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LSTA Grants

Teen Internship ARPA Grant

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 2022. This project was inspired by PLA's Inclusive Internship Initiative and has been adapted for Oregon library needs. It is being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies, awarded to the State Library from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.

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 Tuesday, March 1, 2022, and close Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Grants will be awarded by April 1, 2022. 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, and invoices/receipts submitted to the State Library by August 31, 2022.

Eligibility & Requirements

Who may apply

  • Legally established public libraries and public library systems
  • Academic libraries at public and (nonprofit) private 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 school districts, 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.
    • Note: Library staff at individual schools in a public school district may not apply individually. Instead, all interested library staff at schools within a district should coordinate to determine how to share or divide potential grant funds. Each district may decide how many and which schools to include, based on priorities, needs, etc. Then designate a lead from among the library staff to apply. If a district has district-level staff who work with libraries, such as a district librarian, that person would be a good designated lead. That means there can be only one application per district.

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, 2022
  • Submit a spending report with all invoices and documentation related to grant purchases by August 31, 2022

Participating mentors will:

  • With the intern, develop a connected learning project
  • 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 ending
  • Be comfortable sharing successes, challenges, opportunities within the library, to community stakeholders, and with other libraries receiving this grant
  • Submit a final report, including a Power Point Slide deck (no more than 5 slides total), by September 30, 2022

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

February 8 & 11, 2022 Information sessions - Tuesday Feb 8 at 9am, and Friday Feb 11 at 1pm
March 1, 2022 Applications open
March 15, 2022 Applications due
April 1, 2022 Applicants notified of award status
April 12, 2022 Kickoff meeting at 9am
May 10, 2022 Mentoring meeting at 9am
June - August, 2022 Internships run
July 12, 2022 Midway meeting at 9am
August 31, 2022 Deadline for grantees to spend funds and submit spending report, including receipts
September 30, 2022 Deadline for grantees to submit final report, including PowerPoint slides
October 11, 2022 Ending meeting at 9am

How to Apply

All applicants must apply through the State Library of Oregon’s online grants portal.

  • You may preview the application before applying.
  • You will need to create an account if your organization does not already have one. If your organization already has an account, the system will alert you when you enter the employer identification number (EIN).
  • You may save your work, log out, and come back to your application at any time before submitting.
  • View the applicant tutorial for details on using the system.
  • 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

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.