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Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508-2023

Phone: 402-471-2045
(Lincoln & outside Nebraska)
800-307-2665 (Nebraska only)
Fax: 402-471-2083


2017 Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program

Grant Overview
    The Nebraska Library Commission will make up to $25,000 available to accredited Nebraska public libraries for internships through the 2017 Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program. This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

    The 2017 grant process mirrors the 2016 internship grant program. This internship program works to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances (up to $1,000 per library or branch) to provide stipends to the student(s). In the past student interns have helped the libraries expand programs, complete projects, improve websites, and expand social media use, while bringing in fresh ideas to the library. Grant applications will be accepted electronically starting October 21, 2016. All applications must be received no later than 5:00 PM Central Time, December 21, 2016. Details about the Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program follow. Questions may be directed to: JoAnn McManus, Grants Program Manager, or call 402-471-4870 or 800-307-2665.


Goals & Outcomes
    The Nebraska Library Internship Grant program encourages and supports the following five goals:

    • High school and college students get involved in real library work that takes advantage of their experience and interests.
    • The internship introduces promising high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries.
    • The internship functions as a recruitment tool, helping the student view the library as a viable career opportunity.
    • The internship provides students with an enlightened view of the roles of libraries and librarians, an understanding of behind-the-scenes library operations, and insights into the role of technology in libraries.
    • Libraries receive financial assistance to provide stipends to students who often help expand a program or complete a project and bring in fresh ideas.

    This program anticipates the following two outcomes:

    • Interns will report positive experiences with their work assignments and an increased interest in library careers.
    • Library staff will report positive experiences with the internship program.

    In addition, evidence will be sought to show that communities benefit from the grant-funded internship experience.


Grant Program Calendar & Deadlines
    Application Cycle Opens: October 21, 2016

    Library Internship Grant Information Session on NCompass Live: November 2, 2016

    2017 Application Deadline: December 21, 2016, 5:00 PM (Central Time)

    Award Announcement: February 10, 2017 (anticipated date)

    Planning For Successful Internships on NCompass Live: March 8, 2017

    Completion of Internships: on or before November 30, 2017


Eligible Grant Applicants
    Only Accredited Nebraska public libraries may apply. The applicant may partner with other types of libraries to provide a variety of work settings. Partnerships with other public, school, academic, or special libraries are encouraged.


Grant Amounts to be Awarded/Use of Funds
    Grant awards will range from $500 to $1,000. Public libraries that have multiple branches may apply for $500 to $1,000 per branch. No matching funds are required. The grant awards are restricted to any of the following: stipends provided to the intern(s), intern wages, and withholdings such as FICA and taxes. Funds may be used to fund one or more student interns. For example, a library may provide one 100-hour internship during the summer months that might last eight weeks, or two 50-hour internships during the school year that might last ten weeks, depending on the needs of the library and the scheduling needs of the internship candidates.

    It is expected that up to $25,000 will be awarded in total which is anticipated to fund between 25 and 30 grant applications that will provide library internships to 30 to 40 high school and college students in public libraries across the state.


Eligible Interns and the Type of Internship
    Public library grantees will recruit and select their interns, however interns selected must:
    • Be either a high school or college student, and
    • Have never been employed by a library nor an intern at a library (previously or currently) (there are no restrictions associated with students who have served as library volunteers)

    A stipend-based internship is recommended or the library could choose to hire the student as a part-time temporary employee with an hourly wage. The exact terms of the internship should be determined by the library’s governing body.

    Careful thought should be given to how the internship relationship is set up. For stipend-based internships minimum wage requirements must be met. In Nebraska, minimum wage is $9.00 per hour. Those that hire students as part-time employees may pay students a "training wage" of at least 75 percent of Nebraska’s minimum wage or $6.75/hour for up to 90 days. However paying minimum wage or more allows the library to be competitive. The library may choose to pay more than the minimums discussed here.

    Since the student does not own and operate a business, classifying them as a contractor or contract employee would not be appropriate.

    Because employers are subject to Federal law with respect to working hours, if a student is selected for the internship that is under the age of 16, they would only be able to work a maximum of 3 hours per day between 3:00 and 7:00 PM on school days and no more than 8 hours per day between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM on weekend days. From June 1 through Labor Day, students under 16 may work up to 40 hours per week but no earlier than 6:00 AM nor later than 9:00 PM. To employee minors under the age of 16 the library will need to first obtain an Employment Certificate for that student. The library will also need to post a completed Form 110 in the room where the student generally works. Libraries that have questions regarding wage or under-age requirements may ask their questions of the Nebraska Department of Labor by completing this form.


General information about the Internships
    Internship periods will be determined by the library receiving the award; however they must start no earlier than March 15, 2017 and they must be completed on or before November 30, 2017.

    The hours spent at the library will be planned by the supervisor to introduce the student to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities throughout the library. One staff person should be identified to work closely with each student intern and accept responsibility for ensuring a rich learning experience. This staff person will also be responsible for meeting the reporting requirements of the grant. Under general supervision, the student intern will perform a range of day-to-day tasks in the library to gain general knowledge of library work, as well as work on specific programs and activities. Past interns have checked out books and other materials to library customers, assisted library personnel with summer reading programs and story hours, attended trainings, developed displays, weeded collections, produced flyers and brochures, reviewed policies and budgets, worked on library Websites, created Facebook pages, developed a shelving tutorial for library volunteers, and written newspaper and newsletter articles. The intern′s supervisor will work with the student to determine how supervision will be conducted and what projects will be completed.


Grant Application Process
    Nebraska public library applicants must:
    • Complete the 2017 Grant Application Form provided here in a Microsoft Word document.

    • Submit the completed grant application (between October 21, 2016 and December 21, 2016 no later than 5:00 PM Central Time) by attaching the Word document to an email to JoAnn McManus with the subject line of "Internship Application from insert name of library"

    • Indicate within the grant application that the library director has read, understands, and will comply with conditions of the Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program by indicating yes to the following statements/conditions:
      • Grant applicant is an accredited Nebraska public library
      • Library Board president has been informed and approves of the library′s participation
      • Internship will be completed on or before November 30, 2017
      • Supervisor will respond to requests for information from the Nebraska Library Commission such as name of intern, timeline for internship, etc., in a timely manner
      • Supervisor will direct student to complete Intern baseline and post internship assessments in a timely manner (assuming the student or their parent signs the permission request form)
      • Supervisor will track student′s hours and activities
      • Supervisor will complete and submit post internship and intern assessments/reports in a timely manner
      • Library director will submit a signed form attesting to how grant funds were expended as agreed to (only for wages or stipends to intern(s) and if applicable for withholdings and taxes) at the conclusion of the internship


Application Form
    Applications linked above may be completed and submitted between October 21, 2016 and December 21, 2016 at 5:00 PM Central Time. If you have technical issues accessing, completing, or submitting the Microsoft Word application, please contact JoAnn McManus or Holly Woldt (contact information in the "Questions" section below).

    Questions that require narrative responses contained in the application form include:

    • Background: Describe the reason your library wants to participate in the internship grant program. State the underlying need or opportunity.

    • Schedule & Description of Activities: (be sure to mention any partnerships, orientations, or field trips that involve other libraries—public, school, academic or special libraries) Briefly describe the projects and activities with which the student intern(s) will be involved. Include the student's role in the projects/activities. Briefly describe your preliminary orientation plan. Provide a tentative timeline for recruitment, interviewing, making an offer, start and end of internship, and key milestones associated with the anticipated activities.

    • Outcomes: Describe the anticipated benefits and/or outcomes of this internship to the student, to the library, and to the community.


Application Review Considerations
    Applications will be evaluated with consideration to the following criteria:

    • the needs of the library,

    • the described schedule of activities,

    • the proposed orientation to library service functions,

    • the anticipated benefits and outcomes of the internship,

    • partnerships or activities with other libraries, and

    • the commitment to meeting grant expectations.


    Partnership projects between the accredited public library and other libraries (public, school, academic, special) are encouraged. Libraries that have never applied for or received an internship grant are strongly encouraged to apply. Geographic distribution as well as performance experiences associated with past Nebraska Library Commission grant recipients will also be considered during the evaluation process.


2017 Award Announcement & Administration
    The Nebraska Library Commission anticipates to announce grant awards on February 10, 2017. An award letter along with a Letter of Agreement will be mailed to the public libraries receiving awards. The Letter of Agreement must be signed and returned to the Nebraska Library Commission. By signing the Letter of Agreement, the awardee certifies that it is an accredited Nebraska public library and will comply with the expectations and conditions of the grant. Past Grant recipients will be found here. Award winners of all NLC Grants will be in our Grants Database.


Expectations of Awarded Applicants & Selected Interns
    The library director or staff will:
    • Credit the Nebraska Library Commission in all publicity about the project.

    • Assign an intern supervisor.

    • Direct the selection process of their intern(s) and select intern(s) that meet the grant requirements. (Interns must be high school or college students that have never been employed by a library nor have interned at a library. There are no restrictions associated with current or past library volunteers.)

    • Work with the student to determine how supervision will be conducted and what projects will be completed.

    • Introduce the intern to all aspects of library work.

    • Orient the intern to library-related educational and career opportunities.

    • Track student’s hours and activities.

    • Expend grant funds as intended (restricted to any of the following: stipends provided to the intern(s), intern wages, and withholdings such as FICA and taxes if applicable). The library director will submit a signed form attesting to how grant funds were expended as intended after the internship has ended.

    • Ask the intern (or their parents if the student is under age 18) to sign the Internship Survey Consent Form at the start of the internship. Once signed direct the intern to complete the baseline survey as provided by the Nebraska Library Commission. At the completion of the internship, ask the intern to complete the post evaluation survey. The one consent form covers all surveys. The intern may choose not to complete the survey.

    • The intern supervisor should complete and submit the reporting form/survey for each intern benefiting from grant funds. The intern supervisor should also complete the internship program evaluation survey and provide a summary report of the internship detailing the projects, experience, results, and impacts of the project.

    • Respond to requests for information from the Nebraska Library Commission and be available for potential follow-up interviews or surveys.


    The intern will:
    • Complete project(s) demonstrating varying levels of responsibility appropriate to the intern′s ability to perform.

    • Consider signing (or asking your parents to sign if student is under age 18) the Internship Survey Consent Form at the start of the internship. If signed, complete baseline and post-internship evaluations as provided. While these survey instruments provide important information when compiled with other interns′ evaluations for future improvements to the program, completing the surveys are optional.

    The Nebraska Library Commission will:
    • Remit grant funds directly to the library within 30 days of receipt of the signed grant agreement and request of funds form.

    • Increase awareness about the library profession and the opportunities for employment in Nebraska libraries.

    • Provide information about the grant program, tips to successful internships, information through scheduled webinars on NCompass Live, and information through this project page.

    • Provide an instructional document entitled “Instructions for Directors and Intern Supervisors” to funded libraries. This document includes suggestions, expectations, and hot links to resources, samples, surveys, forms, and supplemental information that highlights select employment and wage laws to be aware of. Supervisors may request a copy of this if they cannot find the one that was provided to them electronically.

    • Assist potential interns and interested libraries to connect.

    • Maintain program files.

    • Collect surveys and reports from the libraries, evaluate the program and disseminate aggregated results.


Additional Helpful Information about Internships in General


Partners
    As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services—"bringing together people and information."

    Nebraska’s Regional Library Systems consist of four non-profit corporations governed by boards, representative of libraries and citizens in the region. The four systems were established to provide access to improved library services through the cooperation of all types of libraries and media centers within the counties included in each System area. Each system offers a variety of services such as regular newsletters, meetings of library staff, workshops, consulting, and planning reflective of the needs within the region. The systems help the Nebraska Library Commission meet its goals on a more localized level.

    This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.


Questions?
    For inquiries regarding the nature of the grant program or the grant application process, please contact JoAnn McManus, Grants Program Manager, or call 402-471-4870 or 800-307-2665.

    If you have any technical issues accessing or completing the Microsoft Word application, please contact JoAnn McManus (see contact information above) or Holly Woldt, Computer Help Desk Support or call 402-471-4871 or 800-307-2665.


Past Public Library Internship Award Recipients

 

Internship Grants Awarded 2011-2016

The interactive map of Internship Grants Awarded 2011-2016.

 

View the list of past grant recipients since 2008.

 
         

Nebraska Library Commission

Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
Please send comments to JoAnn McManus