What is Alternative Spring Break?

During the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s spring break SOIS students in the MLIS or the CAS in Archives and Records Administration programs have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an archives. Students volunteer 30 hours, get practical experience working in an archives and provide the archives with much-needed assistance on a specific task.

Who can participate in Alternative Spring Break?

Students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program and students enrolled in the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Archives and Records Administration program can participate.

Why do I need to enroll in or take INFOST 650 to participate?

INFOST 650 provides students the necessary background and knowledge about archival practices that will ensure a beneficial experience for both the students and the repositories where they work.

Can online students participate in Alternative Spring Break?

Yes, Alternative Spring Break is for both online and onsite students. We try to place students in archives near their homes, though students do have the opportunity to travel to certain repositories.

Where and how do I sign up to participate?

The Alternative Spring Break application, the Travel Stipend application, and other documents are available above. If you have questions please contact (sois-archivesinfo@uwm.edu)

I am interested in participating at an archives that is in a different state or city than I live in. Can I go to that archives for Alternative Spring Break?

Yes, if students want to travel to a repository in a different state or city they are encouraged to do so. Please indicate where you are interested in participating on your Alternative Spring Break application and we will help you with your placement. The only reason this would not be possible is if the archives could not host a student during Alternative Spring Break.

If I travel to participate in Alternative Spring Break who coordinates and pays for my travel?

Students are fully responsible for planning and paying for their own transportation, housing, food, and any other expenses during Alternative Spring Break. Students are encouraged to apply for the Alternative Spring Break Travel Stipend which provides 10 students up to $300 to pay for travel, mileage, or housing. Student who travel for Alternative Spring Break have stayed with friends or family, hostels, etc.

Who contacts the archivists at the repositories to set up the Alternative Spring Break placements?

The Archival Program Specialist, will contact the archivist at the repositories.

Do I need to be pursing the Archival Studies Concentration within my MLIS to participate?

No, we encourage all MLIS students interested in volunteering in archives to participate. We want to help you get as much hands-on experience as possible. Getting experience will help you when you apply for jobs.

When is Alternative Spring Break?

Alternative Spring Break is during the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s spring break, Monday – Friday ONLY. See the Registrar’s Calendar for spring break dates: http://uwm.edu/secu/calendars/