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Explore Library of Congress Professional Development Videos

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This post was co-written by Danna Bell and Kathleen McGuigan of the Library of Congress

Main Reading Room. View from above showing researcher desks. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. Carol Highsmith, 2009.
Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress

“Primary sources have unique instructional power,” says Lee Ann Potter, the director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress.  “By analyzing primary sources, students can engage with complex content, build their critical thinking skills and create new knowledge. Teachers want to include the power of primary sources in their classrooms but often are unsure how to make use of them to support their students.”

Now we have a way for teachers to bring Library of Congress professional development programming into their homes and classrooms whenever they want it. The Library’s education staff has been building a collection of short videos to help teachers enhance their professional learning.  The 40 videos focus on building awareness of the Library’s various collections as well as on the effective use of these primary source materials.

We know that teachers are looking for information that is concise and easy to access and use. Most of the videos are between three and six minutes in length, making it easy for teachers to grab the information they need. In addition, many of these videos can be used with students to help them better understand how to use and analyze primary sources.

The Library’s videos for educators provide opportunities for teachers to learn how to access Library of Congress resources and discover new strategies for integrating primary sources into their instruction. You can find these videos in the Professional Development section of the Teachers Page.


  1. Looks like another gold mine of resources! Can’t wait to explore them all.

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