How to Gain Experience


Most careers in special libraries involve an in-depth knowledge of technology and information management infrastructure. During your time at SJSU:

  • Take advantage of the many technology classes that are available, such as INFO 240, 242, and 246. For a more thorough list, check out Career Pathways
  • Find an internship – see the iSchool Internships database for a variety of physical and virtual internships.
  • Vary your experience as much as possible.
  • Even if you don’t have time to complete an internship, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities that don’t require as much of a time commitment and will give you invaluable hands-on experience.
  • Do not limit your options at this point!
  • Check out organizations and businesses in the areas where you live and inquire about internship possibilities if you can’t find something that works for you through the school.
  • SJSU’s iSchool has an ever-growing network of alumni who have found success outside the traditional realm of libraries. Check out the Career Spotlights to see a few of these success stories and find alumni who are willing to provide advice.

Another great way to gain experience is by getting involved with one of the many student chapters of library associations. The SJSU iSchool hosts thriving chapters of ALA, ASIS&T, and SLA. Joining the Special Libraries Association is a great way to get involved and make connections!

In addition, to get a good sense of what skills and expertise will help you succeed in special library environments, check out SLA’s Competencies for Information Professionals statement.