April 24th is the 223rd birthday of the Library of Congress! The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library and an agency of the legislative branch of the U.S. government. It serves as the main research arm of the U.S. Congress, is recognized as the national library of the United States, and is the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. The current building was completed and opened to the public in 1897. The current Librarian of Congress is Carla Hayden, the 14th librarian to hold the office and the first woman and first African American to lead the national library.
The Library of Congress provides a wide variety of general resources and access to virtual exhibits. The public can even request the services of a librarian! The library’s Center for the Book promotes books, reading, literacy, and libraries, with specific resources for adults, kids, and teens. In addition, the library offers opportunities to volunteer virtually and provides virtual engagement opportunities for families. They also offer a variety of interesting blogs about a wide variety of topics, including one centered around teaching with the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress provides a wide range of resources specifically for educators! Take advantage of online and in-person professional development to learn to use their resources. “Getting Started with Primary Sources” is a good place to start if you’re unfamiliar with what the Library of Congress offers. Explore classroom resources that include lesson plans, primary source sets, media-rich presentations, and virtual student workshops for students in elementary, middle, and high school. The Library of Congress makes student research easier with resources like research guides and free to use and reuse primary source sets. There are also other type-specific resources available, like the Chronicling America database of historic American newspapers. Science teachers will enjoy Everyday Mysteries – Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress. Elementary school teachers will find America’s Story a wonderful resource for teaching about American history. All teachers can make use of Today in History, which features an interesting article about every day of the year. Check out the Library of Congress’s Teaching with the LOC Twitter account for even more resources!
Bring the Library of Congress to life for your students. As always, check out TeachersFirst.org site for more classroom resources and blog posts related to the Library of Congress. Celebrate the Library of Congress’s birthday in your classroom today!