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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.

Guides and instructions for students in other iSchool programs are available on the iSchool Career Services website: ischool.syr.edu/careers/career-resources/internships/ 

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    A student intern also has the ability to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities that are not taught in class. For  For the LIS program, the internship is part of the program’s exit requirement.

The Difference between Co-ops and Internships

At the iSchoolSchool 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 students in the Information Management ( IM ) programstudents. Whatever   Whatever the time duration, however, at least three (3) credits must be taken as LIS internship credit.  Three credits will require 150 work hours for completion. Generally speaking, most   LIS internships are tend to be non-paid.

An internship can be applicable to all graduate level programs at the iSchool. A  A maximum of six (6) credits may be earned through  internships or through co-ops or internships by a graduate student in the LIS program.  Internships 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 duration.  If you have questions about the duration of your internship, please feel free to contact Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@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.

The Syracuse University iSchool does not discriminate against employers, students, or applicants on the basis of race, gender, handicap, age, veteran status, national origin, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

Internship Rules

The LIS Internship* is meant to be a culminating experience in your LIS education here at Syracuse University. It should be based on your courses, your work experiences, and your anticipated career path. Although usually unpaid, it is considered as your first professional-level position, and you should thus look to it for networking for future employment. Remember: an Internship is a two-way street—the more you can give it, the more it can help you.

  • 3 credits of Internship are required. 3 credits = 150 contact hours. It is possible to begin your Internship early and extend it beyond the term, if you need the time to complete 150 hours. With permission, internships may be divided into smaller segments of 1 and 2 hours, although this is not recommended.
  • Internships may be taken only after completion of 18 credits of LIS work. Thus the earliest time for full-time fall enrollees would be the summer between your first and second year.
  • It is your responsibility to set up an Internship site and a site supervisor. If you need help, talk with your faculty advisor or contact the Faculty Internship Supervisor (Dr. Jian Qin) or the Coordinator of Internships, Kathy Benjamin, who keeps lists of possible places and whom to contact. 
  • The site supervisor must be a professional librarian or other information manager.
  • Register for IST971, Section M802, for all library internships. You will then have access to the forms necessary for the course:
    • Proposal—due at the beginning of the Internship (basic information and plan)
    • Learning Agreement—due after the first 30 hours (detailed plan, supervision specifics, evaluation criteria, outcomes, etc). This is the crucial document.
    • Student Evaluation—due after completion of Internship
    • Site Supervisor Evaluation—due after completion of Internship
  • It is important to understand that IST971 is a regular LIS course and you will be graded for your performance. One requirement is a project that you develop and carry through with. Think of this as something you can present to someone who you hope will hire you. It will make you stand out from the majority of other applicants. This project will be in conjunction with your Internship but may be outside your normal duties. Your Faculty Supervisor will be able to help you in designing your project and in working with your Internship supervisor.

...

Benefits for Those Involved in the Internship Program

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 are required to complete a 3-credit internship; however, in some circumstances an Independent Study course could be approved by the program director instead.

LIS students with at least three years of past professional level library experience at the time of their expected graduation may request to do an independent study project. In the event a student's request is approved, the students must arrange the Independent Study. This would require the student to find a faculty member who would be willing to oversee the proposed work. In some cases, the program director may allow a student to take a course instead.

Up to 6 credits may be earned through internships. School Media students must do two 120-hour internships in different schools (total of 3 credits), preferably at different grade levels. No graduate student may earn more than 6 credits through internship opportunities.

Students in the Certificate of Advanced Study program in Cultural Heritage Preservation must do two (2) internships, each 150 hours in duration for three (3) credit hours each (total of 6 credit hours, 300 work hours).

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 credits.

If 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. 

How and where do I register for an internship opportunity?

You may register through the University MySlice online system for your internship opportunity, just as you would for any other class. Register for IST 973 for both paid and non-paid work experiences. Be careful to enroll in the correct section of IST 973. Separate sections are reserved for the LIS campus students and the 2U students. If you have questions about registration, contact Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu). You will automatically be enrolled in the online portion of the IST 973 course once you register.

In addition, there are assignments to complete during the internship. All assignments will be found in the online portion of the IST 973 course.  These assignments include mandatory internship forms, readings and a few reflective papers and are due at certain points in your internship time line. The Proposal Form  must be uploaded to the online course for  IST 973 at least one week before you begin working, so that the faculty supervisor can approve the internship. You will not get credit for the internship if you do not turn in these assignments! Also, the Proposal cannot be accepted for past work experiences.

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

You will have a missing grade on your next grade report. 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 Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu) to decide how to register for the additional credits and to ensure that your grade is not withheld.

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
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rush Rhees Library
  • New York State Archives
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Mid-York Library System
  • Syracuse Supreme Court Library
  • Cornell University Libraries
  • The Adirondack Museum
  • LeMoyne College Library
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Fayetteville Free Library
  • Onondaga County Public Libraries
  • Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica
  • Newsweek
  • Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc.
  • Cleveland Health Sciences Library
  • SUNY Upstate Medical Center Health Sciences Library
  • ALA/Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
  • Vermont Women’s History Project
  • Onondaga Historical Association
  • Albany Public Library
  • CNY Library Resources Council
  • The Society of California Pioneers
  • Ohio State University Libraries
  • Boston College Libraries
  • California State University Libraries
  • Case Western Reserve Library
  • New York Public Library
  • Seattle Public Library
  • United Nations
  • Middlebury College Library
  • OCLC
  • SUNY Canton, Southworth Library

Finding an Internship Opportunity

In selecting a site, use the following resources:

Handshake

The main system in which students should search for jobs, internships, and co-ops is Handshake, https://syr.joinhandshake.com

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.

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.  Currently Rebecca Shaffer Mannion is the Faculty Supervisor for LIS Internships. 

The Listserv

The email listserv is utilized by the Career Services team to post some currently available jobs, internships and co-ops, including local to international positions.

School Media Students

School Media students may contact Blythe Bennett for additional assistance or suggestions for finding a practicum site.

International Students

International Students must consult the Slutzker Center for International Services (SCIS) for information regarding internships and employment. international.syr.edu

Career Counselor (iSchool) and Career Services Office (Syracuse University)

For assistance with resume preparation, interviewing, and utilization of Handshake, the online employment recruiting database, you may consult with the iSchool's Director of Career Services Christopher Perrello (csperrel@syr.edu) or Assistant Director of 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 employer.

Students who may be unfamiliar with the resume and its purpose should set up an appointment to meet with Christopher Perrello or Jeffrey Fouts, the career counselors here in the iSchool.

Appointments can be made by going into Handshake and clicking on the “Request an Appointment” link from your homepage. Telephone or Skype 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 & Employer Relations Coordinator

Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu) can help you with the internship process. She can also assist with internship registration issues and general help for internship searches. Kathy is the go-to person for CPT and OPT letters for international students.

Slutzker Center for International Services (SCIS)

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 SCIS that you must complete before starting an internship.

The Slutzker Center is located on Walnut Place (across Waverly Ave. from Bird Library) and the telephone number is 315-443-2457

Overview of the Internship Process

When you’ve accepted an Internship Position

Step 1: Register for the class through the University’s MySlice system

Students should register for internship experiences during the regular registration period for a semester (campus students) or a quarter term (2U students). Be sure to select the correct class number for graduate-level LIS internships (IST 973). Please also note that all internship courses offer a variable amount of credit hours for the registration. A value needs to be entered (1 – 6 credit hours). If no value is entered, MySlice will default to one credit hour, so be sure to input the correct number of credit hours you are seeking for the internship. Remember that at least 3 credit hours are required of every LIS student. If you have any problems, contact Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu), Career Services Program Manager. You may register before you have found a site if you anticipate that you will find one during a particular semester.

Step 2: Complete and upload the Proposal Form to the online course for IST 973

This form is to be uploaded to the IST 973 online course and provides the Internship Faculty Supervisor with a brief, overall outline of what you think you will be doing at the site. While it must have some detail, you do not need to know every aspect of your internship at this point. If you need assistance, discuss the form with your Site or Faculty Supervisor. This form MUST be turned in at least one week before you begin work.

Once you’ve started working

Step 3: Complete the Learning Agreement

This form must be completed and submitted to the IST 973 online course 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 4: Check the ionline course for additional assignments (i.e. forms, readings, reflective papers, etc.) during the semester/term

Step 5: Mid-point Evaluation

It is up to you to arrange a mid-point evaluation with your faculty supervisor and site supervisor. 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.

Step 6: Finish 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 IST 973 online course.

Step 7: Ensure that your Site Supervisor has completed the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form 

Your supervisor will receive a copy of this form early in your work experience (usually after you submit your Proposal form with contact information), but it is a good idea for you to make sure that he or she is in possession of the correct form, and that it is returned in a timely manner.

The site supervisor should complete the form prior to your last day of internship, so that the evaluation can be shared with you.

Completed evaluation forms should be sent electronically to Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu) or faxed to her attention (315-443-5673).

This evaluation is designed to provide you valuable feedback on your performance. In addition to the form provided by the iSchool, the site supervisor may choose to evaluate your performance using an in-house evaluation form. This is also an excellent time to request that your Site Supervisor provide you with a reference letter for your future use.

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

Required Forms and Documents and How to Submit Them

All forms and assignments should be uploaded to the online course for IST 973, with the exception of the Site Supervisor Evaluation form, which must be emailed to Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu) by the site supervisor.

You can find a list of all assignments (including the mandatory forms) in the online course for IST 973. Internship forms can be found in the Answers section of the iSchool website.

Proposal Form

Complete the LIS Proposal Form (Qualtrics Form)

This form is required in order to earn credit for your internship (IST 973)

This form must be filled out by you, the student, and submitted to the online course for IST 973. It is due at least one week before beginning a work assignment. This form provides information about the assignment such as where and with whom you will be working, and gives a brief outline of the tasks that have been discussed with the Site Supervisor.

Learning Agreement

Complete the LIS Learning Agreement (Qualtrics Form)

This form is required in order to earn credit for your internship (IST 973)

This form is to be filled out by you and submitted to the online course for IST 973* by you, in cooperation with your Site Supervisor. It is due after completion of 30 hours of work on the site. This form will establish precise learning objectives which will be met throughout the assignment, details the project and the tasks to be completed, and finalizes your responsibility to the employer.

Student Evaluation

Complete the LIS Student Evaluation (Qualtrics Form)

This form is required in order to earn credit for your internship (IST 973)

This evaluation is due upon completion of the work assignment, and provides you with an opportunity to rate the work experience and the internship process. Your comments on this form will not affect your grade, but it must be submitted to the online course for IST 973 before the grade is assigned.

Site Supervisor Evaluation

Complete the Site Supervisor Evaluation (Qualtrics Form)

This form is required in order to earn credit for your internship (IST 973)

The Site Supervisor Evaluation is due upon completion of the work assignment. Your site supervisor should have received a copy of the evaluation early on in your internship. The evaluation provides the Site Supervisor with the opportunity to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your performance, and helps in determination of a grade. Site supervisors should send the form to Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu).

Grading and Credit for IST 973

Your Final Grade

The


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 are required to complete a 3-credit internship; however, in some circumstances an Independent Study course could be approved by the program director instead. LIS students with at least three-years’ of professional level library experience at the time of their expected graduation may request to do an independent study project. In the event a student’s request is approved, the student must arrange the Independent Study. This would require the student to find a faculty member who would be willing to oversee the proposed work. In some cases, the program director may allow a student to take a course instead. 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 credits.  If 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. 

How and where do I register for an internship opportunity?

You must register for academic credit in Myslice.  Register for IST 973.  IST 973 has a variable amount of credit hours assigned to it in Myslice.  Be 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 desired.  Keep in mind that you must work at least 50 work hours for one credit hour of internship.

 Questions about registration can be directed to Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu).  Required forms & documents can be found in LIS Handbook. The Internship Proposal, Learning Agreement & Evaluations are completed via Qualtrics.  Qualtrics links are sent to students registered for IST 973 by the faculty supervisor.  Reflections are uploaded to the LMS.


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

You will have a missing grade on your next grade report. 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 Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@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 have an idea for a research project.  Should I do an internship or independent study?  

Doing an independent study or internship for your project idea will not make any important difference in terms of the outcome, as either way you can conduct your research based on your plan under someone's guidance. The only difference between the two is the administration of the course. If you choose to do it as an internship, you will work with your site supervisor who you may have identified as the person with the knowledge and experience to guide you in conducting this research project.  Please keep in mind when doing an independent study in place for an internship, you must obtain program director’s approval (please refer to the first question in this document) to make sure you have sufficient prior library (or similar institution) experience to be eligible for such a replacement.


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,                           Christopher Perrello (csperrel@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 employer.  Students who may be unfamiliar with the resume and its purpose should set up an appointment to meet with Christopher Perrello or Jeffrey Fouts, the career counselors here in the iSchool.  Appointments can be made by going into Handshake and clicking on the “Request an Appointment” link from your homepage. Telephone or Skype 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

Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu) can help you with the internship process. She can also assist with internship registration issues and general help for internship searches. Kathy is the go-to person for CPT and OPT letters for international students.


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 credit.  Please note that IST 973 has a variable amount of credit hours for the registration.  An 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.  If you have any problems, contact Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu), Career Services Program Manager. 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 Bb for IST 973 to see the required assignments and when they are due during the internship time line.  

 Step 3:  The 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 supervisor.  Reflection 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. 

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 973.  You must also submit the Final Reflection  paper.  This is to be uploaded to the LMS for IST 973.

Step 7Ensure that your Site Supervisor has completed the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form. Your supervisor will receive a copy of this form early in your work experience (usually after you submit your Proposal form with contact information). The site supervisor should complete the form prior to your last day of internship so the evaluation can be shared with you. Completed evaluation forms should be emailed to Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu). 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 form.  This 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. He or

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she may require other assignments in addition to the forms required by the

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School of Information Studies.

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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.

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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 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.

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Be  Be sure to register for the correct number of credits.  If you need to change your registration, please contact Kathy Benjamin (kabenjam@syr.edu or or 315-443-4496).

                           

Tuition for Internship Credit Hours

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 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 Graduate  LIS Proposal Form, submit it to the online course Qualtrics link for IST 973
  3. During the internship
    • Fill out the Learning Agreement, submit it to the onlineU course 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 online course 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

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