Getting Ready to Attend the ALA Annual Student-to-Staff Program

This month I will be traveling to the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas to participate in the ALA Student-to-Staff program (S2S). Each year LIS schools nominate a student to represent their school at the conference. Forty out of the 60 schools are represented at the conference, as there are only 40 positions available each year. Wayne State University students can apply for the S2S program between late October and November through our LIS program.

The S2S program provides us with an opportunity to work with ALA staff and students from other LIS schools during the conference. We will work 16 hours and may volunteer for more hours over the course of six days. Plus, we get to attend some events at the conference. It’s a great way to attend my first ALA conference and network with staff, students, and professionals in our profession.

I will be working in the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO) with several other students. I am excited to work with the IRO as I have an interest in international librarianship. I look forward to getting a glimpse of the IRO’s goals and responsibilities and how the unit functions. I will share my experiences here in mid-July.

Join us to get the most out of your LIS studies.

Roxanne Brazell


Get the Most Out of Internships and Practicums

As one semester ends another is just beginning for many of us. The spring and summer terms are a great time for internships and practicums. During this time, internship and practicum supervisors generally have more time to mentor us, and provide engaging opportunities to help us develop and enhance our skills. The trick here is to take a light load of courses. Sometimes an internship or a practicum may have a steep learning curve, if you are new to an area of the field. To get the most out of these experiences give them your full attention.

Make sure you actively participate in the assigned activities and go above and beyond, where possible. Remember you’re actually on a three-month interview. You maybe offered a position before the end of your leave date or an opportunity to join them when you graduate. Even if this is not the case, your internship or practicum supervisor can serve as a reference for you for other positions. You also want to use the internship and practicum to build your professional network. It’s a great place to connect with librarians and information professionals that you do not have direct working relationships with, too.

Check out Amy Musser’s guest post, “Advocate for Yourself and Your Education to get the Most Out of Your Practicum Experience” on the ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) blog site.

The ALA’s ALSC hosted a helpful webinar on how you can get the most out of an internship or practicum. You can link to the archive, Internships/Practicums Student Sessions here.

If you’re looking for a challenge then consider a LIS summer research project.