Grant application will be released on February 1, 2021

In an effort to build the capacity of a diverse, skilled workforce for the library community, the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) will provide $1,000 grants for up to eight public libraries to support an intern for the summer of 2021. With this grant, the library, the intern, and the intern’s mentor will collaborate and expose the intern to working in a library for several weeks in the summer.   

The library should practice inclusive recruitment techniques to promote and encourage diversity in its intern selection.  Diversity can encompass a wide range of characteristics within any community. For example: economic and income differences; racial and ethnic groups; gender and sexual orientation; primary language spoken at home; disability status and neurodiversity; among other factors. 

In light of continuing health and safety concerns in 2021, libraries are welcome to consider and implement internships with a virtual  component that allows the intern to complete some or all of their work remotely.   

Desired Outcomes

The desired outcome of the grant are three-fold:

  1. To create and expand the future library workforce by exposing young adults to career opportunities within the field.
  2. To develop and expand the workplace skills of young adults through mentorship and experience.
  3. To provide public libraries with opportunities to practice leadership/mentorship and expand their capacity to engage with workforce development in their communities.

Public libraries in Idaho are eligible to apply for this grant (one award per library legal entity).

Successful applicants will be expected to meet the following requirements and expectations:

  • The intern must be between the ages of 16 and 28 years and either in the final two years of high school, early in a post-secondary program (such as college or technical training), or seeking to develop new skills or competencies for the purpose of changing careers.
  • The library must use, to the best of its ability and resources, inclusive recruitment techniques that encourage a diversity of applicants.
  • The library must use grant funds to provide a stipend or hourly wages for each intern. Monies may be used to cover standard payroll expenses associated with the intern, such as Social Security. Funds may not be used on food or capital projects.
  • The library must record and report the total hours worked for each intern and must provide an itemized expense and/or payroll report with the final grant report.
  • The library must provide at least one experienced staff member to serve as the intern’s mentor and must create a plan for a meaningful mentorship experience.
  • The intern and mentor should plan to attend and participate in a series of video conferences hosted by the ICfL throughout the summer. (See “Grant Timeline” and “Additional Information” below for more details.)

In addition to the requirements above, the ICfL strongly recommends that participating libraries incorporate the following elements into their internship program:

  • The work assigned to the intern should be of sufficient quality and relevance to allow the intern to develop new skills and abilities. Where possible, the internship should include completion of a project that allows the intern take ownership of their work.
  • In creating their mentorship plan, the intern and their mentor should review the intern’s goals and needs, create clear expectations for the project, and check in regularly on progress. The library might consider having the intern complete a brief self-evaluation at the beginning, middle, and conclusion of the internship.
  • Libraries that choose to incorporate a virtual/remote component to their internship should take special care to set clear expectations and create a plan for communication and supervision for work that is done remotely.
  • The internship should include opportunities to learn about library science, program development, community outreach, or other topics relevant to library work.

For grantees selected to receive an award, this grant application will also serve as a contract/grant agreement.  By submitting this application, you affirm you have the authority to successfully execute and deliver on all grant requirements.

By applying for this grant, the Library agrees to comply with the federally mandated assurances enumerated in the Civil Rights Certificate, Debarment/Suspension Certificate, Lobbying Certificate, Uniform Grant Guidance 2 CFR Part 200 -Subpart E, and are compliant with the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ LSTA eligibility requirements – IDAPA 30.01.01 – as they relate to the acceptance and use of funds for this federally-assisted project, including but not limited to, the Library Services and Technology Act and governing regulations. (Please see pages 4 and 14 of “ICfL’s CE Grant Guide” for more information on these regulations, found on our website at:

This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LS-246156-OLS-20.

Applications are scored using the points indicated alongside each question in the grant application. The ranking committee may also take into consideration the geographical distribution of grantees across the state.

Successful applications will (1) directly answer the questions being asked, (2) provide specific information in its responses, (3) demonstrate a well-conceived plan of action, and (4) address the desired outcomes for the grant listed above.

Supporting documentation will also be taken into consideration but is not required. Examples include an intern self-evaluation form, a draft intern interview script, or resume of proposed mentor.

Below is a general timeline for the Summer Intern grant which applicants may find helpful

  • January 18, 2021 – General information released to library community for planning and decision-making purposes.
  • February 1, 2021 – Grant Application and Report Questions Released
  • March 1, 2021Applications due to ICfL
  • March 15, 2021 – Applicants notified of award decisions and funding released.
  • Mid April – Orientation meeting with grant recipients (library staff): Tips and tricks for a successful internship & mentorship, review grant logistics and administrative information.
  • April through June– Libraries conduct interviews and hire interns. Provide ICfL with information about their chosen intern (age, grade, experience, etc) so that we can tailor our cohort trainings appropriately.
  • Mid June – 1st cohort meeting for interns – Library Careers.
  • July 15, 2021 Interim report due
  • Mid July – 2nd cohort meeting for interns – TBD job skills topic (will depend on make-up of intern cohort)
  • Early August – 3rd cohort meeting for interns & mentors – Wrap-up and share-out.
  • September 1, 2021Final report and expenditure documentation due.  

Link to online application form:

  1. The online application must be completed in one sitting and cannot be saved for completion at a later time. We suggest reviewing the questions and drafting responses in a separate document prior to completing the online form.  (The full set of application questions can be viewed in the form prior to completing the application).
  2. Application must be signed and submitted with electronic signatures.
  3. Application must be submitted on or before March 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. MT.

If you have questions about the grant application or the application process, please contact either of the following staff members at the Idaho Commission for Libraries:

  • Amelia Valasek, Partnerships and Programs Supervisor, at or at (208) 639-4138.
  • Jamie Mott, Grants/Contracts Officer, at or at (208) 334-2150.

The following addition information may be helpful for applicants in planning for their summer intern experience.  

Video Conference Sessions 

In addition to the workplan or project the intern will complete with the library, participants in the 2021 Summer Intern grant should also plan to participate in a series of one-hour video sessions hosted by the ICfL throughout the summer. The first session is intended for library staff and will focus on preparing for a successful internship. The next two sessions will be intended for the interns and will focus on developing job skills as well as exploring career options in the field of library work. The fourth, and final session will be open to both library staff and interns and will provide an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and projects.  

The ICfL will, to the best of its ability, tailor the content of the second and third sessions based on the general composition of the cohort of interns. For example, if the cohort is primarily high-school aged students the focus may be on fundamental job skills and career exploration. In order to provide the most relevant and useful information, the ICfL will be reaching out to grantees to obtain general information about the age and background of each intern.  

The ICfL will, to the best of its ability, schedule the conference sessions at times that work for the majority of participants. However, sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend. We do ask that grantees make every effort to attend as many sessions as possible.  

Other Resources 

The following list of resources has been curated with the intention of supporting our 2021 Summer Intern libraries as they develop and carry out their internships:  

  • Internship Best Practices for employers (You may also consider exploring the full Chegg Internships website, which has a lot of related information) 
  • Internship Toolkit for employers (download PDF under “Related Content” in the left-hand column) 
  • Tips for Interns (links to YouTube Videos) 

For further reading, the ICfL also maintains a robust set of workforce development resources on such topics as building a resume, researching career paths, and soft skills training.  

Grant awardees will complete an interim report on or before July 15, 2021

The following questions will appear on the interim report and have been provided for your use in preparation:

  1. Name of Public Library  
  2. Preparer’s Name (first and last)  
  3. Tell us a bit about your intern. Who are they? (Age/grade, background, experience, interests, etc) 
  4. What have been the interns initial perceptions of library work as they began their internship?   
  5. What type of job skills has the intern identified that they would like to work on?  
  6. Please describe any updates or changes to the interns project or workplan since submitting the grant application.  
  7. Are you on track to obligate all funds by the end of August? 
  8. Do you anticipate any issues collecting and reporting information about the interns total hours worked for the final report? If yes, please describe.  


Grant awardees will complete an interim report on or before September 1, 2021

The following questions will appear on the final report and have been provided for your use in preparation:

  1. Name of Public Library  
  2. Preparer’s Name (first and last)  
  3. Compared to the intern’s perception of library work at the start of the internship, how has the intern’s perception changed?   
  4. How have the intern’s workplace skills grown or improved as a result of the internship (based on your observations and any self-evaluations from the intern).  
  5. What was the overall outcome of the intern’s project or workplan? What did the intern accomplish?   
  6. In what ways has the library benefitted or grown from this internship experience? For example, has staff developed new leadership skills, deepened partnerships, etc.   
  7. What, if any, setbacks or roadblocks did you encounter and how did you address them? 
  8. What, if any, advice or feedback would you like to provide to either the ICfL or future Summer Intern recipients? (Lesson’s learned, highlights, challenges, suggestions, etc).   
  9. How many total hours did the intern work at your library as part of this program in 2021?  
  10. Itemize how grant monies were invested and provide documentation. 
Amelia Valasek

Amelia Valasek

Program Supervisor
Email / 208.639.4138
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