Summer Reading Intern

Sonya Harsha March 13, 2017

One intern will be hired to work part time during the Summer Reading Program. 

Our goal will be to provide our summer intern with a real work experience.  The intern will apply and be interviewed just as any library clerk would be.  They will be expected to maintain regular hours and will be trained in the duties of a library clerk in the youth department. 

As a part of the intern's responsibilities for summer reading, they would be expected to be involved in planning, preparation, and implementation of programming.  Some of those responsibilities may include preparing for craft times, story times, and game programs.  The intern may be asked to take an active role in participating in events as well as supervising smaller groups during events.  The intern may also be given the task of developing ideas for programming; examples might be choosing, preparing, and leading a craft to go with a specific story time theme or creating a stealth bulletin board activity for teens.  As part of programming, the intern will also receive training in production of promotional materials.  All of these tasks will be under the direction and training of the two youth librarians.

Our library also has an active presence at our local Farmer’s Market. The intern may be asked to develop programming that could be included in our Farmer’s Market presence, in collaboration with the library’s youth department.

Evaluation of the summer intern program would include consideration of the intern's contribution to the success of our summer reading program.  We would also evaluate our role in the success of the program.  Did we provide enough training for the intern to be successful?  Did the intern gain new skills and confidence because of their experience in the program?  Did we accomplish what we planned in offering a real work experience for our intern?  The intern would be involved in discussions amongst the staff that serve as an evaluation of the success of both the intern program and the summer reading program as a whole.  The intern's feedback will be used in developing the summer program and other teen programming for future years.

Type: Active
Age: High school
Optimal size: <5
Estimated cost: $100+
Planning time: <30 minutes
Frequency: Daily

Learning outcomes

We want to provide a real world work experience for our intern.  This starts with the application and interview experience.  The skill of applying for and getting the job is invaluable in a competitive economy.

We also want to teach the value of showing up and doing a good job in the position that you are assigned to.  Again, these are real world work skills.In addition to these very basic skills, we will offer training in customer service and youth programming. 

Many jobs require skill with computer programs specific to the job environment.  Our summer intern will get practice in learning and working with programs specific to library sciences.  The intern will also gain training in the use of online resources for creating promotional materials.  There will be many opportunities to use and develop skills with a variety of programs and products.

The experience and skills that an intern will gain in a summer position can prepare them to continue in library science and youth services or to explore other professional fields.


We will advertise through the use of our local media, our website, social media, and word of mouth.  We will contact our local school guidance counselors and local youth organizations to encourage students who could benefit educationally, experientially, and financially to apply.

We plan to go through a normal hiring procedure that includes a written application and an in-person interview.  This will help students to understand that this position is like any other summer job that they might be applying for.

The intern will receive at least a week of supervised training in which they will learn the policies and procedures of the library’s youth department.  Supervision will continue to be provided as the intern becomes more independent in the youth department's services.  This will include hands-on training in the use of our circulation system, card catalog, online resources, and physical library environment.  Training will be provided in Dewey decimal classification and shelving, as well as other day to day operations.  Past interns have expressed the value of learning basic office skills such as answering the phone in a professional manner.

As a summer reading program intern, they will be assigned tasks specific to programming.  As part of the process of developing programs, the intern would be given guidance in choosing age appropriate activities.  The intern will have the opportunity to work with ages from infant through high school.  This will provide the intern with experience in identifying different interests and skill sets based on age, thereby learning to plan accordingly depending on developmental stages. 

The summer reading program intern will be involved in discussions that serve to evaluate specific programs as well as the overall structure of the summer reading program.  This feedback will be used by the youth librarians for future planning.


When we evaluate, we should first evaluate our own performance concerning the hiring and training process.  Did we get the word out in a way that gave us a quality pool of applicants?  If not, what will we do differently next year?  It was suggested in a webinar that we contact the local school librarians to promote this opportunity to young people.  We will definitely do that in the future. 

Did we offer the training necessary for our summer intern to be successful?  Our intern compared what she received from us with her training at Fareway, and she was very pleased with her training.  But, more than that, she expressed that she felt like her training never really ended because there was always someone ready and willing to answer her questions.  This helps me to realize that we are not only training our intern for a summer job, but we are also training our intern on how to be a good manager by the example we offer.

In evaluating our summer intern program, we will consider whether or not we met our goal of providing a real work experience.  Did we have realistic expectations for our intern and did we offer the support necessary for our intern to meet those expectations? 

Evaluation of the intern program will include informal discussion with the intern about their involvement with various summer programs and clerk duties.  The intern will also participate in an exit interview which will evaluate all aspects of the intern program from their perspective.  Input from the discussions and the interview will be used to evaluate and influence planning for future intern programs.

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