Job Shadowing Program

RRLC Job Shadowing Program – Learn From Each Other

What is the RRLC Job Shadowing Program?

Job shadowing is an opportunity for RRLC member library staff or library school students to gain first-hand knowledge about library work or to learn tips from a person doing the same type of work in a different library.

A job shadowing visit may be a few hours or a full day. Visitors are matched with hosts and observe services and processes of interest. Job shadowing participants will:

  • experience the culture of another institution
  • observe & acquire examples of good management practice
  • identify areas for further service development
  • identify areas for personal development
  • network with other staff & build relationships with others
  • compare/contrast standards & achievements in their own institution with others

Definition of terms

Host: the individual at an RRLC member organization that offers to host individuals for a job shadow.

Visitor: the individual from an RRLC member organization or library school student who visits and observes at an RRLC member organization.

How to participate

  • Prospective Hosts: complete the Host registration form.
  • Prospective Visitors: complete the Visitor registration form.
  • RRLC will match Host and Visitor and when a match is found, contact the Host to determine availability and then share the Host’s contact information with the Visitor. The visitor is responsible for contacting the host to set up the job shadow visit.
  • After the job shadow, both the Host and the Visitor are asked to complete an evaluation form.

General guidelines


  • Potential visitors should work out with their host what they will see and do that day, based on interests and availability.
  • To make this experience meaningful, some preparation is helpful. Look at the host library’s website, catalog, and other available resources related to your area of interest.
  • Come prepared with questions to ask the host.
  • Job Shadowing is a learning process. Participants are not paid for this experience. Be respectful of your host’s time commitment.
  • Check with host in advance about appropriate attire.
  • Provide advance notice if you require special accommodations.


  • Ask your visitor if they require special accommodations.
  • Let your visitor know what is considered appropriate attire at your workplace.
  • Work out with your visitor what they will see and do that day.
  • Be prepared to share information about your visitor’s interest areas; e.g., statistics, history, best practices and helpful tips.

For more information contact Laura Osterhout.

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