PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative

  • PLA Inclusive Internship  Initiative logo

Sonoma County Library was selected to participate in the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative (III), which offers a paid, summer-long internship to a high school student at the library. Through III, students from diverse backgrounds are introduced to careers in librarianship.

We are currently recruiting for a motivated, public-service minded high school student between the ages of 16-19. Could you be our III intern?

Our Library

Sonoma County Library serves our communities in fourteen locations. Though the Library explicitly supports diverse communities in its policy through a Statement of Inclusivity (2017) and a Resolution in Support of Undocumented Residents/Immigrants/Dreamers (2018), its staff does not mirror community demographics. Only 10% are Spanish-bilingual. There is a critical need to recruit and support local talent, particularly from underrepresented communities, in order to serve the County well. The III program is a pathway program developed to increase diversity in public librarianship. Since its inception, more than 100 high school students at 80 libraries across the country have learned about careers in librarianship. We are excited to share our love of libraries with a teen representing the diversity of our local community.

History & Genealogy Library

This summer, our III intern will work with mentor staff in the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library, a community resource that manages local history and genealogy collections. It is located behind the Central Library in downtown Santa Rosa. The SCH&G Library acquires, organizes and makes available to the public materials that document the unique characteristics and communities of Sonoma County. Our collection strengths include local women’s history, architecture, agriculture, urban planning and arts and culture. We have substantial family history research materials including books, journals and databases. Our collection of maps and photographs are among the most popular.

Internship Tasks and Responsibilities

Each mentor-intern pair is expected to attend a kick-off event, develop a community-based project based on intern’s interests and library goals, participate in virtual training and networking, and attend a wrap-up event. Interns may only spend 25% of their time on administrative tasks like copying, filing, scanning, etc. For project inspiration, here are some examples of what past interns in other library systems have worked on:

  • Inter-generational LGBTQ+ community roundtable
  • Outreach to teens held in local temporary detention center
  • Audio engineering and videography workshops to create a music video
  • Library resource booklet for at-risk youth: how to get your GED, clear criminal records, look for jobs
  • Local history digitization project
  • Translation of library policy and rules documents
  • Naturalization Study Group for community members with transitional immigration statuses
  • Digital literacy training for Chinese speaking senior citizens
  • Panel discussion on the impact of violence on communities

In addition to learning what it is like to be a librarian in a public library setting, the 2019 III Intern can expect to learn about organizing, describing and using archival and historic materials. The intern may assist with helping the public, community engagement, social media outreach and event planning. They will have the opportunity to learn and participate in:

  • The creation of inventories and finding aids;
  • Communicating our resources and services to the public;
  • Designing and promoting a library program or event;
  • Identifying community needs and;
  • Expanding the library’s reach.

The Library’s extensive Strategic Plan will provide guidance for the intern’s project, offering a range of goals that can support both professional exploration and meaningful community service. Interns will spend dedicated time writing, reflecting, and sharing about their experience. With their mentors, interns will develop a connected learning project to be completed over the summer, based on their interests. Joanna Kolosov is an archivist and librarian interested in preserving the web and protecting cultural heritage materials. Zayda Delgado is a librarian and archivist interested in bringing local history to life for new audiences.


The selected intern must be able to participate in two trips (all expenses paid!), together with other teens in the intern cohort, for the kickoff and wrapup events.

  • Kickoff event in Chicago, IL - June 13-15
  • Wrap-up event in Washington, D.C. - September 20-22

Pay and Hours

The intern will be paid $15/hour, with a maximum of 225 hours worked over the course of the internship.


Interns should meet the following qualifications:

  • Must be entering their junior or senior year of high school, or first year of college;
  • Attention to detail, ability to prioritize tasks and passion for helping people;
  • Willingness to learn and develop new skills and
  • Interest in history and culture (preferred but not required).

How to Apply

The application form, in English and Spanish, is linked below. Please fill out the form and submit by Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

The application may be either submitted online through the Google Forms link, or may be submitted by email (send as attachments to .

Please contact Kathy DeWeese, Zayda Delgado, or Joanna Kolosov with questions.