This guide is for students in the Library and Information Science (LIS) program.

Students pursuing the Library and Information Science degree with School Media specialization should review the most recent version of the LIS Handbook and the Guide to Successful Practicum Experience Completion for School Media Students.

Introduction and Philosophy of the iSchool Internship Program

The Purpose of an Internship

In recognition that education extends beyond the formal classroom, the faculty of the School of Information Studies (iSchool) encourages students to participate in special learning situations outside existing courses. An internship allows students to demonstrate what they have learned in class.   A student intern also has the ability to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities that are not taught in class. For the LIS program, the internship was previously part of the program’s exit requirement and now can be taken as elective credits. IST773 is the LIS program exit requirement as of the 2023-24 academic year.

The Difference between Co-ops and Internships

At the School of Information Studies, co-ops and internships are differentiated primarily by their duration. A co-op, or cooperative work experience, is a paid position which can last between 6 and 12 months, extending beyond a single semester, and is most often associated with the IS studentsWhatever the time duration, however, at least three (3) credits must be taken as LIS internship creditThree credits will require 150 hours for completionLIS internships tend to be non-paid. 

A maximum of six (6) credits may be earned through co-ops or internships by a graduate student in the LIS programInternships are generally completed over the time frame of one semester, or possibly a quarter term; however, there are some experiences that may be shorter, or longer, in durationIf you have questions about the duration of your internship, please feel free to contact Career Services (icareers@syr.edu) with questions. 

Students are encouraged to seek meaningful, relevant internships in which they can apply the theories taught in the classroom to real world applications. While Site Supervisors do share their knowledge and expertise with interns and co-ops, the students give a tremendous amount back to the organization in terms of projects completed, professional services rendered, enthusiasm, creativity, and new approaches to information problems. 

Where the Internship fits into an Information Studies Program

Students usually choose to register for internship opportunities when they have completed approximately one-half to two-thirds of their academic program at the iSchool and have a GPA of 3.0 or greater. This is to ensure that they have the skills to be successful in the work experience they select. However, students are encouraged to plan early, so that their work experience will best parallel their professional goals. It is never too early to contact the Academic Advisor or Faculty Supervisor to develop a goal and discuss possibilities. 

Benefits for Everyone

Clearly, an internship opportunity is a winning situation for everyone involved! While you, the student, gain real work experience, your employer gains the use of your skills for a designated period of time. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what benefits will accrue for the various parties. 

Benefits for the Student

  • Use information skills and apply theoretical knowledge in a practical experience
  • Pursue a special interest in a subject specialty
  • Interact and communicate with professionals
  • Experience an information setting consistent with professional goals
  • Become aware of employment opportunities
  • Test theoretical concerns against reality
  • Understand the role of the sponsoring site within the community
  • Develop a professional self-awareness
  • Develop professional contacts for future advice and job seeking
  • Develop and implement a project that fulfills personal goals and benefits the internship site
  • Demonstrate abilities learned in the classroom

Benefits for the Site

  • Develop and implement special projects
  • Have additional professional-level assistance available
  • Gain fresh insights from students currently studying leading-edge approaches
  • Interact with students and programs at the iSchool

Benefits for the iSchool

  • Provide stimulating, practical learning environments for students
  • Meet the individual needs of students
  • Promote a good working relationship with public and private sector organizations

Frequently Asked Questions

Must I do an internship?

LIS students can take IST973 as an elective. Up to 6 credits may be earned through internships. Students should select their internships based on what they want to learn in a particular setting. 

What will an internship opportunity cost?

You must pay regular Syracuse University credit hour costs for your internship opportunity. If you are earning 6 credit hours, you must pay the bursar’s office for 6 creditsIf you find an internship in another region from where you currently live, you may need to pay housing costs to live in the area or transportation costs to get there. Remote internships are an option. 

How and where do I register for an internship opportunity?

You must register for academic credit in MysliceRegister for IST 973IST 973 has a variable amount of credit hours assigned to it in MysliceBe sure to register for the correct number of credit hours you are seeking for the work experience. Most LIS students tend to register for three (3) internship credit hours for a work experience and can be repeated for a second internship if desiredKeep in mind that you must work at least 50 work hours for one credit hour of internship. 

Questions about registration can be directed to Academic Advising (iadvising@syr.edu) Required forms & documents can be found in LIS Handbook. The Internship Proposal, Learning Agreement & Evaluations are completed via QualtricsQualtrics links are sent to students registered for IST 973 by the faculty supervisorReflections are uploaded to the LMS. 

What if my work assignment won’t end before the end of the semester?

Ideally, all work will be completed within the time frame of the term to avoid an Incomplete (only given under certain circumstances). Once the internship work is completed and all of your assignments have been submitted, a grade will be submitted for you. Plan ahead of time with your Faculty Supervisor. 

What if I want to extend my experiential learning opportunity for another semester?

Keep in mind that you are limited to a total of 6 credits for an internship opportunity. Contact Academic Advising (iadvising@syr.edu) to decide how to register for the additional credits and to ensure that your grade is not withheld. 

Can I use my work as my internship?  If not, how can I work full time while doing an internship?  

No, you cannot count the hours of your regular job as your internship. To fulfill the internship requirements, you can find an internship at a different site other than the library (or any organization) you currently work for and work out a schedule with your site supervisor that will allow you to perform your internship activities outside of your job. Or, in some cases, you may choose your workplace as the site for your internship, but the activities and experience as well as the site supervisor MUST be different from those of your regular job duties and the hours must be outside your regular job time. 

I was hired to work on a short-term project.  Can I use it as my internship?

In general, a short-term, temporary job can be considered to be counted as an internship as long as the activities and experience are relevant to the LIS program goals. There are cases where an employer has a short-term project (several months usually) and needs to hire someone to do the job. It will be up to the student to negotiate with the faculty supervisor, who will evaluate the work involved to make sure it fits into the LIS program goals. Once approved, the student can count the hours for this short-term project as an internship. 

Internship sites are as varied as the students who find them.  When you are searching for a site, consider these organizations that have hosted LIS interns in past semesters:

Library of Congress                                     Syracuse University’s Bird Library

New York State Archives                          Rochester Institute of Technology, Rush Rhees Library

Gilead Sciences, Inc.                                    Prince Georges County Public Library System

Mid-York Library System                          National Archives and Records Administration

Cornell University Libraries                     Syracuse Supreme Court Library

The Adirondack Museum                         LeMoyne College Library

Fayetteville Free Library                            Onondaga County Public Libraries

In the Stacks (virtual)                                   Toledo Museum of Art

Albany Public Library                                   Penn State University Libraries

Cleveland Health Sciences Library       California State University Libraries

Vermont Women’s History Project      SUNY Upstate Medical Center Health Sciences Library

Onondaga Historical Association          Case Western Reserve Library                               

CNY Library Resources Council              The Society of California Pioneers

Ohio State University Libraries                Boston College Libraries

New York Public Library                               Seattle Public Library

KRIA Archives (virtual)                                 United Nations

Middlebury College Library                        OCLC

SUNY Canton, Southworth Library        ALA/Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

Just the Facts:  Finding an Internship Opportunity

In selecting a site, use the following Resources:

  1. Academic Advisor.  Your advisor has probably worked with other students in similar situations and may have suggestions for where you can pursue an internship opportunity. He or she may also help you define your skills to include on your resume.
  2. Faculty Supervisor.  Various LIS Faculty members act as the faculty supervisor for LIS internships and may have suggestions and contacts for you to consider for your particular interests.
  3. Your program’s listserv (istlis@listserv.syr.edu or istollis@listserv.syr.edu). These listservs are utilized by the Career Services & Experiential Learning team to post some currently available jobs, internships and co-ops, including local to international positions. The main system in which students should search for jobs, internships, and co-ops is Handshake, https://syr.joinhandshake.com .
  4. Special Needs.    International Students must consult the Center for International Services (CIS) for information regarding internships and employment. The iSchool’s Career Services & Experiential Learning team works closely with this office to process CPT (curricular practical training) for all international students choosing to work for an off-campus employer. The iSchool provides the CPT recommendation letter for the work experience, but it is up to the student to complete the CPT application process before starting work for an off-campus employer.
  5. Career Counselors.  For assistance with resume preparation, interviewing, and utilization of Handshake, the online recruiting database, you may consult with the iSchool’s Director of Career Services,     Morgan Mastronardi, Career Advisor - mrmills@syr.edu or Assistant Director of iSchool Career Services, Jeffrey Fouts (jlfouts@syr.edu).   You can set up an appointment to meet with these staff members on Handshake.

Independently Finding Your Own Internship

Not all internship opportunities are secured through leads provided by your advisors or iSchool career services. You can also develop an opportunity on your own. Target a particular institution and contact the director for an initial meeting and/or conversation about a potential internship. Keep in mind the criteria that a site must meet:

  • There must be a Site Supervisor who is more knowledgeable than the student
  • Ideally, the Site Supervisor will have an MLS or MLIS degree. If not, the Site Supervisor must have professional work experience in the library field (minimum of 3 years)
  • The Site Supervisor must be willing to guide, supervise, and evaluate the student
  • There must be specific, finite tasks for the student to complete
  • These tasks must be considered educationally useful by the Faculty Supervisor and /or Academic Advisor
  • There must be a project, under the direction of the Site Supervisor, that the student develops and completes 

Tips for Finding an Internship Opportunity

Use All of your Connections

The internship opportunity does not have to come from the iSchool. Feel free to enlist the help of family, friends, professors, administrators, or anyone else you may know who is in a position to help you.  Be creative in the utilization of resources from the library such as national guides for internships to reach outside of the Syracuse community. Multiple online resources provide lists of internships worldwide, and individual company websites list internship opportunities.  Keep in mind that the site and your role there must meet the criteria specified by the iSchool in order for you to earn credit. Your internship proposal must be approved by the Faculty Supervisor.

Have an Effective Resume

Remember, your resume may be your initial contact with an employer. Make sure it reflects exactly what you want conveyed to an employerStudents who may be unfamiliar with the resume and its purpose should set up an appointment to meet with Morgan Mastronardi or Jeffrey Fouts, the career counselors here in the iSchoolAppointments can be made by going into Handshake and clicking on the “Request an Appointment” link from your homepage. Telephone or Zoom appointments can be arranged if you are not in the Syracuse area. 

Be Persistent

Create a cover letter and attach your resume. Follow up with a phone call.

Who’s Who in the Internship Process

Here are the important players in your internship search and successful experience.

Internship Student

This is you. The weight of this experience is on you, but the benefits are yours to reap. Here are some things you MUST do:

  • Be proactive in your search for an internship opportunity
  • Ask questions and be persistent in securing an internship
  • Turn in the necessary assignments
  • Keep in touch with your Faculty Supervisor
  • Coordinate the mid-point evaluation of the internship with your site supervisor and faculty supervisor (see instructions listed in the online course for IST 973). 

Your Academic Advisor

This faculty member is assigned to you when you begin taking classes in the iSchool. This person is available for advising you throughout your program in the iSchool and can assist with the internship process. As your advisor, this person may be familiar with your future plans and with the classes you have taken, and may be able to offer these services to you:

  • Identifying skills to put on your resume
  • Suggesting potential sites for internships and/or employment

Your Faculty Supervisor

The faculty supervisor for LIS internships varies by semester.  Your faculty supervisor can help with:

  • Defining tasks for your Proposal and Learning Agreement Forms
  • Assist in choosing a site, or measuring the potential for success at various sites
  • Approving the Proposal and Learning Agreement and reviewing the evaluation forms
  • Grading the experience

Site Supervisor

This is the person with whom you will work at the site. He or she is not determined until you have selected a site and been offered a position; this might not be the same person who initially accepted you. In order to qualify for this position, this person must have skills superior to yours, and must be willing to guide you and evaluate your work.  The site supervisor’s main responsibilities are to:

  • Advise you in your work
  • Orient you to the site
  • Provide you with the necessary space and supplies to work
  • Assist with completion of the Learning Agreement, if necessary
  • Participate in a midpoint evaluation with the faculty supervisor
  • Evaluate your performance at the completion of your internship work
  • Communicate with the faculty supervisor in reference to your work

iSchool Career Services Program Manager

Career Services (icareers@syr.edu can help you with the internship process. She can also assist with internship registration issues and general help for internship searches. 

International students must see an advisor in this office to ensure that they can work in the United States. There is additional mandatory paperwork required by the Center for International Services that you must complete before starting an internship. The Center is located on Walnut Place (across Waverly Ave. from Bird Library) and the telephone number is 315-443-2457. 

Just the Facts...When You've Accepted a Position

Step 1Register for the class through the University’s MySlice system. Students should register for internship experiences during the regular registration period for a semester (main campus students) or a quarter term (online students). LIS students must register for IST 973 for internship creditPlease note that IST 973 has a variable amount of credit hours for the registrationAn amount of credit hours must be entered (1-6 credit hours). If no amount is entered, MySlice will default to one credit hour, so be sure to input the number of credit hours you are seeking for the internship. Remember that at least 3 credit hours are required of every LIS student. You may register before you have found a site if you anticipate that you will find one during a particular semester. 

 Step 2Review the course syllabus in the Blackboard or Canva for IST 973 to see the required assignments and when they are due during the internship timeline  

 Step 3The Internship Proposal must be completed via Qualtrics. Initial Reflection is to be uploaded to the LMS. Qualtrics links are sent to students registered for IST 973 by the faculty supervisorReflection papers will be submitted to the LMS for IST 973. 

Once you’ve started working

Step 4Complete the Learning Agreement.  This form must be completed through the Qualtrics link for IST 973 once you have worked 30 hours at the site. By this point, you will have a much better idea of exactly what you are doing on the job, and can detail your assignment more accurately. If there are changes between what you are expected to do and what you find you are actually doing, report them here. You may limit your response to the form, or attach additional pages if necessary. This form is an important part of your grade, so it should be taken seriously and filled out with care. 

Step 5Midway point It is up to you to arrange a mid-point evaluation with your faculty supervisor and site supervisor.  You should email the faculty supervisor with a request to contact the site supervisor once you are approaching the midpoint of the work experience. Do not wait until the internship is almost over. The faculty supervisor will then reach out to the supervisor. 

Step 6Finish the work assignment.  At this point, you must complete the Student Evaluation Form. This form will not affect your grade, but will give you the opportunity to rate the value of the experience in relation to your overall program at the iSchool and to your career goals. This form must be submitted to the Qualtrics link for IST 973You must also submit the Final Reflection  paperThis is to be uploaded to the LMS for IST 973. 

Step 7 Ensure that your Site Supervisor has completed the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form. Your supervisor will receive a link to the form when you're finishing your internship experiences. The site supervisor should complete the form prior to your last day of internship so the evaluation can be shared with you. This evaluation is designed to provide you valuable feedback on your performance. In addition to the form provided by the School of Information Studies, the site supervisor may choose to evaluate your performance using an in-house evaluation formThis is also an excellent time to request that your Site Supervisor provide you with a reference letter for your future use. 

 Step 8Complete any additional assignments for Faculty Supervisor, if required.

Making the Grade

The person responsible for assigning your grade is your Faculty Supervisor. They may require other assignments in addition to the forms required by the School of Information Studies. Your Learning Agreement is an important document in consideration of your grade. If the mandatory forms and/or assignments are not turned in, you will not receive a grade. If you have a problem that may prevent you from turning the appropriate forms and assignments in on time, contact your faculty supervisor as soon as possible.

Getting Credit

 Basically, the hours spent at the work site are those included toward your earning credit. However, in some cases, the employer may allow you to work remotely for a portion of the internship.   This does not include hours spent traveling to and from the internship site.

A rule of thumb: 1 Credit = 50 work hours.          

                                 For three (3) credits, you must work 150 hours.

                                For six (6) credits, you must work 300 hours.        

 Be sure to register for the correct number of credits.  


Tuition for Internship Credit Hours

 Credits earned through internship work experiences are just like those earned in class.  You will need to pay the regular University credit hour charge for each credit.  Financial aid (if applicable) will apply to these credits as to any others.

LIS Internship Checklist

  1. Finding an Internship Opportunity
    • Meet with your Academic Advisor
    • Use Handshake, the online recruiting tool used by Syracuse University, to assist in finding internships and employment
    • Read the internship process outlined in this internship guide book
    • Propose a project you would like to work at as part of the internship. Project: A definable undertaking (project) with a beginning and an end. This may be part of normal job duties but forming a distinct entity that the student develops and finishes. This is a necessary part of the internship experience. This proposed project would be discussed by the student with a potential site supervisor during the early stages of an internship search. It should also be a part of your Learning Agreement.
  2. After you have accepted an offer
    • Contact your Faculty Supervisor
    • Register for IST 973 for the correct section
    • Meet with your Site Supervisor
    • Fill out the LIS Proposal Form, submit it to the Qualtrics link for IST 973
  3. During the internship
    • Fill out the Learning Agreement, submit it to the Qualtrics link for IST 973
    • Work the necessary number of hours
    • Contact your faculty supervisor when you are approaching the midpoint of the internship to arrange for a Midpoint evaluation
    • Complete any remaining assignments for your Faculty Supervisor
  4. Upon completion of the work assignment
    • Fill out the Student Evaluation Form and submit it to the Qualtrics link for IST 973
    • Remind your Site Supervisor to complete the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form
    • Complete any remaining assignment(s) for your Faculty Supervisor

Sample Internship Projects

Academic Library Internship Projects

LibGuides Migration: Serve as the project manager for the migration of LibGuides content from version 1 to version 2. This involves investigating all the steps involve in prepping for the migration, identifying and proposing resources that should be altered or removed, creating the assets lists, and potentially training staff on best practices for using version 2. This may also involve recommending a color palette and fonts and developing a style guide.

Circulation Desk Assistance: After completing an extensive training series, staff the Circulation Desk when the Circulation Desk Assistant is away for lunch or conducting inventory. Potentially assist with inventory and shelving of books.

Reference Desk Assistance: Staff the Reference Desk and be prepared to answer questions from patrons who visit the library. McCain Library has very few summer courses so most of these questions will be directional and technological in nature. Assist the User Education Librarian in end of year reporting by ensuring all stats are properly categorized. Provide back- up chat reference as needed.

LibGuides Development: Once the LibGuides migration prep is complete. Evaluate the collection of guides and identify 2-3 to create, update, or redesign to improve the collection of guides offered.

Instruction Assistance: Evaluate the three pre-class quizzes assigned to students in the first year foundations course and recommend changes. Tailor the content of the quizzes to one of the first year foundation courses offered in Fall 2015. Also, learn about how the library supports the faculty teaching online courses.

Networking: Visit local libraries and attend local networking events to learn about positions and projects in different types of Georgia libraries.


My internship project for XXXX Library will be completed in conjunction with my other daily duties as a Library Assistant (sending out/discharging InterLibrary Loan and EZ Borrow materials, manning the circulation desk, helping patrons with research assistance and technical questions, answering the phones, updating our book display once a month and helping out with social media posts/maintenance) and involves helping to transfer materials to other XXX State campuses as well as weeding monographs and serials. Our branch of the library is drastically downsizing and moving to a smaller space on the campus, and as such we have an incredible amount of materials to rehome.


Archives and Special Collections Intern

  • Cataloging and digitization of archives using new PastPerfect software
  • Digitalization of photographs from the Roosevelt Wildlife Station photographic archives
  • Cataloging of William M. Harlow Film Series


The University of XXX Image Collection library processes visual works from photographs, slides, and books into their collection. In comparison to the university archive and special collections or the scholarly communications department, the ICL processes materials primarily based on whether the materials serve an educational purpose. The ICL’s collection is hosted on a collection software called LUNA that is only accessible with log in or on the university’s local network (which requires its own log in credentials). This allows the ICL to provide materials legally under the Fair Use Act. Often, the ICL receives materials from community members for processing. If the items are both unique and will be beneficial as learning materials, then they are accepted into the collection. This means that the items are scanned, catalogued according to a modified version of the VRA Core, and then are available for the original owner to pick up if they desire. My project over the summer includes two such personal collections. The first is a collection of travel photography slides found at a local flea market. It consists of original photography of architectural works from all over Europe. The second part of the project would be to digitize a set of slides, as well as information from a travel journal, of a community member’s deceased aunt and her travels throughout the world.


Interns will have the opportunity to assist in all areas of the Moon Library archives and special collections, following are activities and concepts to be covered during this internship include (but are not limited to):

  • Assist with adding records, data, descriptions and images to archival/special software such as PastPerfect Software.
  • Help with answering reference questions related to the archives and special collections which may include hands on work with the collections and scanning.
  • Assist with processing donations and digitization.
  • Assist with displays.
  • Hands on work with collection maintenance and preservation.


I will be co-teaching an information literacy course LIB/CHEM 280. In this role, I will be the primary grader, attend and assist at all classes, and plan and teach 2 sessions on my own. In addition, I will be editing and creating LibGuides for the library website, assisting in an assessment of Biology students’ use of the library, and observing library instruction sessions for various individual courses.

Public Library Internship Projects

As an intern for KCLS’s Burien Library, I will:

  • Plan, promote and participate in children’s story times with the children’s librarian, both in the library and at Library2Go mobile services outreach trips.
  • Conduct research for an iPad tablet pilot project, in which Burien Library will test how librarians can use iPads for outreach, assistance and more; this is something Burien Library has not done before. I will research what other public libraries have done with tablets, contact these libraries to get more information, attend pilot project meetings to discuss next moves, and assist with various project needs as they come.
  • Complete collection and weeding projects, including an audiobook weeding project at Burien Library.
  • Complete a reference orientation to online databases and reference webinars. Use this knowledge while shadowing the information desk and providing input for reference questions and reader’s advisory to patrons of all ages.
  • Assist with various library programs and outreach events.
  • Attend and observe various staff meetings.
  • Attend community meetings and explore community partnerships. Reflect on what they mean in Burien Library’s cluster.


My project is two-fold (with a possible third piece if time allows). I am working to complete a range of back-cataloging (including books, DVDs, audio-book CDs, and Vermont Collection items). The cataloging involves inputting item information into the OPAC shared by over fifty Vermont libraries known as VOKAL (the Vermont Organization of Koha Automated Libraries). For items which already exist in the VOKAL system, I am simply checking the records and adding the item for our local collection. However, most items that I have entered, do not already exist in the VOKAL system and so I am doing a combination of some copy cataloging (using the Z39 sources and WorldCat records when available) as well as some original cataloging for some of the more obscure and/or new resources.


The second part of my internship involves a reorganization and collection analysis/development project. I am looking at the library’s graphic novel collections (in their Easy Reader, Juvenile, Young Adult, and Adult collections). The first step has been to assess the current collection, identify any items which are not currently housed with the graphic novels and determine whether or not they should be moved. Next, in consultation with the library director and assistant library director, we are determining how to house the graphic novel collections (keeping them all in 741.5 or moving them to their own sections with new call numbers and organization by fiction, non-fiction, biography, etc. I will be responsible for updating the records of all items to be moved, creating new spine labels, and executing the physical move of all materials to their new shelving locations. Currently the plan is to break out the Easy Reader, Juvenile, and Young Adult graphic novel collections so all titles in these sections will require new call numbers, spine labels, etc. The plan for the adult collection is to be determined.


Once this initial reorganization has been accomplished, I will be moving into a collection development phase. I will be looking at the graphic novels in all age ranges to identify any major gaps or missing items. I will pay particular attention to the young adult and adult (which is currently very small) sections to see what titles we may want to add to the collection. I will be compiling a list of recommendations for the library director. I will catalog any new items added as a result of this project. At the completion of this collection development process I will design and create a brochure to draw more attention to the graphic novel collections in the library. The brochure will be used to call attention to the collections, introduce the uninitiated, and highlight some of the most popular or most acclaimed graphic novels in the collection.


The possible third project of the internship has to do with weeding the juvenile fiction collection, and the juvenile and young adult non-fiction collections. Time allowing, I will be analyzing these segments of the collection with a goal of removing under-utilized or outdated materials. I will also be looking for any gaps in information, and making recommendations for titles that might fill said gaps.


I will be working on several collections of historic analog audio tapes. One particular collection is a recent donation from the Les Paul estate, which consists of New York City news reports form the 1970s. The work will include:

  • Learning how to maintain open reel audio playback equipment
  • Audio tape splicing, condition assessment, and format identification
  • Learning the analog-to-digital workflows at the WNYC Archives and usingProTools, and the WNYC digital asset management system, dAVid
  • Cataloging historic audio recordings using Library of Congress taxonomies and the PBCore metadata schema
  • Researching photos and content for publishing on various WNYC social media outlets
  • Curating the WNYC archives Tumblr page
  • General cataloging, filing, and re-shelving of the archives materials as needed
  • Helping with reference work as needed


There are three main projects that I’d like to work on for the rest of my time at the Harker Heights Public Library. The first is to make the HHPL’s website more user friendly with updated information. This is how the majority of the public will access the library. It is important that they have accurate information and that it’s presented in a way that appeals to users. I will go through each page of the library’s website and write up areas of improvement or suggestions. The library will then take these suggestions under consideration so that they can forward the necessary changes to IT services. I will provide detailed notes along with prints of each screen so that the corresponding information can help with some visual changes.


My second project will be to help promote the virtual services of the library. This includes providing information in the library. I will work to create a brochure that lists the services of the virtual library and also promote the amazing resources at the library. It is the hope that there will be an increase in use of the virtual library especially all the great electronic resources. In addition, I will work to create a flyer that can be posted around the town so that others outside the library are aware of these resources as well. Another part of this project will be to create a brochure specifically designed for elementary and middle school students. This will list the kid friendly resources available in the virtual library and promote information literacy.


My final project will be with cataloging. I will work to build a list of “incomplete” materials. These will include materials that are not missing individual pieces such a single DVD or CD. It will help to update the records in the collection so that these materials can be weeded or replaced. I also hope to work on updating the “summary” fields for some of the records. This will help to improve the users ability to select books from the catalog. The records are currently bought and imported as copy-cataloging.


I will assist with daily activities at the library as well as a few different projects, including:

  • The library will be expanding soon and I will be helping make that transition.
  • The library will be using a new circulation system soon and I will be helping enter the collection into the new system.
  • The library will be hosting a summer reading program this summer and I will be helping with entries and prizes.


I will be sorting, and processing unprocessed archives of significance to Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse. The first collection I am working on is a set of documents and papers regarding the history of gay rights activism in the city of Syracuse. There are several collections that are available for me to work on throughout my internship experience here.

I will research the collection using the Syracuse newspapers database and other library reference material. Upon completion of the sorting and processing, I will be creating a physical and digital finding aid using the Oxygen XML editor. In the physical sense, I will be re-foldering and re-housing the material in a manner that will make it physically assessable at the library should researchers wish to access it, as it is currently not stored in a manner that is well-documented or organized. I will also be ensuring the material will be properly preserved and kept in a manner that will further guarantee it is available to future generations.

I will also use MARC edit on the EAD Finding Aids to create library catalog records for each collection. I will also be scanning photographs which are linked to the EAD Finding Aids if any, and possibly creating a file of the photos and related metadata on the website New York Heritage.

In addition I will be assisting the staff with any projects that they see would fit my interest and give me a chance to learn something new and gain new experiences.

Historical Society, Special Library, and Non-profit Library Internship Projects

I will be assisting library staff in cataloging and helping as a stacks assistant. Specific tasks: use OCLC and copy cataloging, input data in MARC fields using AACR2 in EOS database, if no records exists, create original catalog record under supervision of librarian, assign LOC call number and add barcode, maintain shelves, shelf reading, re-shelving, shifting, assess miscataloged, mislabeled, and damaged materials, help package and process interlibrary loans, help with other projects as needed.


My internship will comprise of two main components:

  1. The Weeding/Reorganizing of Materials
  2. The Youth Voices Matter Program
    1. Weekly Workshop
    2. Open Mic 2x/month


Since the library hasn’t been used as a library in some time, and instead more as a storage and meeting space, many of the items have collected dust and have become outdated. The project that I will take on will consist of weeding the collection of these outdated materials and reorganizing the space so that the materials left are easily browsable by center users and future patrons.

In addition, I will also be making connections with other organizations, libraries, and persons who may be able to help with the weeding process. I will also use these connections to establish a relationship between the Dunbar Center and these entities so that future connections and collaborations can occur. If time permits, I will help create a Mission and Vision statement with Dr. Jackson for the library space, which we will then present to the Board of Directors.

Lastly, I will create a binder that will outline and describe the work I have done during my internship, along with necessary steps/suggestions for moving forward. This will be passed along after my internship to inform and provide guidance to those who wish to carry on the project further (i.e. to create a catalog of the material or to connect the library to an external system like OCPL or CLRC).

Below are my project goals in condensed form.

Project Goals:

  1. Weed Collection so that it is up-to-date and ready for new materials
  2. Reorganize shelf-space and materials so that visitors may easily browse and find items
  3. Create a library Mission and Vision Statement with Dr. J. and present it to Dunbar Board (if time permits – this may take place after the official internship hours are complete)
  4. Make connections with CLRC, Local Public Librarians, and other useful contacts that may provide insight for further direction with the project (during and after the allotted hours)
  5. Create a “binder” of progress and potential steps forward for incoming interns/volunteers

YVM Program

The Youth Voices Matter Program is a collaborative idea that Dr. J. and myself (along with a few others) established at the beginning of my internship. We both felt very strongly about providing a space for youth to explore their experiences and use creative expression to share their thoughts and spread their voices. The program consists of a weekly workshop series that I have developed a curriculum for, along with a bi-weekly Open Mic dedicated to youth that myself and two others organize and host.

The YVM program also consists of a Street Team that I lead which meets regularly to plan and further establish the YVM Program. So far a mission statement has already been established and the team is looking for ways to share the YVM movement with more youth and the Syracuse community. The Street Team is also in the process of creating guiding documents that will assist with expanding the YVM program to other centers and locations in the future.

Below are my YVM goals in condensed form.

YVM Goals:

  1. Develop Proposal for YVM Workshop and Open Mic Series (completed 1/9/15)
  2. Facilitate Creative Expression and Personal Development Workshops
    1. Fridays, 4-5pm (starting January 30th)
    2. Host Open Mic for Youth
    3. 1st & 3rd Fridays, 6-8pm (starting January 16th)
      1. Plan, Market, and Assess YVM Program after 3-month trial run
      2. Establish Street Team that meets regularly to develop guiding documents and shares/expands YVM movement to Syracuse Community (and beyond)


My responsibilities for this internship include writing condition reports for objects in the collection, including new accessions, loans, and pieces in travelling exhibitions. I will also be responsible for checking in traveling shows that have returned to make sure all pieces are accounted for and in the same condition they were when they were sent out. When a traveling show is scheduled to leave, I will complete the necessary condition report paperwork and pack the show, making sure each piece is properly wrapped and cared for to ensure safe transport.

Other responsibilities include assisting with the relocation of the ethnographic collection. There was a recent addition to the space and the entire ethnographic collection was moved. I will assist with inventorying the collection to make sure all the pieces are accounted for and their locations properly documented. I will also assist in formatting and making labels for all the objects. I will also be helping to install the final set of shows for the year. Those are the Advanced Curatorship and the MFA show. This will also possibly include studio visits with the artists in the MFA show.


The Erie Canal Museum recently acquired a large collection of materials related to the enlargement of the Seneca and Cayuga Canal in the 1910s. The collection comprises of over 500 blueprint plans of land which was seized by eminent domain by the State of New York in the town of Seneca Falls and surrounding areas. My project revolves around this previously unstudied collection by sorting it, accessing it into the Erie Canal Museum database, and researching and preparing the collection for public dissemination. This project is incredibly timely as the 100 year anniversary of the expansion of the canal through Seneca Falls is this coming summer. As part of the celebrations there are a number of public forums on the history of the canal and Seneca Falls, of which this research will contribute towards.


I will be working on the Houdini Collection in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division. The collection includes books, papers, pamphlets, correspondence, and objects owned by or relating to Houdini. Specifically, I will be surveying and organizing the McManus-Young section of the collection, which has not been fully described. In August, I will be presenting my most significant finding along with other fellows in various divisions. I will also assist with other duties in the division as needed and assigned.


The first project is researching, creating and entering descriptive metadata for MP+D dance videos in the Dance Heritage Coalition's Dance Preservation and Digitization Project (DPDP) database. The Dance Heritage Coalition (DHC) is a national alliance of institutions holding significant collections of materials documenting the history of dance. The DPDP database currently contains records describing the more than 27,000 dance videos available at the DHC contributing institutions, holds archival quality digital files of DHC videos contributed by its members and participating dance companies, and provides a secure method of streaming video files to DHC partner institutions without danger of any unauthorized copying or distribution. I will also work on the accessioning newly acquired dance materials, and if time allows, I will process a small collection.


Interns from Syracuse University will work with the project archivist on the digital aspects of the CLIR Hidden Collections grant. 1600 images will be selected from the Canal Society of New York State Collection, and cataloged using CONTENTdm software. Interns will work with both the physical and digital collections to create catalog records, which will be uploaded to the NY Heritage website as part of the Canal Society Collection's digital pilot program.


Digital Processing for an Archival Collection

For my internship, I will be working on the digital processing of a collection involving rapid capture digitization techniques as well as traditional high resolution digitization. I will also assist in the large-scale migration of legacy finding aid data into EAD-compatible formats, creation of new archival description for digitized assets including the manuscript/personal papers collections of associates, friends, and family members of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. I will also be completing a short research assignment on Mary McCleod Bethune based on the documents held at the archive that will be published to the FDR Library’s website.


The goal for my internship will be to create a framework for processing materials at the archives at Fallingwater, a previously neglected part of the collections. My primary project will be to arrange and describe the papers of the Kaufmann Family, the family that owned Fallingwater before it was entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. This will involve arranging, describing, and rehousing materials. This includes removing fasteners, discarding acidic sleeves or containers, and refoldering items. I will create a finding aid for the collection using EAD standards. I will be digitizing items of note to make them more easily available to researchers off site. By the end of the summer, I will create a best practices manual for future interns that will be processing collections, as no such guidelines exist here.


Museum Library

  • Research new Digital Asset Management (DAM) software for library records. (Records currently reside in Collective Access (CA). Each record has its own unique, auto-generated cataloging number. Each physical asset has been labeled with its corresponding CA cataloging number.)
  • Records should migrate from CA to new system, without losing record metadata.
  • Assess current book collection and propose new organizational system
  • Deliverable: Survey of different DAM systems outlining each system’s features, cost implications (cost of system, if applicable, migration, etc.) features, usability, etc.

Exhibitions Department Archive

  • Examine possible subject indexing of Museum assets in various formats. Identify requirements of a taxonomy that will maximize access for a variety of purposes
  • Research best practices for archiving digital files/content
  • Assist with survey of each Exhibition team’s current filing system
  • Assist with developing a high-level inventory of each Exhibition team’s digital records
  • Assist with developing ongoing archiving procedures
  • Deliverable: Written report detailing best practices for digital preservation, file taxonomy, and nesting structure.

9/11 Memorial Registries

  • Research “other” companies registered by users. This will be an ongoing project throughout the semester. 

Possible additional projects

  • Assist with licensing documentation and organization
  • Assist with media content review and documentation


My internship at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility will comprise mainly of a user needs assessment. I will develop goals for the survey with the regional librarians of the Colorado Department of Corrections, research how to write a user needs survey, and draft a survey in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. I'll distribute the survey to all 907 inmates at the facility, and I'll use in-house statistical data and circulation records in conjunction with the survey results to write an assessment of the needs of the population. After finishing the user needs assessment, I will use the survey data to assess the collection at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. In addition, the survey I develop will be made available to other Colorado Department of Corrections libraries for use. 

Medical Library Internship Projects

Based on my office discussions and email exchanges with my site supervisor, my planned project involves two different, but complementary activities at the Health Sciences Library.

First, the planned instructional sessions with the Reference Librarians provide assurance of adequate orientation and instruction. It is planned that these sessions will cover the following:

  • Introduction to LibGuides and best practices
  • Introduction to Evidence-based searching and PubMed
  • Introduction to Public Health Resources
  • Introduction to Nursing Resources
  • Introduction to RefWorks
  • Overview of Historical Collection

Second, my specific project will entail:

  • A literature review on Almetrics
  • Providing a presentation about Almetrics
  • Updating dissertation catalog records to reflect the new call number scheme, and cuttering with the Cutter-Sanborn Three-figure Author Table
  • Shadowing reference librarians to assist with providing reference desk coverage.

Ancillary activities involve attending library meetings and instructional sessions, and participating in webinar opportunities that arise during my time at the library.


Resources Sharing Intern

The internship offers:

  • Hands on experience with day-to-day borrowing and lending operations
  • Exposure to copyright law as it applies to resource sharing
  • Experience using ILLiad, a major interlibrary loan platform
  • Experience providing customer service in an academic health science setting
  • An opportunity to network with resource sharing professionals at other institutions
  • A wide variety of project opportunities in areas such as workflow and statistical analysis,
  • user interface design and ILLiad add-on development 

I am working on developing the collection of the Family Resource Center in the Golisano Children’s Hospital. I have started by researching different methods of organization of children’s library both online and in local libraries in the area. There was a lot of talk and interest in genrefication in libraries and Michelle did seem interested in moving towards a Dewey-hybrid model. While my supervisor Michelle decides which of the methods I had researched she wants to use, I have been working on weeding their collection. Michelle had generated a list of materials that haven’t circulated in the last year before I started. With the help of that sheet, Michelle and I are going through the collection and taking out books that she doesn’t think are needed any longer. I then have been going into their catalog records and their OCLC records to delete the materials that have been removed from the collection so they don’t have a record of them after the books are thrown away. When I complete going through the weeding process, I will help Michelle reorganize the library and then create a LibGuide to help the patrons of the library look for the books they are interested in. They already have a LibGuide for their movies so I will be doing something similar for the book collection. I will be helping with any programming in the library as well if there is time left in my internship after the collection development project is done.


Part 1: Organization & Signage (20 Hours)

Research online, and in person, ways of organizing DVD collections. Visit public libraries in the area to gather ideas. Use research and access theories to support a specific organizational structure to be implemented in the FRC. When way of organization is chosen, divide collection into the categories first via a list, and then divide actual physical collection upon approval of list.

Part 2: FRC Staff LibGuide/Tools (110 Hours)

Use HSL LibGuides to create a tool for movie advisory in the FRC. Research reader’s advisory and movie suggestion tools/websites. Create a plan for updates/longevity.

The LibGuides should be fairly extensive in that it should include frequently asked questions about the collection (“My son likes animal movies, do you have any suggestions?”… therefore make a LibGuide including all animal movies).

Part 3: FRC Desk Brochures (20 hours)

Using the created tool, collect the content to be used in desk brochures. Gather 5 movies for each category.

  1. Title/Series watchalikes (~5-10 title suggestions for each)
    1. For toddlers-preschoolers - i.e. if you like Barbie Mariposa, try these specific movies
    2. For elementary schoolers - i.e. if you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, try these specific movies
    3. For middle schoolers & high schoolers - i.e. if you like The Hunger Games, try these specific movies
    4. For adults – i.e. if you like the Bourne Identity, try these specific movies
  2. Topic/Genre based movie lists (~5 genres/topics with ~5-10 suggestions for each
    1. For toddlers-preschoolers (favorite topics)
      1. If you like movies about animals, try these specific movies
    2. For elementary schoolers (genres)
      1. If you like funny movies…
      2. If you like adventure movies…
    3. For teens and adults (genres)
      1. If you like romantic comedies
      2. If you like classics
      3. If you like musicals


During this internship, I will be creating electronic tutorials for the most popular medical databases available through the library-- EBSCO, OVID, ProQuest, PubMed, and the VA Library Network (VALNET).


I am conducting literature searches for doctors, nurses and other employees in the hospital. Sometimes there are requests for specific articles and other times there are specific questions for which I just search for answers. In addition, I spend time at the reference desk greeting patrons and answering the phone. Finally, I attend meetings with hospital library staff members concerning various projects.

Law Library Internship Projects

As an intern at the Cornell University Law Library, I will be working on two projects, both concerned with the Law Library’s special collections. First, I will be organizing the small Law School Archives. The archive contains rare books and manuscripts, historical materials from trials, personal papers from notable alumni, and internal archival material from the school and the library. Some of the material has already been organized and processed by previous interns or as part of university library collaborations. Most of the internal archival material is completely unprocessed, though there are box lists for some. I will be incorporating new, unprocessed materials into the existing collection, while creating standard procedures for the use of materials and infrastructure to allow the Law Library to incorporate new material into the existing collection. This is to include drafting policies and template forms for acquisitions, circulation, and cataloging, and identifying areas for growth. Any work on finding aids and cataloging will comply with existing archival standards, as well as fitting in to the Cornell University Library system standards. In addition, I will conduct an environmental analysis of the archives space, then organize and arrange the collections within the archives to maximize space and material security while addressing issues of oversize materials. I will also create finding aids for semi- and un-processed collections, curate exhibits from materials, and complete basic preservation work. The second project will focus on the library’s digital collections. I will be developing digital collections in BePress’s Digital Commons Institutional Repository for the Law Library. The majority of my work will be with an oral history collection, and will involve uploading files and records, developing metadata, and ensuring that files meet archival standards. I will complete the majority of this project remotely, in consultation with the digital resources and outreach librarian.


  • LibGuide on Reserve Component – update, specifically Posse Comitatus page
  • JCWS (Joint and Combined Warfighting School) and JAWS (Joint Advanced Warfighting School) orientation briefings and library tours – Shadow, assist and then present/lead
  • Textbook issue – work with library technicians to checkout and distribute JAWS textbooks
  • Reference Desk – shadow, then assist reference librarians in answering students’ reference requests, both in-person and via email
  • Circulation Desk – train on ILS and then provide user support in locating and checking-out library materials
  • Using ILS, create report on usage of JCWS electives textbooks to facilitate updating of JCWS library reserves
  • Complete FDLP item profile spreadsheet by populating with names and SuDoc numbers
  • As needed, provide reference instruction for student workgroups
  • As time allows, I will work on updating and creating more LibGuides.

The broad nature of the various projects will provide experience in the many different roles of a librarian in a research setting. This experience is applicable in all of the various fields of librarianship that interest me- military, government, academic and/or law librarianship.


The proposed internship is currently divided into 2 parts.

Part 1 has four components related to reference service.

Component 1: Introduction to basic reference service

A considerable amount of time will be spent with the reference staff, both talking to them about their jobs and observing them do their jobs. The intern will spend time each day shadowing each of the four (4) reference librarians, giving her/him exposure to different work styles and approaches to reference services. While informally interviewing them during shadowing sessions she will learn about the other aspects of their jobs that may not be strictly related to reference, such as collection development. 

The individual reference librarians will provide insight into the challenges of a career in the public services sector such as relating to different sectors of the community, juggling bibliographic sessions and collection development responsibilities, answering emails and phone calls while handling face-to-face interactions.

Overall, the exposure to four (4) very different work styles will be a great asset and demonstrate to the Intern that within the reference service it is important to find a style that works well for the individual librarian.

Component 2: Reference desk guidelines & policies

During the last three weeks of the internship time will be spent to discuss as many aspects of law library operating procedure, including circulation procedures. A block of time will be set aside to have Wei Quan assist the cataloging librarian with basic cataloging tasks.

Additionally, the intern supervisor has created two (2) skill building scenarios to help Wei Quan think about some of the tougher issues that are faced in a law library setting. Both scenarios involve the issue of the fine line between finding legal materials for a patron and the patrons attempt to receive legal advice from that assistance. Notes of the discussion of the scenarios will be available in the intern’s binder.

Component 3: Understanding legal resources

Another portion of time will be spent learning about the library and its resources. Exercises in primary and secondary sources will be given. Among those sources to be covered:

  • Federal & State Primary law
  • NY State law (Codes & reporters)
  • Reference & Reserves Collections
  • Online research sources – free and propriety

Component 4: Staffing the reference desk

The intern will shadow/staff the reference desk during the last two weeks of the internship. There will be 3 hours assigned per week. This will be in addition to any other hours requested by the staff. 

Part 2: Tracking Intern’s Work Progress & Intern’s Individual Projects

A guide for librarians in the area of LibGuides drafting will be the most appropriate fit for the intern and the library. We would also like him to work with us on the creation of a LibGuides to serve as a replacement for the current Student Services webpage. Outlines will be developed in the third week of the internship and should be available by the end of the internship.


My primary responsibility during the 12 weeks of my internship is to assist at the reference desk. During the first weeks of my internship I was teamed with Brooklyn Law School law librarians as they assisted students, faculty, administrative assistants, and alumni with their information needs. During the middle weeks of my internship, I will provide reference services to students while being teamed with a law librarian. During the last weeks of my internship, I will manage the reference desk on a solo basis for several reference shifts. During the course of my internship, I anticipate providing in-person reference services, email reference, and chat reference.

During the course of my internship, I also will help to develop fact patterns, presentations, and class exercises in connection with various legal research and writing classes offered at Brooklyn Law. I will also teach several sessions of these classes while teamed with a Brooklyn law librarian.

Finally, I will act as a beta tester on several vendor applications that the law library is considering. Most immediately, I will help evaluate the beta version of the EBSCO Discovery Service that allows patrons to search a single unified index of Brooklyn Law Library’s holdings (books, articles, etc.).

Corporate Library Internship Projects 

I am implementing the DAM program that I developed last semester to manage the digital archive collection at Mithun, a large commercial architecture firm in Seattle, WA. This project aims to not only manage and make accessible the firm’s born-digital project data, but integrates existing analog data into a centralized, easily searchable database. I am reworking existing policies to reflect these changes in asset management, and creating new project closeout workflows to support policy changes and reinforce risk management practices. Although I am working independently on much of this project, I have strong support from the IT manager. I have also been recently asked to help manage the firm’s image library, by analyzing and reworking the metadata currently used in OpenAsset in order to make BIM files more accessible and searchable.


There are a few tasks that build up this internship:

  • Assisting the Corporate Historian (Richard West)
    • Richard writes articles and blog posts on historical events that occurred in Southwest history, I am responsible for helping him locate pertinent information, photographs, and artifacts, as well as writing some of the smaller pieces myself
    • Other departments can request information or artifacts, and I help Richard pull that information from the archives to present to whoever requested the information/artifacts
    • Organizing, Scanning and Identifying Historical Media and Artifacts
      • Southwest has boxes and boxes filled with photo negatives, employee magazines, old flight schedules, keys to various cities, etc. and when possible, it is my job to research the photos or items and place them appropriately within the timeline of Southwest’s History.
      • If the item is able to be scanned (such as the photograph negatives), I scan them into Photoshop and edit them appropriately.
      • The Southwest Archives has found a new temporary home during updates at HDQ, and it has been my job to re-shelve everything in the best possible way until everything finds its permanent home in a few months.
      • Later in the summer semester I will be given access to the DAM, where I can upload media and edit currently existing metadata
      • Updating the Southwest.com / Internal Southwest Timeline


I will be using the open-source software frameworks Islandora*, Drupal, and Fedora Commons in combination with a Linux-based OS to install a test bed and write usage policy. This will serve as the groundwork for a future centralized digital content repository for the member institutions of the Bibliomation** consortium. The centralized repository will be maintained and curated by Bibliomation, which will allow for ease of access and use by the membership. The Bibliomation consortium's membership includes public libraries, small college libraries, and the library media centers of K-12 public and parochial schools. Bibliomation provides ILS support and training as well as hardware and software system to its member institutions. All members of the consortium share a common OPAC and ILL interface. This allows for a pooling of content, technological, and financial resources in the service of their patrons.

Bibliomation is in discussions to partner with UCONN as part of their Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) project. CTDA will be a hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), meaning that all of our member libraries' content could be accessed through DPLA and will be findable in Google searches. UCONN's role will be to host the collection, meaning that they will house the physical server, install the software, and provide updates for it. Our role will be to configure the software to our libraries' specifications, develop a system for uploading content into the server, and support our libraries in the use of the software. We may need to depend on UCONN for some of the back-end configuration, but the more we can do in-house, the lower the cost of hosting will be for Bibliomation's member libraries. One of the tasks of my internship is to determine what can feasibly be configured in-house, vs. what Bibliomation will have to depend on UCONN to maintain.

*See islandora.ca

**See biblio.org

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