I will demonstrate how Shaker Library developed our successful National History Day (NHD) program. I will describe the inspiration, the planning process, the coordination among multiple partners, the challenges, and the steady expansion of the program each year.
The partnership has grown to include many facets:
The Library hosts the public Middle School students for a Library Research Day in late fall. Students receive hands-on instruction from adult and youth services staff on in-Library and electronic resources; meet one-on-one with NHD coordinators to discuss their projects; receive free access to a fee-based educational database suite, FactCite.com, a local business which underwrites the NHD program; and use unstructured time to research their projects with their partners.
The Library presents a Library Research Award, including a medal and a cash award, to the project demonstrating the best use of library resources at the regional competition each spring.
Post-competition, Friends of the Shaker Library hosts a reception for student competitors and their families.
By request, Shaker Library now provides similar research instruction support to the local public High School NHD program.
Resource aware: The program brings middle school students into the public library, and grows their familiarity with library research resources
Publicity: By sponsoring a research award, we are the only public library involved at this level at our regional competition. The program has received positive coverage in our city’s newsmagazine.
Community Engagement: The partnership cements relationships between the library and the school system, local business, school-aged families, and the larger community.
Meghan Hays– Local History Librarian, Shaker Heights Public Library