This summer Charlotte Mecklenburg Library joined 38 other libraries across the U.S. by serving as a pilot site for a new internship program intended to help attract young people to careers in librarianship. Through its Inclusive Internship Initiative (III), the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), sponsored paid, mentored public library internships for 50 high school juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds in 25 different U.S. states.
The Library selected Jeneva Claiborne as its intern for summer 2017. Jeneva is entering her first year at CPCC with the intention of eventually earning her Master’s in Library and Information Science. Holly Summers-Gil, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Teen Services Coordinator, served as a mentor to Jeneva.
Over the course of the summer, Holly guided Jeneva in the completion of a connected learning project. Jeneva worked on developing materials and resources for teen book club kits around the theme of diversity, and assisted with other projects as needed. She created a book-talk for our Community Read title, assisted with teen programs in the Loft and outreach visits to the community, as well as visited other departments within the Library to learn more about the field of Library Science.
With individual guidance from a mentor, each intern engaged with multiple facets of library life, from administration to programming to user services. PLA funded the program with support from a pre-professional Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant (grant RE-00-17-0129-17) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“When I was interning at the library, I was able to reach people of all ages whether through programs, services, or doing outreach. I truly enjoyed working with the community, and it helped me solidify that this is the career path I want to seek.”
In October, Jeneva and Holly will travel to Chicago to make a presentation on the project and share learnings with their peers.
“Participating in this project allowed us to help further encourage Jeneva to begin taking steps towards a career in librarianship. In addition, we are looking at how we can better engage more young people in this field, as they have so much to contribute.”
Additional information about the Inclusive Internship Initiative can be found at https://apply.ala.org/plinterns.