In an effort to build the capacity of a diverse, skilled workforce for the library community, the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) piloted a summer internship grant opportunity for Idaho public libraries in 2019 and is opening the grant opportunity again in 2020. With a $1,000 grant, the library, the intern, the intern’s mentor, and a community partner will collaborate and expose the intern to working in a library for several weeks in the summer. The intern will represent the diversity of the population served by the library. 

Desired Outcomes

The main desired outcome of the grant investment is that a diverse set of interns consider work in the library field as a viable career option at the same time as they deepen their workplace skills through the internship. A second desired outcome is that partnerships and collaborations among libraries and local organizations are started or strengthened. Additionally, a potential next level activity, with feedback from and evaluation of the internship experience, is for Idaho libraries to pursue a registered apprenticeship program or some other recognized library skill enhancement opportunity. 

These desired outcomes align with the ICfL’s strategic goals:

  1. Goal 1: Build the institutional capacity of libraries to better serve their communities. The internship improves the library’s workforce as young people explore library careers.
  2. Goal 2: Support the role of libraries in preparing Idahoans to be college and career ready. The internship fosters interns’ knowledge of a possible career in libraries, develops soft skills, and increases knowledge and ability to use library and information resources (e.g., LiLI databases) that will serve them in future endeavors.
  3. Goal 3: Ensure equitable access to information and library services for Idahoans with disabilities, those in rural communities, English-language learners, people living in poverty, and other underserved communities. Libraries in the intern program are encouraged to seek interns that represent the diversity of their community, including, but not limited to, underserved representation.
  4. Goal 4: Support the role of libraries in economic and employment development. The intern program supports workforce development goals by providing summer employment for up to ten young adults while providing on-the-job training and skill development.

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

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

  • Intern is in the 16-28 year old range and in the final two years of high school, early in a post-secondary educational experience (such as college or technical training), or seeking to upskill competencies. 
  • Intern represents the diversity of the community the library serves. 
  • A $1,000 stipend for each intern. Number of weeks and number of hours per week to be determined by library mentor, intern, and human resources. Monies cannot be spent on food or capital projects.  
  • Project-based experience for the intern with input from the intern on the exact tailoring of the desired outcomes, activities, and outputs. 
  • Library and the intern will partner with another organization that has a related mission to the intern-focused project. 
  • Intern mentored and trained by experienced library staff. 
  • Intern and supervisor intentionally review and evaluate the experience during the course of the internship and at the conclusion of the internship. These evaluative episodes, and written summaries, are shared across the library, with the partner, the ICfL, and with Idaho libraries (the latter with support from the ICfL, including a mid-term sharing of lessons with other mentors and interns via webinar). 
  • Report back to the ICfL regarding how the money was spent. 
  • Participate in a final review and future brainstorm session with grantees, hosted by the ICfL (via webinar). 

See a set of workforce development resources on such topics as careers in libraries, developing the library workforce, and internship best practices. See also the 2019 ICfL Summer Intern Summary Report.

For selected grantees, 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-00-19-0013-19. 

Applications are scored using the points indicated alongside selected questions in the grant application itself. The ranking committee may also take into consideration the geographical distribution across the state of grant awardees. 

Successful applications will demonstrate specifics on how diverse interns will be recruited; how the project will be collaboratively formulated among the mentor, intern, and anticipated partner; and the capacity of the mentor to invest in the intern. 

Supporting documentation will also be taken into consideration. Examples include letter of support from a potential partner, a draft intern application form, or a draft interview script. 

  • February 26, 2020: Grant application submission deadline 
  • March 6, 2020: Grant applicants notified 
  • Early April 2020: Initial consult with the ICfL on workplan
  • Mid July 2020: Interim progress review with intern, interim report submitted to the ICfL, and mid-term consult with the ICfL 
  • Late July 2020: Mid-term sharing with mentors, interns, and partners via webinar
  • August/September 2020: Final evaluation and review with intern 
  • September 10, 2020: Final report submitted to the ICfL
  • Late September 2020: Summative evaluation of experience shared with participating library mentors and interns (if available) in a group webinar

If you have questions about the grant application or the application process (or wish to have feedback on your application prior to submission), please contact either of the following staff members at the Idaho Commission for Libraries: 

  • Randy Kemp, Program Supervisor, at or at (208) 334-2150. 
  • Jamie Mott, Grants/Contracts Officer, at or at (208) 334-2150. 

The project component of the internship is one practical activity to promote the intended outcomes of the internship itself. Through the connections, designing, planning, and executing of the project the intern will increase technical capacities, understand at a deep level various aspects of library work, and engage with external partners.

The project itself is to be designed, produced, and evaluated through the shared work of the intern, mentor, and external partner. The external partner is to be a new or existing partnership with an external organization also investing resources in the local community towards a shared vision of addressing the needs of the local community. A partner might be a school, a local nonprofit, a social service organization, a local employer, a local government entity, or a state agency.

The purpose and outputs of the project (a mix of report, curriculum, program, video, etc.) will be driven by community needs, hence a requirement to listen to a variety of community voices. The intern, the partner, and the mentor will iterative over the design of the project, agreeing on purpose, outcomes, outputs, timeline, and responsibilities.

In addition to the community’s needs driving the project design, the community will be engaged in activities of the project itself. Such engagement could be a class, a program presentation, a shared creative activity, or some other innovative interaction.

Seed List of Potential Activities 

This is a representative, non-exhaustive list of potential projects. 

  • Summer reading outreach 
  • Computer coding activities 
  • Digital literacy coach for youth 
  • Youth program design and development 
  • Summer STEM activities 
  • Outreach to home-bound community members 
  • Community arts program 
  • Reading tutor/coach 
  • Sustainable local gardening education 

Grant awardees will complete an interim questionnaire in conjunction with a progress review with the intern in mid-July 2020. 

Submit answers in the Interim Review survey at the mid-point of the intern’s experience.

  1. Name of Public Library 
  2. Preparer’s Name (first and last) 
  3. At this interim stage of the internship, how has the intern’s perception of library work changed? 
  4. To what extent, so far, has the intern’s openness to a career in libraries evolved? 
  5. To what extent, so far, have workplace skills in the intern grown and deepened? 
  6. How has the connection with the project partner organization and the library grown? 
  7. What unexpected outcomes, activities, challenges, or opportunities are you identifying at this interim stage? 
  8. What additional support from the ICfL, other grantees, or the library community in general will contribute to the success of this grant activity for the intern, the library, or the partner organization? 
  9. How has COVID-19 altered the intern outcomes and activities compared to your initial expectations when you applied for the program earlier in 2020?
  10. Are you on track to obligate all funds by mid-September? 

Grant awardees will complete a final evaluation report in conjunction with a final review and learning opportunity with the intern and partner. To be completed at the conclusion of the internship. 

Submit your responses to the Final Evaluation survey.

  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. Now, at the conclusion of the internship, how likely is the intern to pursue additional work in a library setting? 
  5. How does the intern explain and describe any changes in workplace skills as a result of the internship? 
  6. How likely is the library to engage with partners through future projects and partnerships? What was valuable about the partnership? What are the opportunities for enhancing partnerships in general so that they are successful? 
  7. Describe the project’s initial intended outcomes and compare those to the actual outcomes of the project.
  8. Share any outputs from the project, e.g., flyers, reports, curriculum, social media posts, publicity about the intern, etc.
  9. What resources and support would be valuable in a future, similar opportunity that were missing from this internship experience? 
  10. Itemize how grant monies were invested. 

Randy Kemp

Partnerships Program Supervisor
Email / 208.639.4149
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