Using the Library of Congress as a teaching resource

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/13/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — With nearly 142 million items and one of the largest bodies of high-quality, digitized content available, the Library of Congress (LOC) is an enormously useful resource for librarians and teachers. Yet it remains a mystery to many. “Interacting with History: Teaching with Primary Sources,” published by ALA Editions, explores the wealth of materials freely available for free from LOC. The book persuasively demonstrates how LOC’s online resources can be used not only to enhance a sense of history but also to teach information literacy, online searching and critical thinking skills to elementary, middle and high school students. Editor Katharine Lehman and a stellar roundup of contributors offer an up-to-date survey of teacher resources to help teachers and librarian educators shake the dust off state-mandated history and literature curricula. Beginning with an introduction by Barbara Stripling, 2013-14 ALA President, this book:

  • presents a tour of LOC, with an overview of its primary sources, including digital resources such as maps, diaries and songbooks;
  • details LOC Teacher Page resources, which provide easy access to the most relevant primary sources from the collections;
  • offers a selection of lessons from teacher-librarians across the county, with guidance on how librarians and teachers and can use the library's resources in their local communities;
  • features numerous sidebars, tables and illustrations, showing how LOC’s resources can illuminate the past while also providing a backdrop for discussing contemporary issues.

Lehman is a National Board–certified school librarian at Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Va., where she was Teacher of the Year in 2009. She has taught adjunct classes in library science at Old Dominion University and Longwood University. She is past president of the Virginia Educational Media Association. Her publications include articles in Knowledge Quest, Teacher Librarian and Library Media Collection. She coauthored “Power Researchers: Transforming Student Library Aides into Action Learners,” a curriculum guide, with Lori Donovan. She has served on the Library of Congress Professional Review Committee for the TPS Direct program since its inception. She attended the Library of Congress Summer Institute in 2011.

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