An educational summer for Southern librarianBy TERRI REUTER
Publications/public information coordinator,
Southern York County School District
Glen Rock, Pa – Southern Elementary School Librarian Lynn Clements spent time this summer exploring historical artifacts and documents that helped frame the United States.
Clements was selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute in July. She was one of only 27 educators from across the nation chosen for the five-day program.
Each year, the Library of Congress provides educators the opportunity to attend one of its teacher institutes in Washington, D.C. Clements said she was excited to work with such great educators and librarians from across the country.
“Each summer, I look for these kinds of opportunities to push myself professionally,” Clements said. “This was a great way to brush up on my skills and learn the best way to teach to the students.”
The purpose of the program is to teach educators in grades K-12 how to use the digitized collection at the library of Congress to promote critical thinking skills and construct knowledge, she said. Through the Library’s collections, the teachers explored the largest online collection of historical artifacts and accessed millions of primary (original) sources for use in instruction.
During her program, Clements worked on a unit for fifth grade students to enrich and extend their study of the Battle of Gettysburg, using primary documents, such as photos, diaries, letters, and maps. “I learned how to access digitized resources and how to write lesson plans, using primary sources with students.”
Clements said she is enthusiastic to begin applying this knowledge to her students at Southern Elementary this year. “It was a thrill to spend a week at the Library of Congress, working with educators from across the U.S., to develop lessons and exchange ideas,” she said. “I saw a survey drawn by George Washington, read an original diary written by a pioneer mother, and touched – gently – a watercolor battle map painted at Gettysburg in 1863.”