Boston Public Library


Internship Criteria and Guidelines



Internships require a commitment from the host institution as well as the student. The National Society for Experiential Education defines an internship as "a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience”.


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee:


§         The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer's facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.

§         The training is for the benefit of the student.

§         The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.

§         The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.

§         The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

§         Overall the experience is a training/learning experience not a job.


Below is a list of internship guidelines and responsibilities to keep in mind when considering taking on an intern.


§         Internship applicants must be enrolled in a degree seeking under graduate or graduate level program.

§         Unless otherwise noted, internships are unpaid.

§         Internship applicants will be prescreened by a member of the Internship Committee and will be directed to the appropriate site supervisor for an interview.

§         Site supervisors will meet/interview with the applicant to initiate the internship proposal. The intern’s proposal should include goals, objectives and methods. The site supervisor should determine a specific project or projects for the intern based on the site supervisor’s needs and the requirements of the school’s internship criteria.

§         Recommendations for acceptance into the Internship Program will then be forwarded to the Internship Committee for approval.

§         All interns are subject to the City’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) policy and may not begin an internship until they have successfully cleared CORI.

§         Site supervisors should meet regularly with the intern to assess progress.

§         The site supervisor will be responsible for signing attendance sheets for the intern if required by the school.

§         Review all final paperwork of the student interns.

§         Evaluate the intern and the internship experience.

§         The intern will share any reports, evaluations or articles resulting from the assignment with the Library.