This week, we say farewell to University of Michigan students Claire Abraham and Jonathan Davidson, two graduate students who traveled to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office for one week to learn about information-related fields as part of the university’s School of Information Alternative Spring Break program.
While in D.C., Abraham and Davidson conducted background research on ebook lending policies, and developed short, educational “elevator speeches” on the challenges libraries face as they work to provide digital content to the public. Abraham is working to earn a master’s degree in Information, while Davidson is working to earn a master’s in Information, with a focus on information policy in Open Source and Open Content.
The University of Michigan Alternative Spring Break program creates the opportunity for students to engage in a service-oriented integrative learning experience; connects public sector organizations to the knowledge and abilities of students through a social impact project; and facilitates and enhances the relationship between the School and the greater community.
In addition to ALA, the students are hosted by other advocacy groups such as the Future of Music Coalition as well as federal agencies such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Archives. The students get a taste of work life here in D.C. and an opportunity to network with information professionals.
“We are pleased to host students from the University of Michigan’s excellent spring break program,” said Alan S. Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. “It’s important that we work collaboratively with colleges and universities so that students are aware of the public policies that affect libraries.”