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The School of Information's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program is unlike any other ASB program out there. Through this program, current students of the School of Information go out into the world and spend their spring break week (which is actually in the middle of winter here in Michigan), not partying it up in Cancun, but applying their information management skills at non-profit organizations, government agencies, and educational and cultural institutions to help these organizations fulfill their mission and provide better services, often using innovative technologies.SI ASB participants spend their week in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. at organizations such as GreenMap System, the United Nations, Adler Planetarium, Carnegie Hall Archives, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and that National Archives and Records Administration. Interested folks can see a full list of participating organizations at http://siasb.cms.si.umich.edu/organizations
This year I went to D.C and was working with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History at their Archives Center. I will had the privilege to work with glass plate negatives from the Pullman Palace Car Company. Needless to say I was excited to be working with these pieces of history. While the Smithsonian is a huge institution, a few spare hands always help the processing of their many pieces of history go a little bit quicker and become available to those interested in it at a faster rate. Beyond processing data into the archivist tool kit, we were able to learn how to properly house the broken glass plate negatives so others could one day use them, and avoid more damage.If you want to follow my adventure follow my photos here! http://www.flickr.com/photos/hannaindc/
Here is where I ask for your help to bring these sort of experiences to more students. Any donation will help fund a trip for a student for ASB this year and last year. 15$ is just under half a tank of gas for one of our rented vehicles and 40$ is a hostel night paid for. Every little bit helps!