Intern Program Guidelines

Rittenberg Law Library
Internship for Library School Student

  1. Specifics from different departments:
    1. Circulation / Reserve [ NB: all handled at one desk in our library]
    • START internship here for 1-2 weeks.
    • Tasks include (but not limited to) shelving, directional questions, referrals to reference, circulation.
    • Will learn types of materials, where they are located, departments and staff, general flow of library activity, types of questions / needs of patrons, mechanical (copiers, fax, printers, etc.). Become aware of AV function – will probably not participate.
    • Return for one or two evening shifts: different staff, different issues (security, food), fewer resources to fall back on, responsible for major stack maintenance.
    • Return again just before reference rotation for “review”.
    • Documentation: In-house manuals.
    • Total Time: 3-4 weeks.
    1. Technical Services
    • Sit with different people in department and observe (participate in certain activities) receipt & ordering; cataloging; stack maintenance (here meaning updating of loose-leaf publications and pocket-parts, as well as superceded volumes).
    • Upon request, might also include time with Director of T.S., observing day-to-day issues, troubleshooting, pre-order searching, etc.
    • Frequently there are short projects that could be done. [Distinct from a major project if intern wanted to focus on technical services.]
    • Time: 1-2 weeks.
    • Documentation: LC Classification / Subject Headings; general reading about updating of legal materials.
    1. Government Documents
    • Our documents department has just begun to provide some reference services; others are through reference desk. Documents department handles acquisitions, shelving, maintenance, and retrieval.
    • Observing and participating in department activities would teach SuDocs system, List of Classes, Item List, and other aspects of the Federal Depository system.
    • We are also N.Y.S. and U.N. depository; which each have their own systems. Intern would observe these, but probably work most with U.S. Documents.
    • Time: 8 – 12 hrs. (1 week).
    • Documentation: e.g. FDLP Desktop, U.N. Documentation Guide
    1. Administrative
    • Meet with Faculty and Access Services Librarian regarding Access Policy (1 hr.), Copyright Policy (1.5 hr.), and Faculty Services (.5 hr.)
    • Meet with Library Director. (?? Topic ??)
    • Meet with Webmaster. (?? Topic ??)
    • Time: 8 – 12 hours (1 week).
    • Documentation: Copyright Primer.
    1. Interlibrary Loan
    • Observe, and perhaps assist, in daily tasks: entering requests, fulfilling requests, tracking and retrieving material (both borrowed and loaned), record-keeping, statistics.
    • ?? Work with ILL librarian at reference to see how reference experience relates to specific ILL duties. ??
    • Time: 2 weeks.
    • Documentation: OCLC / ILL Manual and other documentation on OCLC website.
    1. Reference
    • Our desk if not usually a “busy” one; but there are always reference projects to be handled. A “project” may range from a simple ready reference question to a major research request (taking days or weeks) for faculty, and often includes some instruction if patron is a student.
    • “Review” / “evaluate” reference collection to become familiar with sources.
    • Observe / assist various reference librarians to get a sense of different styles.
    • Some specific topics: business resources; Copyright Clearance Procedure (this is really an administrative topic, but since a reference librarian handles it, I list it here); New York City resources; administrative issues (e.g. scheduling, notice of reference service, outreach); documents reference.
    • Documentation: Print Legal Research Guides, especially New York Legal Research Guide; online Legal Research Guides; Citation Manuals.
    • Time: 2-4 weeks. ** Note: “Down” Time at reference might include work on internship project if appropriate (i.e. if project were reference-related, and not, e.g. an administrative or technical services project).
  2. Based on the specifics above, a general structure can be created. The plan could be modified according to the needs of the library and the interest and talent of the intern. For example, internships concentrating on Technical Services or Government Documents would entail longer periods in those departments, more detailed work, and a project within that department. However, the intern should still rotate briefly through the other areas.
  3. Prerequisites:
    1. Familiarity with OCLC – cataloging course will, hopefully, have provided this.
    2. Legal bibliography course or commensurate experience

Prepared by Barbara G. Traub, Head of Reference Services. Last revised 10/06/2004.

University of Washington Gallagher Law Library
Law Library Intern Program
for Law Librarianship Students

The aim of the Law Library Intern Program is to provide a laboratory to complement the theoretical grounding being provided in the classroom portions of the Law Librarianship Program. While interns are developing their skills, they are also performing needed tasks in the library. Though not required, the Intern Program is strongly recommended for those law librarianship students who have little or no law library experience. Even students who do have experience have found the internship invaluable. Such experience, even as a student, is very important to prospective employers. Interns work in the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library (GLL) at the law school as well as at the King County Law Library (KCLL) in downtown Seattle.

All interns will be expected to commit themselves to work in one of the law libraries for ten hours per week. Pay is $10.00 per hour. To maximize the learning experience and to serve the libraries’ needs, some weekend and/or evening work will be required of all interns. Each intern will work in three departments: Reference, Circulation, and Technical Services. Thus, throughout the year, each will have the opportunity to see the entire library operation. Special projects may be available to supplement the ten-hour work week.

The specific goals of the Intern Program will vary within the particular department in which the intern is employed. These goals are set out in the attached memo. The intern is responsible for achieving these goals and should communicate on a regular basis with the supervising librarian.

The work in various departments will be varied and range from easy and tedious to challenging and interesting. We expect each intern to handle the responsibilities with professionalism and grace. Interns are subject to the same employment policies, including termination, as any hourly employee. Interns should use this experience to learn as much as they can about libraries from the inside.

At the end of the intern's time in each department (and mid-year for Reference), the librarian will prepare a short written evaluation of the intern for the Law Library Director. The evaluation will be discussed with the intern.

Specific Educational Goals for Interns in Law Library Departments


  1. Familiarity with all Circulation policies and procedures.
  2. Familiarity with materials selected for Reserve collection and the reasons for their selection.
  3. Ability to discriminate between the kinds of work handled at Circulation and that which should be referred to the Reference staff.
  4. Ability to be productive when public demand is slack.
  5. Ability to handle busy times with good judgment, diplomacy and calmness.
  6. Ability to prioritize patrons at the desk when necessary.
  7. Ability to handle problem patrons of many types.
  8. Knowledge of procedures for adding to Course Reserve.
  9. Familiarity with faces and names of faculty members or other primary users.
  10. Knowledge of locations of all major types of materials throughout the library.
  11. Familiarity with operations of equipment throughout the library including fiche and film reader/printers.
  12. Basic understanding of interlibrary loan policies and procedures, including intra- campus borrowing.
  13. Knowledge of copy & send policies and procedures.
  14. Knowledge of basic overdue policies and procedures.
  15. Ability to work well with the other members of the department. Interns are responsible to the department heads listed here, but also work with and report to the other librarians, technicians, and interns in their departments.


  1. Ability to conduct effective and gracious reference interviews and assist a wide variety of patrons.
  2. Thorough familiarity with all Reference policies and procedures.
  3. Ability to distinguish between work handled at Reference and work handled at Circulation.
  4. Knowledge of locations of all major types of materials throughout the library.
  5. High level of ability in the use of the catalog and the other databases used by Reference staff.
  6. Familiarity with all books in the Reference Office collection.
  7. Ability to be productive when public demand is slack; for example, by working on assigned projects or taking the initiative in creating appropriate projects.
  8. Ability to handle busy times with judgment, diplomacy, calmness and a firm grasp of the department’s service priorities.
  9. Ability to handle problem patrons with diplomacy and judgment.
  10. Ability to be creative in approaches to problem solving.
  11. Ability to work well with the other members of the department. Interns are responsible to the department heads listed here, but also work with and report to the other librarians, technicians, and interns in their departments.
  12. Ability to organize, follow through and complete various assigned projects.

Technical Services

  1. Familiarity with serials, acquisitions, check-in and processing.
  2. Familiarity with the variety of serial publications and their formats, including the difficulties they pose in ordering, receipt, processing and claiming.
  3. Thorough familiarity with bibliographic utilities and library automation software (III) as they relate to Technical Services functions.
  4. Familiarity with cataloging and classification practices and how they relate to national and international practices.
  5. Familiarity with acquisition procedures and claiming.
  6. Familiarity with the binding and mending procedures.
  7. Familiarity with the marking and processing procedure.
  8. Ability to organize, follow through and complete various assigned projects.
  9. Understanding the automation of Technical Services functions in an integrated library system environment.


CAU/GSU Law Library Internship
Georgia State University Law Library

  1. Purpose
    1. Provide a structured professional introduction to law libraries.
    2. Apply library theory to a practical work environment.
    3. Share knowledge and network with professional law librarians.
  2. Internship Components
    1. Part of Graduate Program
      1. earn academic credit (no $)
        1. full semester program
        2. library school determines number of credit hours
      2. number of work hours/semester
        1. 140 hrs/16 weeks
        2. requirements: project & article
    2. CAU selects academic internship advisor
    3. Law library internship advisor: Rhea Ballard-Thrower, Associate Librarian,, 404-651-4148
      1. liaison between law library and library school
      2. report on intern's progress
    4. Prerequisites
      1. legal bibliography course or commensurate experience
  3. Program
    1. Orientation
      1. determine work schedule
      2. library tour & policies
      3. internship project
      4. article for Atlanta Law Libraries Newsletter
    2. Departmental Cross-training
      1. circulation - 2 weeks
      2. acquisitions - 2 weeks
      3. cataloging - 2 weeks
      4. filing/stacks maintenance - 1 week
      5. reference - 2 weeks
      6. government docs./micro - ½ week
      7. computer lab - 1 week
      8. circulation/ILL - 1½ weeks
      9. reference - 1 week
      10. project - 6 weeks
    3. Progress Meetings
      1. meetings with law library advisor
      2. meetings with CAU internship advisor
    4. Misc.
      1. attend bi-monthly library staff meetings
      2. attend ALLA meeting
    5. Final Report & Evaluation


College of Law
Law Library Memorandum

To: Intern
From: Rhea Ballard-Thrower
Re: Law Library Internship Orientation



  • meet the law library staff


  • adhere to schedule
  • be on time
  • represent the Law Library


  • search periodical indexes for new publications by GSU law faculty to update the Faculty Publications Bibliography


  • write article for the Atlanta Law Libraries Newsletter


  • staff
  • Atlanta Law Librarians


  • 10 hours/week
  • What days? and hours?
  • For how long?


  • Reference - 2 weeks
  • Circulation - 2 weeks
  • Government Documents - 1 week
  • Computer Lab - 2 weeks
  • Outreach Services - 1 week
  • Acquisitions - 2 weeks
  • Cataloging - 2 weeks
  • Stacks Maintenance - 1 week