Dear Tasha,

Are you interested in implementing social media into your organization’s outreach methods?

Do you have a backlog of archival collections that need to be processed?

Could your website be updated or assessed for usability?

Does your organization just need some help with information management?

Do you want to give back by providing a student with an enlightening service experience all while benefitting your organization?

If so, then you are an ideal host for the University of Michigan School of Information’s (SI) annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program.

ASB is an opportunity for non-profit, cultural, government or educational institutions in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Detroit to host one or more master’s students to participate in hands-on information-related projects during the week of Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 2, 2012.

Participating host organizations submit hands-on, practical projects related to the areas that are being studied at the School of Information. Often, these projects are technology or information-management oriented projects that staff don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources to complete. Organizations are then matched with fully-funded students who travel to you the week of spring break to work on this project. In the past, students have worked with organizations to develop internal library systems, perform research and analysis on information policy topics, update websites and perform usability analysis, and develop and implement social media solutions, amongst many others (see to see the 2011 program’s project offerings.)

Ideal projects are related to our core areas of study in library and information services, archives and records management, and human-computer interaction (usability).  Additionally, we are also hoping to receive projects that are oriented around the development or use of social media tools, information policy research and analysis, health informatics and information analysis and retrieval, amongst other information management issues.


Beyond arranging for a project to be completed by a student, organizations are asked to provide a brief orientation to the students at the start, and to invest some time to share information about the organization, the greater purpose of what the project is, and to talk about career-related opportunities with your student(s) at some point throughout the week. There is no cost for participation and students’ expenses are covered by fund raising through the School of Information.

Comments from past participating organizations include:

“All SI students I've met have been amazing: they not only are smart but their ethic of work and professional approach are impeccable.”

“We find that each student we've hosted has brought a new wealth of information. They are always great to work with and really inject life into our work.”

We have over 100 interested students for the 2012 program who would like to assist your organization during this week-long experience. By working with you, the students get to apply their skills and knowledge in a real-world environment, network with you and your colleagues, and try out city-living for a week.

Our graduate students' information management, web, organizational, communication, and technical skills are substantial and their energy levels high; therefore, we seek challenging projects that are at a professional level and would provide significant benefit to your organization. And as a bonus, the students’ expenses are fully-funded and consequently they are free to you!


If you are interested in participating as a host organization or would like to learn more, contact Katy Ross at [log in to unmask] by Wednesday, November 30, 2011 (sooner if possible!)

Feel free to share this opportunity! If you know of any non-profit, educational, government, or cultural organizations that would be interested in participating, please forward this message or send their contact information to [log in to unmask].



Katy Ross

Academic and Career Advisor

University of Michigan School of Information

[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask] / 734-615-7528