A Spring Break Internship at LPA
The Music Division is fortunate to have an internship program for several years. This program allows students the unique experience to see what it is like working in a large music research library. Most of our interns are library school students, but occasionally musicology students have been with us. The program is mutually beneficial with particular benefits for the intern: we give them representative projects to work on, and they in turn get to see and understand their efforts in the context of a large library. Interns have the opportunity to speak with and watch staff members work on a large variety of projects, are allowed to sit in on staff meetings, and get an idea of how the many facets of a public library make it work effectively.
Elizabeth Surles was our most recent intern. A student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, she chose to forego a peaceful mid-semester break by spending her week-long recess interning with the Music Division. I'll let her summarize her experience:
I am grateful for having had the opportunity to intern at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. During my internship I was able to support the library's mission through various projects, which provided me with first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day experience of working with world-class and extensive circulating and research collections in a widely-renowned public institution. Being able to assist the library through the practical application of my classroom knowledge and prior professional experience has been a terrific and rewarding adventure.
The friendly staff and their kind hospitality made me feel extremely welcome. Through my conversations with members of different library departments, I learned a tremendous amount about the history of the library and its current administrative practices and vision for the future. Gaining perspective about their work has also helped me clarify my professional goals. Coming away from the internship, my passion for working with special collections in the performing arts has been energized and renewed. I only hope that someday I will have the good fortune to work in a more permanent position for an institution like the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.