This week we asked people who hire librarians
Does volunteering or completing an internship at your organization help candidates secure a position of any level (professional, part time, or anything in between) at your organization? Many times library school students assume that experience at a specific institution leads to an “in” when jobs open up there, but have you found this to be true? How might you advise candidates looking to secure employment at the specific organizations or locations where they volunteer or intern?
We actually have not found this to be true. We use internship/volunteer opportunities to give students opportunities to work in a real world situation. They observe closely the “life of the library”, do specialized projects and often help plan and do programs. This experience is structured in a way that will help “resume-boost” for the person at any youth position they try for in the wide library world.
Position openings can be few and far between or in departments for which the volunteer/intern doesn’t have quite the right expertise. If you want to increase your chances, look for ways to show your initiative, leadership and mad skillz. If a hiring manager sees great work, you may get an opportunity. If nothing else you will get an amazing reference for another opening somewhere else – which can be just as worth it.
– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library
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