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Internships and Fellowships

Library Welcomes HACU Interns

LC Gazette, Volume 28, No. 12, pp. 5

Speaker from HACU speaking to interns
Mark Puente of the Association of Research Libraries speaks on March 21. Photo Credit: Shawn Miller

By Eric Eldritch

Five interns from the Library of Con­gress treated their peers to brief tours of the Great Hall on March 21 and led them back through marble mosaic corridors to LJ 119 for a lecture titled “Librarianship and Leadership.”

In all, 41 interns attended the event, the second all-hands intern meeting of the 2017 spring session of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program (HNIP).

The interns, from 12 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have been working in eight federal agencies in the metropolitan area in a broad range of disciplines – public health, sociology, information technology, education, com­munication and business.

The Library has hosted HNIP interns since 1999 and in recent years transferred the responsibility to the division of Intern­ship and Fellowship Programs (IFP).

Colleen Shogan, deputy director of National and International Outreach, explained the Library’s mission and the significance of its work.

“In today’s world, the phone in your pocket opens to a world of information, and yet the ability to distinguish reliable sources and pinpoint relevant materials has made libraries and librarians more important than ever,” Shogan said. “The new librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, often reminds us that librarians are the original search engine.”

HNIP Executive Director Jonathan Santeliz praised the Library’s commit­ment – it has participated for nearly all of the association’s 25-year history. IFP chief George Coulbourne noted that 24 students have completed the program at the Library since the division began coordinating the internship in October 2015.

Since 1999, the Library has supported the career development and advancement of over 230 interns. HACU recognized those efforts with a Public Sector Partner Award, marking a superlative among federal agencies for promoting workforce diversity.

Mark Puente, the director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Associa­tion of Research Libraries, described his career path in librarianship and leader­ship roles. “Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work,” Puente said.

He punctuated his remarks by quoting Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of “The Leadership Challenge,” defining lead­ership as “the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.”