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Supervising academic library internships for non‐LIS undergraduates

Candice Dahl (Murray Library, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




This paper seeks to articulate roles for librarian supervisors of non‐LIS undergraduate internships in academic libraries by drawing on ideas from Alderman and Milne's “facilitated mentoring” model. Further, it aims to draw attention to this specific type of internship, which is relatively uncommon, even though it could potentially be implemented in any academic institution that offers internships through its academic departments.


The ideas outlined here are based on both the themes and ideas identified in the professional literature and experiences of supervising undergraduate internships offered in partnership with an academic department at a large university library. Elements of the facilitated mentoring model are outlined and then applied to internships at the Murray Library at the University of Saskatchewan.


Very little of the literature has been devoted to exploring the details of a supervisor's role in library‐based internships, especially those for non‐LIS undergraduates. Elements of models from other types of library internships generally apply, but this topic is worthy of more attention because elevating supervisors to roles of mentors requires thought and guidance, and certain adaptations are useful when working with non‐LIS interns specifically.


This work is unique in that it focuses specifically on the supervisory role of librarians who host interns, and because it outlines this role particularly in relation to undergraduates in non‐LIS programs. It builds on a model articulated in the literature and applies it to related internship experiences in order to provide insight and guidance for others contemplating assuming this type of role.



Dahl, C. (2011), "Supervising academic library internships for non‐LIS undergraduates", Library Management, Vol. 32 No. 6/7, pp. 408-418.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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