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TeenSpace: HBPL Teens Work Internship

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2023 Summer Internship

The Huntington Beach Public Library has received a grant from the California State Library to offer paid internships to high school students of diverse backgrounds under the HBPL Teens Work program. These internships will include job preparedness training, leadership opportunities, and social emotional curriculum. Interns will have specific library tasks and may shadow various library departments.

Working under our Teen Librarian and Teen Intern Coordinator at the Central Library or Branch Manager at the Oak View Library, the selected intern will develop a connected learning project to be completed by the end of August 2023. Inspired by the Intern’s personal passions and interests, this project will foster positive change within the library and Huntington Beach community. For example projects and more information on connected learning, check out the Internship FAQ below. Interns are also expected to spend dedicated time writing, reflecting, and sharing about their internship experiences.

Duties may include (but are not limited to) :

  • Create a connected learning project that will be completed by the end of the internship. Projects will be presented to library staff in August 2023.
  • Create weekly vlogs or written reflections on the intern experience
  • Participate in training, presentations, or social-emotional learning assignments
  • Assist with TeenSpace events and other library programs
  • Guide visitors at the service desks and answer general library questions
  • Assist visitors with the self-checkout machines and computers
  • Coach visitors in the Makerspace on correct equipment use
  • Attend staff meetings from various library departments
  • Assist with projects or programs at a branch library location
  • Process new library materials
  • Shelve library materials
  • Other duties as assigned

Internship Details

Duration: 12 weeks

Hours: 15 hours per week, for a maximum of 180 hours. Hours must be completed by August 31, 2023. Although the schedule can be quite flexible to suit our intern's other commitments, in order to have adequate time to develop their community-based project, interns should anticipate committing to both weeknight and weekend hours.

Pay: $15.50/ hour. Interns will receive a paycheck of $465 every two weeks.


Interns must be incoming high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors in Fall 2023.
High school graduates from the Class of 2023 may also apply.
Interns must be able to work nights and weekends.
Interns must continue to receive passing grades in all of their current high school classes.
Selected candidates must be able to provide a work permit before starting. Work permits may be obtained from your high school site.

The ideal candidate will also demonstrate these qualities:

  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing and in-person.

  • Ability to interact with a diverse group of people with empathy, kindness, and respect

  • Can work comfortably under minimal supervision.

  • Takes initiative on projects but knows when to ask for help

  • Capable of meeting deadlines and balancing multiple tasks

  • Team Player who is able to collaborate

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Google docs, social media, email

  • Ability to work with people of all ages from children to seniors

How to Apply

We highly encourage prospective candidates to view the recorded Q&A session linked above! This may answer many of your questions before applying, and will help prepare you for what to expect from the HBPL Teens Work Internship.

Online applications go live on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. In the online application, applicants are asked to submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher, other school official, community leader, or librarian. Although a letter of recommendation is not required, it is a valuable addition to your application. An exisiting letter of recommendation may be submitted, if you have already received one for another scholarship or college application; the letter does not need to be customzied to this internship you have a pre-existing letter.

Any questions on the internship can be addressed to Marissa Chamberlain, Teen Intern Coordinator, at or to Christany Edwards, Teen Librarian, at They will be happy to answer any questions regarding the application or internship process by email or by phone at (714) 375-5110 (Christany) or (714) 375-5109 (Marissa).

All applications must be submitted by: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST.

Submitted applications will be reviewed between Thursday, March 9th and Monday, March 13th.
We will invite select candidates from the applicant pool to be interviewed. All applicants will receive an email from us regarding our decision by Tuesday, March 14th.

Interviews for selected candidates will be held: Tuesday, March 21st - Saturday, March 25th.

Internship FAQ

Q: What's a "Connected Learning Project"? What does my project need to include?

An excellent question!

Connected Learning Projects are all about combining a thing you are passionate about (ex: a favorite hobby or activity, a social cause you care deeply about, etc.) with a way you can help your community that you think the library can help you accomplish (ex: teaching a new skill to kids, working with seniors, supporting fellow teens, etc.). You can learn more about connected learning at the Connected Learning Alliance.​​​​​​

When pitching your project, we want you to focus on explaining WHO will be doing WHAT for HOW LONG and WHY. Show us why your idea matters to you, and how you think it would benefit others. Want to boost your project even more? Think about how completing your idea could support equity, diversity, inclusion, or belonging in our library spaces or in the Huntington Beach community. You don't need to have all of the details worked out for your program pitch, just a rough idea of how you might use what you're passionate about to help your community connect, grow or learn. We will help the selected interns narrow and plan their project as part of the internship, and interns are permitted to change their project from what was originally pitched in their application if they discover a new idea they want to pursue.

Some broad project ideas include: planning a library program or series of programs, hosting workshops to teach a skill, creating social media or video content for the library with a specific purpose, or creating a new section for the TeenSpace webpage with a specific purpose.

Bonus Brainstorming Tips: When brainstorming your project idea, start by looking inward and reflecting on yourself. Who are you now, and who do you see yourself becoming? Do you think of yourself as an activist, coder, scientist, designer, writer, chef, etc.? What are some of the things you value most, that you're most passionate about getting involved in, or that make you feel creative and connected to your world? How can you use those elements that drive you, and that make you who you are, to benefit your community? That intersection is where you'll find a great connected learning program idea!

Q: What are some examples of Connected Learning projects? What have past interns done?

Our 2021 Summer intern, Yusra, was interested in working with the Teen book collection. She did a diversity audit of the Teen collection so that we would know where we needed to purchase more BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and disability-related titles. She also created a Diverse Teen Reads List that is part of our Teen Reads section on the TeenSpace pages. You can see the list here: Yusra's goal was to make it easier for teens to find diverse books that reflected and interested them without having to search through the library catalog.

Yusra's internship was part of a wider internship program supported by the Public Library Association, called the Inclusive Internship Initiative. You can read about more examples of projects done by other teen interns in this article by American Libraries Magazine: Examples of  projects completed by other III teen interns included hosting a teen open mic night program, organizing healthy eating resources for teens, developing a teen-led library podcast, organizing a teen film festival, leading hands-on crafting workshops for teens or kids, and so much more! The most important thing about these impressive projects is that they were based on the passions and interests of the interns, and had a goal of supporting a need that interns saw in their community.

Our interns from the Winter 2023 cohort had unique projects that included teen-guided coding classes for middle grade kids ages 8-12, intergenerational cooking workshops to teach and share family recipes from a variety of different cultures, discussing LGBTQ+ history, and bilingual crafting classes to teach traditional Hispanic crafts and Spanish language to English speakers. Each of these projects was inspired entirely by the interns' individual passions, interests, skills, and focused on a specific, actionable way of helping their community.

Q: What are you looking for in our applications? What will make mine stand out?

We're primarily looking for a candidate with a creative and actionable idea for their connected learning project. We want to know what you are passionate about and how you think you might use that to help your community connect, grow or learn.

Standout projects for us are those that help connect library resources to the community, or are something HBPL can use going forward. We also love projects that focus on supporting library values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. And we love creative projects that dream big!

We are not looking for previous job experience - we know that for many of you, an internship like this will be your first paid job! Instead, we are looking for leadership skills, motivation, creativity, and relationship-building that we can help you leverage to be successful in this internship and in your future career.

Q: Is the library internship just paid library volunteering?

Nope! Although our interns may find themselves doing some of the tasks they learned how to do as volunteers, like shelving books or helping out on the Summer Reading registration desk, they will only occasionally be asked to do this type of work.

Unlike volunteers, an intern's primary responsibility is developing their Connected Learning Project with the guidance and support of our Intern Coordinator and Teen Librarian. As they work toward making their project ideas a reality, interns can also expect to sample a variety of experiences in their day-to-day work, from graphic design and web design to customer service and public speaking. We aim to give you a well-rounded overview and hands-on practice of the skills you need to succeed in today's job market, and nudge you out of your comfort zone...just a little.

Additionally, as an intern, you are considered paid library staff and will have a higher level of responsibility and expectations. You will be experiencing the type of work done by Library Services Aides and Librarians. 

Q: What opportunities are there if I'm not selected or want to apply for Winter 2024?

We have many volunteer opportunities that will give you experience with leadership and library programming, which can help you with your future applications - both to our internship and to other job opportunities! These are our top three recommendations if you're looking to really get involved with the library and get great work experience while you're at it:

Teen Advisory Group (TAG) - Work with our Teen Librarian to create, plan, and run programs for other teens. Help influence the direction of Teen Services in this library. Applications for TAG will be reopening in March - stay tuned!

First Look Book Club - Love books and want to see the newest releases? Join the First Look Book Club and give your opinion about the newest books coming to the Teenspace. Get volunteer hours for submitting reviews and coming to monthly meetings with the Teen Librarian to discuss your favorite books, decorate our monthly display, and help with other book-related projects. Applications for First Look will be opening in March - stay tuned!

Teens Teach - Have a cool skill, hobby or idea for a cool library event? Pitch it to us! We'll help you make it happen with our Teens Teach volunteer program, which dedicates library resources to teen-designed and teen-led programs.

Huntington Beach Public Library
7111 Talbert Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone 714-842-4481