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LRL Newsline | Summer 2022: Library Questions

September 6, 2022

For this issue of Newsline we asked you about internships:

Do you have interns in your library/office?

  • Who handles recruitment & HR duties for the interns?
  • Do you have special projects they work on while with your office? (can you provide examples of projects you’ve had interns work on in the past?)
  • What are the pros and cons you’ve experiences when working with interns in the legislative environment?
  • If you don’t have interns, why?

Check out the responses from library across the nation below:


  1. Here at LSA, we have one internet technician on staff; this position is hired internally. The responsibilities of our internet technician vary from general bugs to system configuring and occasionally collecting data with me. Other technicians that we have in the capital and statehouse are hired by the senate, I am unaware of their duties.
  2. Covid procedures regarding the library are not much. We ask, now that our state has rolled back some of the safety requirements, that all attorneys notify me when and how long they intend to keep a book. Just in case an employee comes within contact or contracts the virus.

Alaska Legislative Reference Library

  1. IT services for the library (and legislature as a whole) are provided by the agency’s IT section.
  2. We plan to continue encouraging phone/email/Teams contact over walk-ins, emphasizing digitized materials, and retaining a hybrid work schedule.


The Colorado Legislative Resource Center does not utilize interns.  The Legislative Council, which the Legislative Resource Center is under, historically has not employed interns.


Connecticut State Library

As of now, we don't have any formal internship program in place here at CSL. The major reason for this is it would take a lot of labor on our part to administer (training, supervising, etc.) for a short and unreliable duration of work done. This may change in the future but that's where it stands right now.

Connecticut Legislative Library

The CT Legislative Library does not have our own interns because we would not have time to adequately train and supervise them. However, each year we work with the approximately 70-80 students in the caucuses’ internship program. We give them comprehensive instruction in legislative research sources and methods and offer reference help to them throughout the semester. Many legislative staff members get their start through this program. We offer similar training and reference assistance to a handful of graduate student fellows in the nonpartisan offices each year.


Do you have interns in your library/office?

Yes, through a program run by the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware. The program is known as the Legislative Fellows Program. The program places 14 graduate and undergraduate students with the different offices within the General Assembly.

Who handles recruitment & HR duties for the interns?

The University of Delaware recruits applicants for the program and legislative staff then determines which of the applicants to admit to the program.

Do you have special projects they work on while with your office? (can you provide examples of projects you’ve had interns work on in the past?)

Yes, they work on special projects like fulfilling research requests from the legislators or legislative staff, preparing minutes of committee meetings, and assisting with report writing and legislation drafting. One example of a large “special project” they worked on recently was to catalog all of the Delaware Code provisions requiring a state agency to complete and submit a report to the General Assembly.

What are the pros and cons you’ve experiences when working with interns in the legislative environment?

The biggest “pro” is that they augment our small staff and allow us to respond to more legislative requests than we ordinarily can otherwise given our small staff. The biggest “con” is that we don’t have staff positions to hire the best fellows for and so lose a lot of our investment in them.

Maine State and Legislative Reference Library

Since I’ve been here (a little over seven years now), we haven’t had any interns. I’ve heard that we did in the past.


Do you have interns in your library/office?

There are interns in the Department of Legislative Services but traditionally, the interns have not worked in the library. There are also interns that are hired to work for members of the Maryland General Assembly.

Who handles recruitment & HR duties for the interns?

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services’ Human Resources office

Do you have special projects they work on while with your office? (can you provide examples of projects you’ve had interns work on in the past?)

N/A, the library doesn’t have any interns currently nor have we had them in the past.

What are the pros and cons you’ve experienced when working with interns in the legislative environment?

Our experience with interns has been primarily working with the ones working for the members of the Maryland General Assembly. The pros of these experiences are that we can help to teach how to do legislative research and more about the legislative process in Maryland, along with building relationships with the interns and encouraging them to continue doing legislative work even after their internship concludes. The cons of these experiences are that sometimes the interns are pressed for time doing other activities and sometimes we have to abbreviate our explanations and training.

If you don’t have interns, why?

From time to time in the library, the prospect has been considered but has never quite materialized for various reasons. In the future, it is something we want to explore further.


IT: We have an IT Unit (part of our Admin Division) that serves most all the Legislative Counsel Bureau, the Houses, and the legislators. Our Legal Division has their own IT unit for their unique needs.

COVID Keepers:

  • We will continue to offer intermittent remote work days as an option for staff. (Downside: we no longer get snow days or late starts because of weather.)
  • Remote/hybrid training and meetings for staff being the norm instead of a rarity.
  • Our use of Microsoft Teams (something we transitioned to during the very beginning of the lockdown).

New Mexico

  • The Legislative Council Service (LCS) Library doesn’t have interns throughout the interim. We hire one additional full time staff member for session work. We’ve occasionally had the chance to ask for research assistance from an intern for more in-depth research questions (such as extensive 50 state survey questions)
  • The larger division of LCS does hire interns for assisting bill drafters and researchers and interim committees—some interns are here only three months while others are here for the interim and recruitment is handled by managers and our HR staff.
  • The pros of working with interns is that they are usually very driven and helpful. The con is that they are with the agency for such a short time, that it’s hard to decide which project to assign to an intern with a limited amount of time the intern is with the agency.
  • I don’t believe the library has hired interns in the past because there is no funding allotted for one. Interns for other divisions within LCS are paid.

North Carolina

Do you have interns in your library/office?

I briefly had a library intern last year—the first intern our library has ever had. She was in her final semester in a combined JD/MLS program. I had her do one special research project for me. Otherwise, she assisted with and learned about the various functions—reference, cataloging, etc.—in the library.

Who handles recruitment & HR duties for the interns?

My library is part of the Legislative Analysis Division (LAD) of the NC General Assembly, and LAD uses one or two law student interns once or twice a year. One of our central staff attorneys oversees their recruitment and supervises them here.

Do you have special projects they work on while with your office? (can you provide examples of projects you’ve had interns work on in the past?)

They assist with answering legal questions from legislators, and during session, they help our attorneys staff committee meetings.

What are the pros and cons you’ve experienced when working with interns in the legislative environment?

In my experience, interns are a mixed bag. They are eager to learn and to help, but in many cases, they lack the skills to perform necessary work, which means the projects they tend to be assigned are busy work. For the interns themselves, however, the experience is immensely beneficial. For that reason, I wouldn’t hesitate to take on another MLS intern in the future.


Utah does not have any interns specific to our legislative library.  Our office (the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel) does, however, hire 93 interns each year to work one on one with legislators during the Legislative General Session.

We work with nine universities and colleges in the state to recruit, hire, and train 93 interns.  Eligible participants must be enrolled in one of the specified institutions and receive school credit for their work as an intern. We rely upon the universities/colleges to recruit and send us their best eligible students to fill intern slots. Once accepted into the intern program, they (the interns) are employees of our office during the internship, and we conduct the on-boarding/training and HR/hiring paperwork.

Interns work one on one (in a few cases, one intern with two shared legislators) with an assigned legislator.  As such, the type of work that our interns perform will vary.  Most of our interns perform the following tasks:

  • Track bills that their assigned Legislator is sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or in which they have a particular interest.
  • Maintain the Legislator’s calendar and track committee meeting agendas.
  • Schedule meetings with lobbyists, constituents, other Legislators, drafting attorneys, or other interested parties.
  • Write bill summaries and talking points for bill presentations.
  • Write email and other correspondence on behalf of their assigned legislator.
  • Organize their assigned legislator’s emails received.
  • Maintain their assigned legislator’s social media pages.
  • Attend meetings with, and on behalf of, their assigned legislator.
  • Answer phone calls on behalf of their assigned legislator.
  • Individual interns will (depending on their assigned Legislator) have special research projects that they may work on during their internship.

We have a great intern program and great partners at the universities/colleges who send us great students. In the past, we have had students who don’t seem to care about the experience or (for various reasons) can’t perform on the job. However, the vast majority of our interns have been great and are quick to pick up on what they need to do and perform at a high level. It is a great opportunity for college students to get an in-depth look at state level politics.  The good ones always want to stick around and be involved after their internship ends. We have interns who now work in every executive branch agency and other elected state offices.  We currently have several Legislators and staff who are former interns.

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.