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LSTA Grants

Teen Internship Grant 2023

Application window for this grant cycle is now closed

The State Library is offering small grants to libraries in Oregon to fund library internships for local high school juniors or seniors (approximately 16–19 years old), to be completed in Summer 2023. This project was inspired by PLA's Inclusive Internship Initiative and has been adapted for Oregon library needs.

This grant project has multiple goals:

  • Teen interns will increase skills working on a connected learning project. They will also more fully understand the scope of library work and be able to identify how their interests and skills match that work.
  • Library mentors will develop leadership, communication, and coaching skills.
  • Participating libraries will better understand how to engage and support students while also creating career and programmatic pathways to increase diversity in the field.

The application period will open on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, and close Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Grants will be awarded by March 15, 2023. Funds will be distributed in advance and recipients will be expected to commit to spending the entire grant amount to the penny. All funds must be expended by August 31, 2023.

Eligibility & Requirements

Who may apply

  • Officially recognized public libraries and public library systems
  • Academic libraries at public and private (nonprofit only) colleges and universities in Oregon
  • Federally recognized tribes in the state of Oregon
  • Special libraries in Oregon (governments or nonprofits only), including county law libraries
  • Oregon public schools, non-profit private schools and public charter schools that have a library facility and some level of FTE of paid library staff at each participating library.

Priority will be given to libraries that did not receive a Teen Internship ARPA grant.

How much you may apply for and for what

Each entity may request up to $5,000 to recruit and hire an intern, in compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws and minor workers laws, and in collaboration with your library’s human resources and finance staff, throughout the grant award and the intern application and selection process.

Libraries should recruit interns who reasonably reflect the diversity of the community being served. We encourage you to think broadly about diversity and inclusivity. In addition to race or ethnicity, consider gender and gender identity, physical ability, teens currently not in school or those experiencing housing insecurity. There may be additional populations in your community from which to recruit an intern.

If awarded a grant…

Participating libraries will:

  • Assign a staff person to serve as a lead mentor
  • Recruit and hire an intern, in compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws and minor workers laws, and in collaboration with your library’s human resources and finance staff, throughout the grant award and the intern application and selection process.
  • Acknowledge the funding source in any publicity about the project or on resources created with these grant funds.
  • Expend ALL funds received by August 31, 2023
  • Submit a final report with all timesheets and documentation related to grant purchases by September 30, 2023

Participating mentors will:

  • With the intern, develop a connected learning project [see what grantees did last year: slides | recording]
  • Offer at least 3 hours a week of one-on-one mentoring and coaching
  • Attend at least 4 virtual meetings with State Library staff: kick-off, mentoring, midway, and report out
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities within the library, to community stakeholders, and with other libraries receiving this grant

Under the guidance of library mentors, interns will:

  • Contribute to the design and delivery of a connected learning project
  • Work at least 100 hours total, up to 300 hours maximum
  • Spend time writing about and reflecting on their experience
  • Complete two short surveys about their experience

To support these activities, the State Library will:

  • Provide materials to guide successful mentor-intern relationships
  • Offer one-on-one technical assistance to all grant recipients

Timeline & Application Process

Key Dates

January 31
& February 3, 2023

Information Sessions

  • Tuesday, Jan 31st at 9am
  • Friday, February 3rd at 1pm
February 15, 2023 Applications open
March 1, 2023 Applications due
March 15, 2023 Applicants notified of award status
March 28, 2023 Meeting: Kickoff, 9-11am
April 25, 2023 Meeting: Mentoring 101, 9-11am
May - August, 2023 Internships run
May 16, 2023 Meeting (optional*): Setting It All Up, 9-11am
July 11, 2023 Meeting: Midway Check-In, 9-11am
July 12 or 13, 2023 Meeting (for Teen Interns only, optional*): Teen Intern Meeting, July 12 10-11am or July 13th 3-4pm
August 1, 2023 Meeting (optional*): Ending Well, 9-11am
August 31, 2023 Deadline for grantees to spend funds
September 30, 2023 Deadline for grantees to submit final report, including receipts and PowerPoint slides
October 10, 2023 Meeting: Celebrate and Report Out, 9-11am

*The optional meetings were requested by some grantees last year.

How to Apply

You may preview the application before applying.

To start your application:

  • Log in to our online grants portal
    • If you are new to the system, you will need to create an account. You may want to first check if someone else from your organization has created an account for this site. If so, please email We can create an account for you that will be connected to your organization in the site.
  • Once logged in, select Apply in the top menu.
  • Locate the FY22 Teen Internship Grant box, and select the blue Apply button on that box.
  • You may save your work, log out, and come back to your application at any time before submitting.

Final applications must be submitted by the deadline listed in the timeline above. Applications that are left incomplete in the system or not submitted by the deadline will be considered abandoned requests and will not be considered for funding.


What are some examples of connected learning projects?

For project inspiration, here are some examples from PLA's Inclusive Internship Initiative and other libraries that may be helpful:

  • Intergenerational LGBTQ+ community roundtable
  • Outreach to teens held in a local temporary detention center
  • Audio engineering and videography workshops to create a music video
  • Library resource booklet for at-risk youth: how to get your GED, clear criminal records, look for jobs, etc.
  • Local history digitization project
  • Translation of library policy and rules documents
  • Naturalization Study Group for community members with transitional immigration statuses
  • Digital literacy training for Chinese speaking senior citizens
  • Create and implement a Latinx teen book club
  • Body Image Bootcamp, a virtual program for tweens and teens with body positive speakers
  • Presentation on library resources at community college registration events
  • STEM programming for elementary aged summer reading participants

You can also see what participants did last year: slides | video.

Who should be a mentor?

Mentors can be any staff responsible for developing and implementing public-facing programs or services. We encourage you to look beyond teen services staff when considering mentors. Check to make sure mentoring will not require a job description change or violate union rules.

Can the library have a mentoring team?

Yes, having a mentoring team is a great way to expand an intern’s experience and while being sensitive to staff time and responsibilities. We ask that one mentor be identified as the intern manager.

What does the State Library expect of mentors?

Mentors are expected to participate in all virtual grant project meetings, as well as the final wrap-up event. They will work with their intern to develop a connected learning project based on the intern’s interests and library goals. Mentors should expect to spend at least 3 hours a week on direct intern support.

Who should be an intern?

We suggest students who are between entering their junior year of high school but have not yet started college (approximately 16–19 years old). Participating libraries will be responsible for identifying and hiring their intern.

How are interns hired?

It is the responsibility of the library to recruit and hire an intern, in consultation with the library’s human resource staff.

How many interns can I have?

This grant will support one (1) intern per library.

Do interns get paid?

Yes, grant funds can be used to pay interns. The library is responsible for establishing the intern’s hourly wage and determining how the funds will be administered to the intern. These funds must be used for direct intern support, which includes payroll taxes such as FICA, Medicare, and unemployment. They cannot be used for overheard or related costs. Please check with your HR department regarding local laws and policies for tax and benefits withholding.

How many hours a week should interns work?

We want to ensure libraries with varying staffing levels can access this opportunity, so we have some flexibility with the total time this project takes. To have adequate time to develop their community-based project, interns should commit to this internship being a primary summer responsibility.

With that said, there is no minimum weekly work requirement. Libraries should determine how many hours they can support an intern over the summer and make a decision from there about how many hours of an internship to offer when hiring, with a minimum of 100 hours total and a maximum of 300 hours total. It is up to the mentor and intern to determine the intern’s schedule. A 100 hour internship would work out to approximately 10 hours a week over a 10 week summer period. A 200 hour internship would work out to approximately 20 hours a week over a 10 week summer period. A 300 hour internship would work out to approximately 30 hours a week over 10 weeks.

Please note interns may only spend 25% of their time on administrative tasks like copying, filing, etc.