Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School
June 22, 2017
“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”
“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”
“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”
These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.
Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”