The Erica C. Vaughns NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program was established in 2020 through an endowment to provide legally blind individuals opportunities to work at NLS in areas of study or interest. It is named in memory of Erica Vaughns, who created and managed the program and was a dedicated NLS employee for nearly 20 years until her death in 2023.
The program runs for 12 to 15 weeks during the summer. Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and those who have graduated within the past five years from an accredited two-year or four-year college or university are eligible to apply.
Under the guidance of mentors, interns work on selected tasks and projects within one of the five main divisions of NLS: the Office of the Director, Business Operations Division, Collections Division, Patron and Network Engagement Division, and Program Delivery Division. Visit NLS Authority, Functions and Responsibilities, and Operational Structure to learn more about the functions and responsibilities of each of these divisions.
Typical assignments will assist with the mission and goals of the Library and NLS. These may include but are not limited to:
- Data input and migration of information for the Braille Certification Learning Management System
- Development and scanning of braille music material
- Writing and editing content for NLS-produced material
- Translating written content into various international languages
- Braille proofreading and transcription
- Project management assistance
In addition, interns will be required to participate in orientation sessions about NLS, its network of regional and subregional libraries, and brown-bag discussions.
Areas of Study or Interest
NLS administers a national program that requires staff with a diversity of skills and educational backgrounds. Therefore, NLS seeks interns with a background in fields of study including but not limited to:
- Accounting and Finance
- Audio and Sound Engineering
- Business Administration
- Communications and Media Studies
- Computer Science
- Contracts and Procurement
- Facility Management
- International Languages
- General Studies
- Human Resources
- Information Technology and Accessibility Design
- Library Information Science
- Policy Analysis and Development
- Project Management
Qualifications and Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and those who have graduated within the past five years from an accredited two-year or four-year college or university are eligible to apply. In addition, applicants:
- Must be a US Citizen
- Must be legally blind
- Must be able to work remotely
The knowledge, skills, and abilities an intern needs for this program include:
- Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Office Word and Excel
- Knowledge of braille
- Ability to assist in planning, reviewing, researching, and collecting information
Work Schedule and Compensation
During the session, interns work part-time, 20 hours a week. Schedules are flexible and the days and hours worked are determined between the intern and supervisor. Interns for this program serve as a GS-4 Program Support Assistant. The position offers no health benefits or insurance.
Application and Program Period
The NLS Aspiring Leaders Internship Program operates during the summer, between June and September. Applications must be received by the deadline of November 1.
Complete Application Package
A complete application package will include:
How to Apply
A complete application package should be sent to [email protected].
Please send your questions concerning the Internship Program to [email protected].