PICS Organization Name
The New York Public Library
New York, New York
Charlie Argon '17, Shirley Wu '15
The New York Public Library is a global leader, redefining library service at a moment of fundamentally transformational change for all libraries. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge and strengthen our communities.
The Strategic Research and Analytics Office supports the Library's senior management by researching and evaluating projects/ decisions of strategic importance for the Library, as well as by gathering and analyzing data, and communicating insights that allow the Library to better serve its users. Our PICS intern will contribute to the Library and its mission by participating in that work.
Our PICS interns typically work as full members of our team, participating in team meetings, contributing to and, if appropriate, leading Strategic Research and Analytics projects. In the past, examples of projects our PICS interns were involved in included:
- Analyzing survey and user data to help us better understand the needs of our users (e.g. analyzing and deriving insights from researcher registration forms in our various research divisions; analyzing surveys of non-native speakers in our branch libraries to form recommendations on how the branches can better serve new immigrants);
- Assisting with assessment and evaluation of strategic pilots and the Library’s innovation program (e.g. a groundbreaking partnership between the Library and NYC Department of Education);
- Conducting environmental scans and other competitive landscape research projects.
The PICS interns we've had the privilege to host in the past told us they learned a lot and matured professionally during the internship, learning skills they do not learn in school (e.g. designing and deploying surveys, collecting field data, performing data analysis, using Word and PowerPoint to prepare succinct and clear communication about their findings and resulting recommendations to senior management, actively participating in team meetings and our team’s meetings with partners across the Library). Our past interns confirmed that as a result of the internship they felt better prepared for the job market after graduation (and seemed enthusiastic about potentially working in the non-profit sector and/or in strategy and data functions in other industries).
- Intellectual curiosity and problem-solving: we expect our interns to be excited about asking questions and seeking answers; we want them to have an open mind when formulating and testing hypotheses.
- High level of motivation and self-sufficiency: our interns are full members of the office, and we expect them to conduct themselves professionally, be self-motivated and pro-active about their duties. We want them to be eager to learn (with guidance as needed) the skills that they would need to be fully productive members of our team (e.g. more advanced Excel skills).
- Maturity: our interns interact with library staff and management, conducting in-person and phone interviews (both internal and external), leading discussion groups, assisting in leading staff workshops and presenting results of our research and analysis to senior management.
- Technical abilities: our interns need to know how to use MS Word to write short and long (chaptered) documents, basic Excel to analyze data and PowerPoint to create data-based presentations. Facility with Gmail and Google Documents is also strongly preferred.
- Understanding of and passion for the Library’s mission: we want our interns to come to us not because it’s a summer job, but because it’s a job with a mission.
Preferred: Advanced Excel and PowerPoint skills (we do require basic ones). Knowledge of other languages important for our communities (especially Spanish and/or Chinese).
Expected Start Time
Expected End Time
June - August
Meets Certificate Requirement
There is typically summer housing (sublets) available near colleges and universities located in New York City.
My internship was definitely educationally enriching – I learned a lot about how large non-profit organizations work, about the relationship between the non-profit sector and the government, and a lot about data analysis and strategic planning. It was everything I could have asked for and more.
—Shirley Wu '15