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Resources for MSLS Students: Opportunities for Library Experience

Information about jobs and professional organizations

Getting Library Experience

5 Ways to Get Library Job Experience

  • Getting library experience sometimes requires thinking outside of the box, especially if you already have a full-time job. Check out these 5 ways to get some hands-on experience that you might not have thought about before.

So How Do I Get Experience?

  • Short and to the point, this article lists out various avenues you can look into if you're starting out with absolutely no, or a little, experience.

A Job Well Done: Bridging the Experience Gap with Internships

  • Internships are a great way to grow your skills while at the same time getting to experience first-hand how a library functions. This article lists out five benefits of internships and concludes with tips on how to find one near you.


If you are unable to commit to an internship, volunteering at local libraries and/or museums is one great way to get experience in a library setting. Although the experiences may be more limited than what you would find in an internship, it is still worth checking out these opportunities.  Check with your local public library or academic library for more information.

Listed below are a few local options to check into close to UK.

Lexington Public Library Northside Branch and Village Branch

  • These branches always need people to volunteer to help with homework and tutoring. Volunteer one night a week to help students with their homework. This is especially good if you want to become a school librarian, or if you need additional experience teaching.

Jessamine County Public Library

  • With JCPL, located only a short drive from Lexington, you can volunteer as much or as little as your schedule will allow and participate in various facets of the library.

The Pride Library

  • Located close to the UK campus, this is a library that LIS students frequently volunteer with. You can fill out the form on their website, or contact the UK ALA student chapter President, for more information.

Baptist Health Lexington Medical Library

  • This library frequently provides opportunities for the LIS 672 Practicum or for students with a desire to develop library skills in a hospital library environment. Contact Lonnie Wright for more information.

Opportunities Through the MSLS Program

Graduate Assistantships at UK Libraries

  • There are opportunities for students to receive full funding from the graduate program with a graduate assistant (GA) position. These positions are 20 hours a week and for two semesters, with the possibility of renewal. Be sure to apply during the spring semester for the following school year. There are positions in multiple campus libraries in a variety of departments; these GA positions can assist you in gaining valuable working experience.

Practicum - LIS 672

  • One of the course offerings in the LIS program is the opportunity to complete a practicum (or two) for course credit. This is a great chance to get experience in the library of your choice, which will help you in your job search after graduation. Follow the link above for more information on completing a practicum.

Alternative Spring Break in D.C.

  • The UK School of Information Science offers an alternative spring break program in which students can gain career-enhancing experience working in the country’s leading national libraries and archives (like the Smithsonian Libraries and the National Library of Medicine). Applications are sent out through the listserv each Fall. 

Paid (and Unpaid) Internships

There are multiple opportunities for internships (both paid and unpaid) for library students.  The following list will give you a starting point for finding internships, but it is by no means exhaustive.

LIS Listserv

  • If you're not already subscribed, the above link will give you details on how to subscribe to the LIS listserv under the "Current Students" heading. Jobs, internships, and other announcements are frequently sent out making it a great resource.

Internship Resources through the Career Center

  • As a UK student, you have access to the resources and services offered by the Stuckert Career Center. The above link will take you to a page that lists various websites/organizations you can check with to find internships.

  • This site allows you to specifically filter for internships to find what's available and what you're interested in.