EPA/NIEHS libraries internship contract extended

Release date: 
October 6, 2009

Photo of EPA logo The School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to announce that the contract that extends the 35 year relationship between the School and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Library has been signed.

The library internship program has offered an opportunity to develop practical skills in an active library for more than 350 students since its inception. In turn, the program offers EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Libraries some of the area’s best library students.

“The relationship between the School and the EPA and NIEHS libraries is important to our students as well as to the libraries,” said Dr. Barbara B. Moran, interim dean of SILS. "Students have an exceptional opportunity to gain hands-on experience at a federal library, and the libraries gain assistance with reference, cataloging, online searching, interlibrary loan tasks and much more. They also gain fresh ideas from some of our brightest students.”

The internship was originally negotiated by Dr. Edward G. Holley, former dean of SILS and William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor, in 1974. In 1985, interns also began working with the NIEHS Library, an addition to the program which was driven by SILS alumnus and director of the NIEHS Library, W. Davenport “Dav” Robertson (MSLS '75). This ongoing successful program has consistently delivered quality services, adapting as needed when changes were implemented.

"I am delighted that the contract to provide library services to EPA and NIEHS has been awarded to SILS once again," said Tamika Barnes, director of the EPA Library. "The libraries provide a training ground for not only the day-to-day activities such as cataloging, reference and interlibrary loan, but also gives students the opportunity to develop new instructional classes and tutorials, manage wikis and blogs and assist with marketing library services.  The combination of class work and experience providing excellent service at the EPA and NIEHS libraries gives the students a competitive edge for a variety of positions after graduation."

There are currently nine SILS students in the internship program including, Rachel Carriere, Megan Carter, Ruth Finch, Geoffrey Corey Harmon, Lauren Havens, Kathryn Roth, Lesley Skalla, Brendan Thompson and Shannon Walker.

"I have had the opportunity to intern at both the NIEHS and EPA," said Brendan Thompson, SILS student. "After almost ten years experience in libraries, the EPA/NIEHS internship still provides me with fresh and innovative ways to provide patrons with the services they need and desire. Also, the diverse group of interns and librarians provide for an ideal setting in which to collaborate and implement cutting edge technology."

Staff members who work at the EPA Library are SILS employees who are under contract. They include, Tamika Barnes, EPA library director; Susan Forbes, EPA library assistant director; Michael Cummings, EPA Interlibrary Loan/reference librarian; Barbara Dietsch, EPA Library technical assistant; and Diane Leblond, EPA library assistant.

For an historical overview and an analysis of the interns who worked at the EPA and NIEHS Libraries, please see the Master's paper titled, "The Environmental Protection Agency and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Libraries Internship Program: Its history and an Analysis of Former Interns' Careers" by SILS alumna Laura A. Westmoreland (MSLS '09).