During this year’s spring break, nine students in the School of Education’s Department of Library and Information Studies (LIS) completed special projects in libraries and archives around North Carolina.
2017 marks the first year of LIS’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, in which Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) students have the opportunity to experience professional life in public libraries and archives. This project emerged through a partnership between the LIS Department and State Library of North Carolina. Students spent the week completing service projects at the George H. & Laura E. Brown Library in Washington, the Roanoke Rapids Public Library, the Randolph County Public Library, the Rockingham County Public Library, and the Wake Forest University Special Collections and Archives. Through this program, students were able to build their professional networks and strengthen connections among North Carolina librarians and archivists.
Librarians also appreciated the opportunity to work with students. Staff from all of the participating libraries said that they were “extremely satisfied” with the project.
Ross Holt from the Randolph County Public Library said that the students placed there were “outstanding and deeply knowledgeable. Each project produced tangible, substantial, actionable results.”
Students there worked with library staff to improve library services for teenagers and to help the library plan for a World War I community digitization day, to coincide with the First World War centenary.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to the real world.
Lindsey Sprague, who worked at Roanoke Rapids, said, “it was eye-opening to see my coursework in action and have a chance to meet people who have been working as librarians for decades.”
Students at Roanoke Rapids worked with the library director to develop a survey to improve computer and internet training services at the library. They were also able to participate and help out in library programs like a teen book club, a Quiz Bowl tournament, and story time programs.
The program will be offered again during Spring Break 2018, when a new selection of students will once again go throughout the state to provide a service to North Carolina libraries and learn about librarianship in the real world.
Visual: Chase Hanes and Della Owens work in the Randolph County Public Library, Asheboro, on a World War I Digitization project they completed during the inaugural year of the UNCG SOE LIS’s Alternative Spring Break program. Photograph courtesy Mac Whatley, Randolph County Public Library.
Copy courtesy SOE.