For more than a decade, the Library of Congress has selected an outstanding educator to work with its educational staff and serve as an ambassador to teachers. As a librarian at Kemps Landing Magnet School in Virginia Beach, VA, Rebecca Newland has used Library of Congress primary sources with teachers and students to enrich the study of historical events and literature.
It is a librarian’s dream to be in the most fabulous library in the world, spending every day just wallowing in the collections, meeting experts, and pursuing scholarly interests. My library dream has been fulfilled by being selected as the Library of Congress Teacher in Residence for the 2013-14 year. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with teachers and librarians to make their experience with primary sources as rich as mine when I participated in a weeklong Summer Teacher Institute in 2012.
I knew in 11th grade I wanted to be a teacher. In my first job, I taught English and public speaking, spending a somewhat prophetic amount of time in the library with my students. I later decided to become a school librarian for many of the same reasons I loved teaching English. I was going to be with books, talk about books, and share books with both students and teachers. I would also face the challenge of questions: from students seeking research guidance, from teachers seeking ideas to engage their students, and for myself seeking my place as a resource for the entire school community.
Here at the Library of Congress, in the time I have been given, I will immerse myself in all that brought me to libraries in the first place. I’ll also pursue specific goals for using primary sources by connecting to literature, creating research questions to advance inquiry, and fostering library skills in questioning and research. And all the while, I’ll fulfill the dream to become a better teacher, librarian, and resource for my students and teachers.
What do you think I should explore next?