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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
2021 Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program

Grant Overview

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available to accredited Nebraska public libraries for internships through the 2021 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.

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 interns. In the past student interns have helped the libraries expand programs, complete projects, improve websites, and expand social media use, while bringing fresh ideas into the library.

Grant applications will be accepted electronically starting September 9, 2020. All applications must be received by 11:59pm Central Time on November 10, 2020.

    The Nebraska Library Internship Grant program encourages and supports the following goals:

    • The internship introduces promising high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries by involving them in real library work that takes advantage of their experience and interests.
    • 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.
    • Data and evidence will be collected to show that communities benefit from the grant-funded internship experience.

Grant Program Calendar & Deadlines
    Application Cycle Opens: September 9, 2020

    2021 Application Deadline: November 10, 2020 11:59 PM (Central Time)

    Award Announcement: December 1, 2020 (anticipated date)

    Completion of Internships: on or before November 30, 2021

    To learn more, watch the NCompass Live Webinar Recording, NLC Grants for 2021

Eligible Grant Applicants
    Only Accredited Nebraska public libraries may apply. Applicants 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 between 20 and 25 grant applications will be funded, providing library internships to 25 to 35 high school and college students in public libraries across the state.

    Internship periods will be determined by the library receiving the award; however they must be completed on or before November 30, 2021.

    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.

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.

Grant Application Form
    Nebraska public library applicants must complete the online 2021 Grant Application Form.

    A PDF version is available for your reference and to prepare for completing the online form.

    Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:50 pm CST on November 10, 2020. Faxes and U.S mail will not be accepted.

    In addition, the Signature Page must also be sent via email (printed, signed, scanned, and emailed). This may be done during the week following the due date.

    For inquiries about the Internship Grant program or application process, please contact Christa Porter, Library Development Director, 402-471-3107 or 800-307-2665.

Additional Resources
    To help you develop a timeline and list of possible intern activities for your proposed internship, you are encouraged to download the example Proposed Timeline and Schedule of Internship Activities.

    Libraries that receive an internship grant are asked to orient their intern(s) to the broad range of work that takes place at public libraries. To help you develop an orientation plan that fits your library, you are encouraged to download and review the Sample Public Library Orientation Plan.

    The Employer Guidebook to Developing a Successful Internship Program, from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, provides tips on creating an engaging internship for students as well as an effective program for the business. This Guidebook also includes sample job descriptions and letters to help you get started.

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.

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.


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