Internship organisation in Digital Library post-graduate educational programs: students’ perceptions

Sara Valla


The importance of internships in information studies related educational programmes is confirmed by the literature, practice, and investigations of the labour market (Van Der Molen, 2007) (Lorring & Kajberg, 2005) (Tammaro, 2007). The curriculum of the Master’s programme DILL (Digital Library Learning) includes an internship which aims at giving students the opportunity to carry out a program of job training and digital library work experience, that can assist them in career exploration, and makes it possible to integrate academic and professional curricula. This paper reports on a small study carried out among students of DILL6 edition, who were asked to report on their perceptions on the initial phase of the process, and on the possibility of the relevant activities to foster self-reflection on knowledge, capabilities and skills, and on academic and professional goals. The focus is on the initial preparatory phase of the process, which leads to the creation of an internship plan related to specific learning outcomes, in agreement with the supervisor and the placement-hosting organisation.  The aims of the study are to investigate students’ perceptions about the usefulness of the internship’s initial phase, and highlight perspectives for improvement. The objectives include identifying advantages and barriers, and investigating the time dedicated to self-reflection if related to other practical and technical aspects. The qualitative methodology of this exploratory work includes different ways of compensating for the small number of students involved: a questionnaire to students, an interview with the local coordinator, a panel with experts during a workshop, questionnaires to the placement coaches.

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