Q: I am currently attending the MLIS online program at Rutgers after a career as an attorney, in the school media specialist track. I have volunteered in my children’s elementary school library for the last 8 years. For the past two years, I, along with two other parents, stepped in to take over the duties of the library aide when that position was cut. However, I would like to get more experience. How does one go about getting an internship or just a volunteer position at a public library? Thanks.
TA: One of the easiest ways to get an internship or volunteer position is to be recommended by someone who can speak to your work style, professionalism and dependability. If there’s someone you’ve been working with at the elementary school (a professional librarian, a teacher, the school’s principal) who can make a call on your behalf to the public library, or write a letter of recommendation, that will open a lot of doors for you. If you don’t have that option available to you, you can always work through your graduate school’s career center. While it may be more difficult because it’s an online program and they may not have personal contacts in the area, it is their job (and their mission) to assist you with on-the-job experiences that supplement your graduate school education. They may also be able to connect you with alumni in your local area who could offer volunteer and internship experiences.