I will step in as a dissenting, yet modern(?)/practical, voice.
Paid internships are really only a standard thing in movies anymore...it's
the "intern" who gets coffee for everyone at a TV/movie studio, or a
non-public radio station, in a movie. That fictional media coverage has
given so many people the idea that "internships" are kids that are paid to
get coffee for execs at a multi-million dollar company. Even those of you
that mentioned you were "paid interns," for whom that was an actual
reality, were paid interns in...profit-bearing companies. Where does
non-public radio money, to pay for coffee runners, come from? High dollar
advertising. And pubic radio? Donations. A paying library/archives
internship is just not standard--I'm sorry to have to tell you that. If it
ever was, it was in a time where money was only spent on luxury services
for an upper-class, privileged-class, clientele. It may also apply to
future medical professionals who will be responsible for human life and
death, i.e. not most of us.
Internships are intentionally educational experiences. The point is that an
intern is supposed to learn things. College students pay tuition for
education. Children's families pay taxes and fees for public school
education, and tuition for private school education. Very few beings get
paid to be educated, and many of those who do are expected to reimburse the
payer--that's literally what a student loan is. There are student jobs (NOT
internships) that come with a paycheck--but the focus of those is not
education, it is labor. Yes, there may be a side effect of learning some
things when you engage in labor, but that is not the point of it. Students
can't be paid to do a lot of the kind of tasks that come in an educational
internship, because they very literally cannot do tasks that would fall
above their "pay grade" for legal, ethical, and compliance reasons. So,
with money comes less authorization to do/learn stuff in a lot of cases.
"Learning on the job" does not mean getting paid to specifically learn in
an internship...it means you are employed to complete certain tasks, even
if you have never learned directly to do those tasks before being trained
for the job. And you don't get employed professionally for the express
purpose of learning--that is really just a happy accident.
Libraries and archives are NOT in it for the money. We are in it to provide
a social service to collections of useful materials; to make sure someone's
precious belongings are cared for and cared about. If you think libraries
and archives should be in it for the money, that money comes from taxes for
most of us--if you want libraries and archives to have the financial
surplus to pay for interns, then donate your money to them for that
And know that it is NOT just this one, niche, field that doesn't pay
interns...students interested in learning more about libraries, archives,
audio engineering, public radio, etc. are not being unfairly targeted by
penny-pinchers. Music therapists, for example, are required to do a 6-9
month internship, usually nowhere near where they live, unpaid, in order to
be certified to provide that form of care. They must save up the money to
pay for temporary housing, food, transportation, etc. just to be allowed to
pursue that career in the future. Student teachers--an internship without
the title of "intern"--do the same, unpaid, to learn the right things just
to be allowed to teach for a living.
We pay to take the SAT/ACT/GMAT/GRE to get into school. We pay to take
certification exams to get a job. We pay to take all of our classes. We
don't get paid to learn. That's on us to pursue in trying to better
ourselves and our understanding of a field, the universe, the human
experience...in trying to make whatever comes after learning more
meaningful. If you don't want to do those things, then don't--super simple.
But do not be upset by others who do, or by how they do it.
Employed professionally with two unpaid internships, a decade of on-the-job
learning, and now paying for another degree to pay for an exam to pay for a
certification to do more in my career
Assistant Librarian, Sound Recordings Cataloger, IU
Newsletter Editor, MLA
Social Media Coordinator, MOUG
Assistant Web Editor, IAML
[log in to unmask]
On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 4:48 PM, Louis Hone <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Interesting how times have changed.
> Most of us who became engineers in the 60s or 70s, probably got hired as
> gofers, studio trainees, assistant for no-pay or extremely low pay and long
> hours. Eventually, if you were good enough, they would hire you at the
> lowest possible rate (unless you worked for a union shop like CBS, RCA,
> EMI, etc)
> As my father used to say, "it separates the men from the boys". It
> separated those who really wanted to become engineers from those who were
> just around for the cool ride of working in a studio.
> But you know what, we would have paid to do that job :-)
> On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 4:35 PM, Paul Jackson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I agree. We should not be supporting unpaid work positions. Even students
> > at universities get paid for their 'learning on the job' positions.
> > I've seen solicitations for consultants from libraries who have received
> > grants. The amounts of the grants would not even cover transportation,
> > alone housing for a few days, and for the expertise of the consultant.
> > not sure if that is because of the granting institution or the grant
> > writer. I'm saddened by the fact most grants are not plugging in equality
> > dollars for the workers/consultants, which they would normally pay if
> > were hired employees.
> > I took a job once (ca. 16 years ago,) establishing a Special Library for
> > corporation @$40/hr. only to discover my actual costs were $62/hr.
> > (transportation, parking, insurance, meals.)...nothing for profit. I
> > suspect internships cost something by the intern as well. I probably
> > have asked and received as much as I needed.
> > Whoever might be looking for summer work should inquire at Interlochen
> > Center for the Arts where they hire and pay (room, board, and small
> > every summer. I made as much there, when in college, as I had the
> > summer at a lumber yard. http://www.interlochen.org/summerjobs
> > I did do some recent pro-bono preliminary consulting for the LeMay
> > America's Auto Museum (Tacoma, WA) for their library when they first
> > up. It was with and for my former 'boss' at the corporation above...and
> > *Trescott Research - Paul T. Jackson *
> > 2503 Natalie Lane, Steilacoom, WA 98388
> > <https://maps.google.com/?q=2503+Natalie+Lane,+Steilacoom,+
> > http://www.trescottresearch.com <http://www.trescottresearch.com/>
> > Support Authors:
> > http://www.plateauareawriters.org <http://www.plateauareawriters.org/>
> > Support Musicians
> > http://www.gatewayconcertband.org <http://www.gatewayconcertband.org/>
> > On 3/7/2018 7:52 AM, jess lamar reece holler wrote:
> >> I would suggest this list-serv not forward unpaid internship listings
> >> because of the privilege they assume and the injustices they continue to
> >> perpetuate in the field. Full stop.
> >> Allied cultural work organizations like the National Council on Public
> >> History and American Association of State and Local History have
> >> taken up such stances and now refuse to list unpaid internships on their
> >> job boards. If more professional organizations like ARSC take a stand,
> >> will help to change a culture and to make our field more accessible to
> >> diverse practitioners we say we welcome. Submitted for consideration.
> >> On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Marcos Sueiro Bal <[log in to unmask]>
> >> Please share: Internship position at New York Public Radio Archives
> >>> **WITH APOLOGIES FOR CROSS-POSTING**
> >>> The NYPR Archives, which holds the assets for stations WNYC and WQXR,
> >>> seeking an unpaid summer intern. You can view the details of the
> >>> here:
> >>> http://jobs.jobvite.com/newyork-public-radio/job/oyx36fwY
> >>> Marcos Sueiro Bal|Archives Manager
> >>> New York Public Radio
> >>> T: 646.829.4063|F: 646.829.4146|E: [log in to unmask]<mailto:
> >>> [log in to unmask]>
> >>> Library catalog: http://cavafy.wnyc.net<http://cavafy.wnyc.net/>
> >>> Follow our blog: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/archives/