Library Practicum

Internship Available:

Summer and Fall 2020

Project Description:

Nashville Public Library’s practicum offers both breadth and depth of experience through a carefully structured sequence of assignments in different divisions and branches of the Library system, followed by an extended assignment in an area of professional interest. Within the established guidelines, efforts are made to accommodate academic requirements, previous experience, professional goals, and a variety of work or school schedules, so that the practicum is tailored to the needs of individual students.

Practicum students with different professional backgrounds and levels of experience gain insight into many dimensions of public library service.

Recent practicum students say...

“Everyone was excited to have me there and willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me. I felt like I was part of the team.” -Morgan, Fall 2014

“This opportunity allowed me to reflect on how practical library experiences can be guided by theoretical principles learned during graduate study.” -Raemona, Spring 2015

“I appreciated the balance between observation, hands-on work, and research. NPL’s internship program should be commended for being so well-organized and offering opportunities for breadth and depth.” -Lauren, Summer 2015


Practicum students agree to a schedule of assignments created by Volunteer Services, but division or branch managers are responsible for specific assignments at each location and designate appropriate levels of staff supervision. Students may shadow staff or may be assigned independent responsibilities, including circulation, reference, collections management, programming, patron services, and staff support. 


Applicants should be currently enrolled students in an MLIS or other similar program of library studies or information sciences. Preference may be given to applicants who have previous experience volunteering and/or working in libraries. Applicants must have reliability, commitment and enthusiasm for learning; they must have the ability to work well with a diverse team in varied locations and with diverse patrons; excellent communication skills; and the ability to work independently. A clearly defined area of professional interest is desirable.

Position Type:

Unpaid, part-time internship; 10-12 hours per week (minimum of 150 hours, with additional hours possible if needed for credit) during weekdays; otherwise flexible scheduling.