Library Internship

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for a library internship.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization seeking to dramatically alter drug policy here and around the world.   DPA fights for drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights. The work is grounded in the principles of harm reduction, an approach that seeks to minimize the negative consequences of both drug use and drug policies.  DPA’s work encompasses a wide array of policy issues, including:

  • Sentencing reform and alternatives to incarceration
  • Harm reduction (HIV, hepatitis C and overdose prevention)
  • Ending marijuana prohibition, marijuana decriminalization, medical marijuana
  • Drug education, youth and drugs
  • Race and the drug war
  • Effective drug treatment
  • Civil liberties and rights
  • International drug control
  • Alternatives to prohibition and pragmatic steps for ending the drug war

In the last 20 years, DPA has expanded from its New York headquarters to include eight offices, 60 plus staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million, over 35,000 dues-paying members and nearly 350,000 online subscribers.  We have a solid track record of success at the local, state, and federal levels and consistent visibility in prominent media and policy circles. (For more information, see

The Position

Maintain the library collection, assist with the digitization of the audiovisual materials, and with the cataloging of new materials for the collection of the Lindesmith Library. The Lindesmith Library is one of the world’s leading resources for scientific information on drug policy as well as an outstanding source of information on drug policy reform. The collection of contemporary and historical articles, books, and films is unmatched, and the services of the library play a critical role in advancing an honest and informed public discourse about drug issues. It is a great opportunity for anyone interested in special library management, cataloging, or academic outreach.

The Lindesmith Library was founded in 1995 and named after Professor Alfred Lindesmith of Indiana University, the first prominent scholar in the U.S. to challenge conventional thinking about drugs, addiction, and drug policy. The collection contains more than 15,000 books, audio recordings, articles, and videos focusing on drugs and drug policy from economic, criminal justice, public health and other perspectives.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Use Inmagic genie to catalog new materials received for the library
  • Create and refine metadata for library records of the collection
  • Conduct library grant research
  • Occasionally utilize hardware and software to create digital copies of VHS/cassette tapes
  • Assist in organizing digitized files
  • Propose library modernization strategies
  • Answer reference questions from employees across the US
  • Manage the circulation requests to DPA offices
  • Maintain shelves and physical collections

Based in DPA’s New York City headquarters, the Library Intern will be part of DPA’s Admin team and report to the Office Manager. One day of training will be necessary.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • At least one completed semester at an accredited library and information science program
  • Previous cataloging experience, library experience, digitization experience, and/or experience in substance abuse related work are pluses

The intern will be highly organized, be a self-starter that is willing to learn how our small special library collection works, have a good sense of humor, be able to work with minimum supervision, and be able to commit to at least four hours per week.  In return, the volunteer will have the chance to work with a highly skilled and fun team of committed people.


This is an unpaid internship. Interns are offered a modest travel stipend.

Application Process: Please submit a cover letter and resume to David B. Abbott, Office Manager at dabbott [at] drugpolicy [dot] org

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.