A new programme to encourage young people into becoming librarians has been launched today by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL).
The scheme is modelled on TeachFirst, which attracts people into teaching, and comes in the wake of the Sieghart report in the public library service, which urged the library sector to bring in more graduates.
Under the new scheme, 50 paid internship posts for young people have been created by the SCL and arts employment charity Creative Society, as part of Arts Council England's Creative Employment Programme, a £15m fund designed to put 6,500 unemployed 16-24 year-olds into the arts and creative industries.
The internships will see the participants aiming to gain skills and experience across the library service, including coordinating summer literary festivals and working with library users on their digital skills.
SCL president Ciara Eastell said: "SCL is working very hard to make sure that young people know about the kinds of professional opportunities they could have in public libraries. Interns will bring fresh ideas to our libraries and we are looking forward to helping these young people take the next steps in their careers.”
Brian Ashley, director of libraries at Arts Council England, said: "We welcome today's announcement, it's exactly the kind of project needed in order to help more young people into work in libraries. Following the 'Envisioning the library of the future' research project, one of the Arts Council's priority areas for development was to deliver the right skills for those who work in libraries. The Creative Employment Programme provides access to on the job training, skills and experience which not only benefits the individuals involved, but the sector as whole."