine Arts Library

Available: Fall and spring semesters only.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

NATURE OF INTERNSHIP: The Hamon Arts Library offers an internship in either reference or special collections. The internship in reference includes helping patrons at the reference desk with library services and arts resources, as well as assigned library projects. A librarian will give the intern training and supervise him or her during the semester. The internship in Bywaters Special Collections includes archival work in this division. A curator at Hamon will give the intern training and supervise him or her during the semester.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicant must be a graduate student enrolled in a library and information studies program with an academic background in the arts. He or she must possess solid interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrate a willingness to learn and take initiative.

Digital Collections / Digital Humanities Practicum
Norwick Center for Digital Solutions

Available: Academic year and summer semester.
Graduation Status: Minimum, 2nd semester student.
Salary: Unpaid. Academic credit for MLS program.
Hours: Negotiable depending on number of credit hours. Maximum 20 hours per week.

TASKS: The Norwick Center for Digital Solutions (nCDS) will provide hands-on experience and training in digital collections development of cultural heritage items. nCDS is working to digitize the extensive special collections holdings of the Central University Libraries and make them freely available over the Internet on the CUL Digital Collections web site. The practicum focuses on digitization, metadata creation, and digital collections management. Students may also elect to focus on other areas such as marketing and outreach, social media, documentation, specialized training in CONTENTdm software, web usage analysis, and/or digital archiving.

REQUIREMENTS: Graduate student. Able to learn quickly and take initiative. Computer skills. Interest in digital humanities and digital collections.