Thursday, April 7, 2011

NERGC: Kids & Collections: Making Meaningful Connections

Liz Shapiro, executive director of the Sharon Historical Society, was the second speaker for the NERGC Librarians’ and Teachers’ Day.  Her presentation was titles “Kids & Collections: Making Meaningful Connections”.  This was an awesome presentation and if you get the chance to here Ms. Shapiro present, I highly recommend it.

Our of our jobs, as librarians,  is to figure out what we have, how it can help teachers and bring families in.  We have to look for that “cool” factor.  Her motto is “Making it real!”

Making  your collection accessible:

  • Their website is “content-rich, designed to emphasize the sharing of our historic collections, including documents, photographs, and other archival materials.”

  • They have great social media (in my opinion): Flickr, wordpress, twitter, fb, google maps, youtube:

  • All cemetery info online.

Create programs, both in school and on-site for children/families.  In school “Goal: to connect students in a personal way with their town.”  On-site “Goal: What you can learn from the “real thing”.  Reach out to home schoolers and  home school networks.  Creating these partnerships doesn’t have to be much more than “show-and-tell” and the give new uses for non-book collections (maps, photographs, primary documents, local history collections, etc.).  In relation to students they:

  • Create programs with teachers/school media specialists.  They go in to the schools and do these for free as part of their civic responsibility.

  • Use glogster, to make posters.

  • Use online primary documents.  By using primary source documents, the students become the scholars, come to their own conclusions.

  • Train kids on proper tombstone cleaning & bring into cemeteries.

  • “With very little prep work, and NO money, the ability to enhance a student’s learning, connect them to their communities in new ways, and build a better citizen for life, are at your fingertips.”  Become the local Mister Roger’s.  Teach children who their neighbors are.  We aren’t doing a good job at this, but should be.

Other cool projects:

  • Local art gallery – ask for 20% donation of items sold.  Only $20 for 4-color postcards (price to artist).  Creates steady stream of changing exhibits.

  • “Culture café” with wireless access, couches, meetings, can eat, hands-on history room for kids.

  • People can sign up to do their own exhibit with the HS collections.


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