Getting Started With Your Internship

If you are planning to do an internship in the coming semester (or any time soon), you should know the basic requirements. Please read on.

  • How many credits must I have completed in order to do my internship
    Students should have completed at least 24 credits before enrolling in the internship class. We tell site supervisors that students are coming to them with the theoretical knowledge, ready for professional-level hands-on work. Because our students intern when they are close to graduating, and are, in fact, ready to take on this professional work, they are occasionally offered positions with the internship site.
  • How many hours are required for the internship?
    The internship is 120 hours over the course of the semester. School library students do a total of 240 hours in two settings over the course of their time in the program. Please see below for school library details. You and the site supervisor will work together to determine how you will fulfill those hours. Students are often concerned about fitting 120 hours into their busy lives, but invariably the sites are grateful to have you and will work with you to accommodate you in any way they can.
  • Can I do my internship where I work?
    Students frequently ask if they can do the internship where they work. The internship is meant to give you new experience doing work that reflects the content of your new degree, under different supervision than you currently have. It’s best for interns to move out into a different setting, network with new people, and try a different work culture. For these reasons, we want you to do your internship somewhere other than your current workplace. Some students worry that it will be impossible to fit the 120 hours in on top of their other obligations, but even though it generally takes some manipulating of schedules and some creative thinking, we’ve never had a student who wasn’t glad that s/he made the effort and worked somewhere new.
  • What are my next steps?
    There are a few pieces of paperwork that you will need to complete at the beginning and end of the internship. They can be found in the LIS 690 and 691 (for school librarians) syllabi. The syllabus for each of these courses is posted on the blog: www.liu.edu/palmerblog. The most important document you need to complete is the Learning Contract. The contract encourages you to think about what you hope to accomplish, what the goals are for the internship, and what your learning goals are. The Learning Contract is signed by the site supervisor so that s/he knows exactly what your aims are and whether or not they are realistic or possible at that site. The Learning Contract should be handed in either before the start of the class or at the first meeting of the class along with the Intern Information Sheet. These two documents will tell us where you’re working and under whose supervision. If your site has not hosted a Palmer intern before, you will need to have them complete a Host Site Application. All forms can be found in the internship handbook.
  • What is the internship class?
    The internship class meets three times during the semester and serves to support your internship and assess your progress throughout the semester. The class works on and critiques resumes, discusses issues that may arise in the workplace, and shares ideas and concerns. Please remember that your internship instructor and the Internship coordinators, Dr. Bea Baaden and Heather Ranieri, are always available if you need help with anything related to the internship.
  • What am I required to do for the course?
    Apart from working the 120 hours, you’ll notice in reading the syllabus that you will need to do a final report. We want to see how the internship met (or didn’t meet!) your learning and personal goals. This final short paper is due at the end of the semester, ideally to be handed in at the last class, along with your evaluation of the internship and the site supervisor’s evaluation of you. Students might do a daily journal, a blog, or a paper to fulfill this requirement.
  • I am a school library student. Do I have the same requirements in LIS 691?
    Please note that school library students have a different set-up in that they have to do 240 hours in two different school settings. They are expected to hand in lesson plans at the end, and need to be observed by someone from the School Library concentration. Please refer to the School Library syllabus, LIS 691, for details.

We hope this helps you as you begin your internship planning. Be sure to look at the internships listed on the blog. Our students have worked at wonderful sites all over Long Island, Westchester, and NYC. To a person they say that the internship was a fantastic and extremely helpful experience. We hope that you find that to be the case too, and we look forward to working with you in the coming semesters. Your next step is to read over the internship handbook!

Some recent internship sites and detailed listings by semester:

Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Museum
Center for Jewish History
Christie’s Auction House
Columbia University
Folger Shakespeare Library
Franklin Furnace
Frick Collection (art reference library)
Grolier Club
Jewish Theological Seminary
Long Island University
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Morgan Library and Museum
Museum of Modern Art
Museum of the City of New York
New York Academy of Medicine
New York Public Library
New York Society Library
New York University
Newark Public Library
New-York Historical Society
Oyster Bay Historical Society
Princeton University
Stony Brook University
Swann Auction Galleries
Transit Museum
University of Missouri at Columbia
Yale University
92nd St. Y