Work Experience & Internship Program

The National Library of Australia offers work experience and internship placements to all Australian high school, University and TAFE/CIT students.

The Library’s work experience and internship program aims to show students the diverse range of work undertaken by the Library, help students explore their interests and align school studies with career aspirations.

Students completing a placement may encouter a variety of Library activities, such as:

  • Preserving collection items in our collection,
  • Responding to  reference enquiries,
  • Developing public applications, such as Trove,
  • Designing and coordinating new exhibitions,
  • Publishing and printing of Australian book,
  • Storing and accessing items held by the Library,
  • Recording and editing oral history and folklore interviews,
  • Identifying and acquiring new collection items.

How do I apply?

Students who would like to complete a work experience placement or internship at the National Library are required complete a short application form. The application form provides us with key details about you and what your interests are, so we can try and find you a suitable placement. For this reason it is important to put as much information down as possible.

Applications should be received at least 20 business days prior to the requested dates of the placement, or earlier if possible. This will ensure you have the best prospect for a placement.

Once your application form is complete, please return it via email to training@nla.gov.au for consideration. The Library will advise you if a placement has been identified within a few weeks of submitting your application. Unfortunately, we may not be able to take all students that apply.

Placement requirements

To participate in the National Library’s work experience and internship program you must be at least 14 years old and be enrolled in an Australian secondary school, University or TAFE/CIT where work experience is a requirement.

Students must also be covered by their educational institutions Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance. Once a placement is confirmed, students will need to provide a copy of this cover to the Library. Student placements may only occur when this coverage has been confirmed.

Students undertaking a work experience or intern placement are subject to the Library’s policies and procedures – specifically students should be aware of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and Values, and Work Health and Safety arrangements.

Opportunities for Indigenous students

The National Library strongly encourages work experience and internship applications from Indigenous students.  In addition to the possibilities above, the Library can offer Indigenous students an opportunity to work with our Indigenous collection material such as oral histories, pictures, archived websites, manuscripts, maps and ephemera. The National Library’s published collection also contains Indigenous Australian language dictionaries, word lists and lexicons published to date, covering hundreds of languages and dialects.

To complete an Indigenous work experience or internship placement at the Library, please indicate your descent on the application form.  

All questions and queries are welcome by emailing training@nla.gov.au or by calling the Work Experience Coordinator on 02 6262 1727.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for a placement?

You can apply for a placement at any time throughout the school year. However, forms must be received by the Library a minimum of 20 business days before the requested commencement date.

How do I apply?

To apply, fill in the application form and return it to the Library via email to training@nla.gov.au. Students who are applying for an internship placement are also encouraged to supply a copy of their transcript and/or resume.

How will I know if I have been successful in securing a work experience or internship placement?

The National Library of Australia will advise you of the outcome of your application via email. Please ensure the email provided on your application form is checked regularly.

I’m not enrolled in any studies, can I still apply?

Unfortunately, you must be enrolled in an educational institution to complete a placement. This is due to the required Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance coverage.

How long are placements?

The Library is flexible on the duration of placements and can be nominated on your application form. If you are unsure how long your placement should be to meet your study requirements, please speak to your educational institution. Hours of your placement generally match the students’ school hours, but can be flexible. Weekend placements are not available.

What paperwork will the Library require?

If your application is successful, high school Students will be required to complete and return the ‘ACT Department of Education and Training WEX 4-way agreement’. This must be signed by your parent or guardian, schools Work Experience Coordinator, Principle and yourself.  If your Work Experience Coordinator cannot provide you with this document, they can obtained it from the DET website www.det.act.gov.au or by contacting the ACT WEX Administrator at det.wex@act.gov.au.

A copy of your educational institutions Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance is required for both work experience and internship placements.

 I live interstate, can I still apply?

Students are welcome to apply from anywhere within Australia. However, travel and accommodation costs would be the responsibility of the student. Those under 18 years of age would require the written permission from a parent and/or guardian for the placement to occur.  Travelling students under 18 will also require guardian arrangements for the duration of the placement.

 I am not yet 14 years old, can I still complete a placement?

In accordance with the ‘ACT Department of Education and Training: Experience Counts’ policy, students must be 14 years of age or older to complete a work experience placement at the National Library of Australia.