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Canton Public Library: Emily Smith

Emily has shared her experience in obtaining a public library internship.

I'm one of the first semester SI Students that just started this January. I attended a tour of the Canton Public library early in the semester (thanks to our ALA chapter). When it came time to think about internships my goal was to get as much experience as possible this summer to see what type of information science careers I like and what I don't like. I figured I'd love to try a public library and see if that's a direction I want to head in. I applied for the AADL PLA position and also contacted the director of the Canton PL to see if they had any positions available for the summer. The director confirmed they did and asked me to come in to meet the Children's library staff (the area where the internship is based). After a discussion about my goals for the summer and what she was looking for in an intern I was offered the position.

I'm so excited to be able to sample what I think I'm interested in doing when I graduate. I’m hoping my experiences this summer will help me determine which classes to take in the next 3 semesters too. I'm only working 20 hours a week so I have time to take on another internship or two (hopefully in a University library setting to round out my experiences).

The lessons I learned from getting this internship is, like David and Tonya keep telling us, to make a list of where you think you might like to work and then network with those companies/libraries to see what they might have available. The CPL didn't post their internship since they prefer to recruit through networking/students they know, so this is also a good example of using your existing connections at SI to get an internship. One other item I noticed is that most library internships are 20 hours a week or less, so don't stress out about finding a full time job. I think it's a great opportunity for us to try several different experiences (maybe a mixture of paid and unpaid too). I also have a second summer coming up so I'm not worried about setting up my internship as a DFE (and I haven't taken 501 yet either).

If you have any questions, please let me know! (emilyhoo@umich.edu) Good luck everyone! -Emily

Posted by choidh at April 6, 2006 02:05 PM


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