UMA-ILS ILS 499 Senior Capstone
University of Maine at Augusta


ILS 499/ILS 299- Course Information

Students in the ILS program are required to complete either a practicum(AS/BS) or an advanced research project(BS only). Both of these options have strict guidelines in order to qualify for one or the other and for their successful completion. This experience and successful completion of the course is your way to demonstrate to the ILS Faculty and to UMA that you deserve the honor of graduating from the ILS program at the University of Maine at Augusta.

The experience, the site-supervisor evaluation, and the demonstration of the skills you have learned from your ILS and general education requirements in presentation format of the final report and a program portfolio are typically evaluated by a member of the ILS Faculty, the Dean, and an MLS-Degreed Librarian in the field.

Please see below for the different requirements for the:


Prerequisite for ILS 299: To be eligible to enroll in ILS 299, students must have completed all their 100 and 200 level ILS courses.

299 Description: Practicum The library practicum is designed to provide on-the-job experience under the supervision of a professional librarian in a library or other information agency for the purpose of utilizing skills, knowledge, and attitudes acquired during the course of study leading to the associate degree. The 80 hour on-site work experience includes experience in one or more functional areas as appropriate to student interests, and specialized individual projects which meet the library/information agency and student goals.

Prerequisite for ILS 499:

To be eligible to enroll in ILS 499, the student must have completed all the ILS courses at the lower level (first-year and second-year) plus ILS 325, ILS 350, ILS 442, and one course from the following: ILS 312, ILS 385, or ILS 441 or with permission from the Program Coordinator.

499 Description: Practicum

The library practicum is designed to provide on-the-job experience under the supervision of a professional librarian in a library or other information agency for the purpose of utilizing skills, knowledge, and attitudes acquired during the course of study leading to the bachelor's degree.

For students who have not worked in libraries, the internship can provide an overview of the types of services offered and the opportunity to try out various jobs within an organization. The experience of being placed in a new setting with different patterns of management and unfamiliar staff relationships challenges candidates with previous library experience to try on new roles and to examine the profession from a new perspective.

Overall Practicum Objectives:

  1. To provide students with planned experiential learning through placement and supervision of work opportunities at a specified site.
  2. To provide an awareness of worker responsibility for pursuing lifelong learning in the workplace.
  3. To provide an orientation in the operation and management of a library or information agency serving a specific clientele.
  4. To provide an opportunity to acquire knowledge and learn new skills to enhance performance as a library staff member.
  5. To provide career awareness and direction through experiential learning.
  6. To offer opportunities to observe and learn professional interpersonal behaviors which are essential to the successful operation of libraries.
  7. To increase awareness of library services and provide opportunities for establishing connections with library personnel within the local area.


To be submitted a few weeks before the semester you are ernolled in the Capstone course begins. More information and necessary tasks are outlined in detail on the BlackBoard course when the semester begins.

*Students MUST contact Jodi before their prospective site supervisor meeting.

To get started before the beginning of the semester in which you will be enrolling you must fill out the following forms:


  1. Opportunities for Students in Maine
  2. Examples of ILS Internships: News & Notes
  3. Internship Overview/Outcomes: 299&499(PDF)
  4. Sample email to a prospective library (RTF)
  5. Site Supervisor Letter (DOC)
  6. Site Supervisor Checklist: Responsibilities (RTF)
  7. Project Ideas (RTF)
  8. Evaluation by Site Supervisor (RTF)-will be filled out online by the Site Supervisor at the end of the term, but can be given to the site supervisor at the beginning of the semester so they understand the evaluation criteria.)

FORMS TO BE FILLED OUT PRIOR TO STARTING*students MUST be logged in with their account-the same credentials used for BlackBoard.

  1. Student Information (online form)*
  2. Operations and Skills Checklist (Fill out online form)*
  3. Site Supervisor Approval (RTF)
  4. Internship Contract (RTF)

(These forms can be used for both the 299 and the 499. The primary difference between the two practicums is the number of required hours AS=80 BS=120 hours onsite.)

Research Option or Hybrid: ILS 499 only

Eligibility Requirements:

If students have taken ILS 299, OR they have more than 10 years full-time experience in a library (documentation may be requested*) they can request to be allowed to do an original research project or to undertake a hybrid research/internship project (60 hours on-site and 25 page original research paper). For those students who have never worked in a library or have not taken ILS 299, they must opt for the practicum option.

**To be eligible for the research option or hybrid, if students have not taken ILS 299, a student must have 10 years work experience or by permission of the coordinator. For this option students may need to submit a resume documenting work experience, and/or a letter of recommendation from a supervisor or acceptable peer in the ILS field who can attest to your abilities, knowledge and skills as it pertains to libraries.

Description: Research option

The advanced research option provides an opportunity for the student to do an independent study on a topic of interest in the field of library and information science. This is not a traditional research paper, but rather an original research project which involves the creation of a data collection instrument, actual data collection from a decided upon audience and a research level paper on a topic of the students' choice. The paper should be at the level of a publishable article in a field journal.

A study proposal will be developed by the student and presented for approval to the faculty sponsor and the Coordinator of the Library and Information Technology degree programs.

Successful completion of the course is based on a minimum of 120 hours of student effort and satisfactory evaluation of the research project by the faculty sponsor as evidenced by supporting journals, periodic reports, an annotated bibliography, and a final oral and/or written presentation for which the student will earn 6 credits.

For the Research Portion ONLY: Textbook

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Coulomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Course Requirements:

If the prerequisite for the research option has been met, and the student is thinking about the research option, the following should be helpful in guiding the student to make that decision.

First of all, the research option is not a simple research paper on a topic, it is original research. It is similar in nature to the Master's Thesis and should not be considered an "easier" option than the practicum. Most students undertaking this option have found that it was much more work, and much more difficult and time-consuming than doing the practicum. This option requires you to do original research, to develop an instrument, collect data, analyze, do basic descriptive statistical evaluation of that data and present the results in a 40-50 page paper. This is in additional to assignments that are due at 4 stages of the semester.

The approved research proposal will consist of four phases:

  1. planning,
  2. implementation,
  3. evaluation, and
  4. presentation.

The student will keep a journal of learning activities, submit periodic progress reports, speak with the faculty sponser on a bi-weekly basis, develop an annotated bibliography of resources consulted, and present the findings in both a pwerpoint presentation and a research level article appropriate for the topic.

Any students opting for this, MUST, contact Jodi Williams via phone to discuss this option. Regularly scheduled phone appointments will be conducted over the course of the term. Please email: to set up a phone appointment to discuss this option.

*Information updated 8/1/15



THIS is an opportunity for you to explore an area of librarianship and put into practice all of the skills you have learned while in the ILS program!

Explore, have fun, get out, network and most importantly LEARN!


The U.S. Naval Observatory
"I was able to explore the depths of the archives and process an important historical collection"

Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center Library
"imagine the opportunity to bring together two fields you are passionate about, Native American Research and Libraries!"

Miller Library, Colby College
"I am excited about what I've been doing and learning there, talk about a GREAT experience"