Hastings Memorial Library receives 2020 internship grant

By Erin Gibbens

Grant Tribune-Sentinel

Hastings Memorial Library of Grant was one of 22 public libraries to receive a Nebraska Library Commission Library Internship Grant totaling $24,500.

The grant is meant to support public library interns who will contribue to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries, states the Nebraska Library Commission.

The interns are to be college or high school students, and applications for the position will become available sometime during spring.

Student interns will shadow library staff to learn about library work and assist with day-to-day library operations as well as special projects.

Hastings Memorial Library plans to have their intern assist with the Summer Reading Program in ways such as setting up the space for the program and creating crafts for the children to do.

“The internships are a great opportunity for students to get involved in Library work. Beyond earning money and gaining valuable work experience, the student is exposed to the broad range of library services and programming,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner. “Internships provide an opportunity for the student to view the library as a viable and satisfying career choice. In addition, interns bring a fresh perspective and their own unique talents to the library.”

Additional duties beyond those related to Summer Reading Programs the grant suggests interns participate include:

• organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities;

• create a Local History Collection;

• assist with outreach events outside the library;

•update the library’s website and social media sites or in some situation designing and coding a new website;

• assist with circulation activities, book selection and collection management;

• create flyers, newsletters, newspaper articles and other promotional materials; and

• work with Summer Youth Outreach Services to provide Bookmobile services as locations throughout the city and county.

The grant must be completed by November, so the library plans to hire the intern for work throughout the summer. 

This is to prevent too much interference with schoolwork and other activities, and provides more time for the student in case they have another job or other outside commitments that must be worked around.

Since the grant is based around spending the money, rather than a time period, the length of the internship depends on how much the student can work.

The internship can extend past summertime if needed.

“It helps make a big difference, especially in the four days a week we have programming,” said Val Foster of Hastings Memorial Library. “It’s nice to have an extra person here to help.”

Hastings Memorial appreciates the opportunity to give a young adult some summer employment and professional mentorship since there aren’t a lot of opportunities like that in this area.

The library earned this grant by applying through the Nebraska Library Commission, and the main requirement is that the library must be an accredited library in Nebraska.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to provide that and maybe it can turn into something even bigger for that student, if that’s what they want,” said Foster.

Other libraries who have received the grant are Hoesch Memorial Library in Alma, Atkinson Public Library, Axtell Public Library, Rock County Public Library in Bassett, Bayard Public Library, Bellevue Public Library, Columbus Public Library, Falls City Library and Arts Center, Kimball Public Library, three branches of Lincoln City Libraries, Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library in Orleans, Oshkosh Public Library, Oxford Public Library, Plainview Public Library, Shelby Community Library and Kilgore Memorial Library in York.

Five other Nebraska libraries who are participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project also received internship grant funding for 2020.

These libraries are La Vista Public Library, Lied Pierce Public Library, McCook Public Library, Nelson Public Library and Superior Public Library.

Funding for the project is supported and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission in partnership with the Nebraska Library Systems.

 

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