"I feel like I could do it too": A Paradigm Shift in an Urban Library Internship Program

Graves, Daren A.; Sweet, Doris Ann; McGowan, Mary
March 2010
Urban Library Journal;Spring2010, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
In the 2007/2008 academic year Simmons College Library put the life experiences of eight Boston high school students at the heart of an already established, IMLS-funded forty-hour library internship. The internship's long standing goal was to create lifelong library ambassadors and future librarians, by teaching the students information literacy skills, introducing them to how a complex organization (the library) is organized and run, and imparting college and career skills. The learning paradigm conceived of the librarians as reciprocal learning and research partners, positioning the lived experiences and authentic interests of the students as central to the internship. The article describes how, through the cultivation of meaningful and non-traditional student-librarian relationships, librarians partnering with a faculty member from the department of education created an environment where students learned both library skills and lessons about how to more effectively navigate the everyday challenges they face.


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