School of Information Sciences - Library and Information Science Program

About the Partners Program

One of the key factors to acquiring a challenging and exciting position upon graduation is having pertinent experience. 

The question is…how to get that experience if you haven’t yet earned the MLIS degree? 

The answer is…the Partners Program.

Employers are seeking information professionals with the MLIS degree from an accredited program, as well as those with some pertinent professional experience. At the iSchool at Pitt there are several opportunities to acquire practical experience while you pursue your MLIS degree. The Pitt Partners Program addresses this need for experiential learning, which helps enhance your resume and the likelihood of gainful employment after completing your program of study.

The work commitment for the Pitt Partners Program is 10-15 hours per week in a regional library, archival facility, information center, corporation, or non-profit organization. Each placement is for three terms; therefore, you’ll have gained a significant amount of experience by the time you enter the job market. Host institutions utilize Partners students in a wide variety of professional positions in cataloguing, reference, special collections, interlibrary loan, metadata creation, technical services, records management, public services, and digital curation.

To be eligible to participate in the Partners Program, students must be full-time or part-time MLIS students who are U.S. Citizens. All placements begin in the fall term and require a commitment of three consecutive terms

As part of the Partners application, you have the opportunity to note your anticipated specializations and special skills as well as express interest in interviewing with specific Partnering institutions. The Partners application experience is similar to that of a typical job interview process. Students should view all experience in the field as valuable in helping to achieve their career goals.

Students offered placement that may involve contact with children will be required to submit three clearances, including Pennsylvania child abuse, criminal history, and FBI fingerprinting to the Partners Program office prior to the start of the fall term.

Over 65 of the finest institutions in the Pittsburgh area have participated in the Pitt Partners Program. Recent host sites have included:
 • Allegheny County Library Association
 • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
 • Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
 • Carnegie Museum of Modern Art
 • Mattress Factory
 • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
 • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre 
 • Senator John Heinz History Center
 • University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library
 • University of Pittsburgh University Library System


“The Pitt Partners program provided me with an amazing opportunity to gain real-world experience with archiving audiovisual materials through my placement at KDKA-TV. My experience at KDKA-TV, supported by relevant and timely coursework, sparked an interest in moving image and sound archiving which I continue to pursue at the Library of Congress's National Audiovisual Conservation Center. The Partners Program allowed me to see first-hand the challenges in preserving sound and video materials. I was able to bring my questions into the classroom and connect the theoretical perspective with practical application.” - Harrison Behl, MLIS’09

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SIS is a member of the ISchools Caucus


The Partners Program

This learning opportunity provides a three-term placement in libraries and information centers. Gain real-world experience as an information professional!