What's New at the Library of Congress?



>> I want to introduce our
presenter, Lee Ann Potter, who's Director of Education
Outreach of the Library of Congress. Lee Ann Potter leads a dynamic team
committed developing educational programs and materials based on primary sources. Before coming to the library, she created
and directed education and volunteer programs at the National Archives in
Washington D.C. for 16 years. Prior to that, she worked at the Smithsonian on
a project to build museums, school partnerships, and before that, was a high
school social studies teacher. She has conducted hundreds
of presentations as author of numerous articles promoting
teaching the primary sources. So Lee Ann welcome and take it away. >> So I'm ready to get started. Sessions where we're talking about
what's new are always a lot of fun. And this first slide is a new slide compared to a similar session that
I did this time last year. This is where you get to see what I look like. And the reason I've included it is
actually sort of a shout out to my mom and dad who participated in last
year's session and gave me a hard time about how difficult it was too participate in a
session and not know who was actually talking. They wanted to know what
the presenter looked like. So, there's the shout out for mom and dad. And now we'll get started. I suspect that many of you had
an interest in this session because you like things that are new. And I do as well. We all seem to like things that
are new and there is a lot to talk about that is new at the library. This is true in terms of online collections, as
well as teaching resources, programs and more. So let's start with this butterfly. What is it about a butterfly that suggests new? Yes, just emerged from a chrysalis, excellent. Rebirth and growth, metamorphosis,
new beginning, perfect. I love all these answers. That's what I think of as well. I think of springtime when I see
butterflies and I thought, well, I stumbled on this butterfly
in the library's collection. It's a new object that's
available online from the library. And when I saw it, I absolutely
was thinking about what was new. But then I saw another image
that had a connection to it. So, I'm going to show it to
you all and see what you think. So what if I paired this butterfly
with this other photograph? And when I do that, does the new thing we were
just looking at suddenly become an old thing? Or perhaps just different or maybe unexpected? In both cases, we're looking
at images of this butterfly. The — Of course the image on the left was sort
of distorted in terms its size and what not. We think it's bigger than it is,
because the actual butterfly, it is a little cardboard
butterfly that is in the picture on the right sitting on Walt Whitman's finger. That photograph and the card, and that butterfly
card by the way, is actually part an Easter card that Walt Whitman received in 1877
and took his photograph with it in the picture that's on the right. I love that Cynthia, exactly. The new butterfly becomes part of the old image. So both — But in this case, both the butterfly and this photograph are new
to the library's website. And I'll tell you a little bit more
about them in just a little bit. But a presentation on What Is New? at the Library of Congress really
would be completely in accurate. I didn't start by telling you about a
new person at the Library of Congress. Many of you are already aware that
on September the 14th the Library of Congress welcomed Dr. Carla Hayden
as the 14th librarian into Congress. She was sworn in, in a ceremony
in the Jefferson building. And we are very excited by her energy
and looking forward to her leadership. So welcome Dr. Hayden to
the Library of Congress. In the past year, well actually, as
I was preparing for this session, I sent a note to a colleague of mine
that works in our Web Services Division. I said, "Hey, I know there's been a ton
digitized this year, and I'd love to — if you could send me a list, so I can
really capture everything, I'd love it." And he did. He shared a list with me and I was blown away. It was a really lengthy spreadsheet. It was more than ten pages long, and needless to
say, I don't have time to talk about everything, but I will be sharing just some highlights. And the items I'm going to share with
you come from the papers of Walt Whitman, as well as some new historic newspaper
collections and World War One artwork, some public radio and television
recordings, as well as some slave narratives. All of these are new to the library site
and I hope that as I share these highlights, I am able to reinforce for you our teaching
with primary sources program philosophy, and that is that primary sources are powerful
teaching tools that can inspire and fascinate and engage learners of all
ages and in every subject. By the end of our session, I'd love it if
you'd be able to describe our philosophy, participate in some primary source analysis
activities that hopefully will amaze and inspire and perhaps surprise you,
identify new collections available through the library's website and
finally brainstorm some strategies for sharing these resources with both
your colleagues and your students. So let's really get started. I'd like to ask you to focus your attention
for a minute on this newly available item. And for those of you who are familiar with
the library's primary source analysis tool, asking you to observe and reflect and
question should not come as a surprise. So, I'm curious what do you see? And what does it make you think and
perhaps what does it make you wonder? What kind of a document is this? Who wrote it? What are all these scribbles about? Is there anything familiar about it? I see handwritten notes, a draft, edits,
looks like someone is editing it, perfect. Do you know this particular document? You can kind of look up close at it. Perfect, yeah, Debra. Poem by Walt Whitman about Lincoln, that's
exactly right, A Captain My Captain. Good, Julia, a work in progress. All of these are excellent. Looks like the original editing
possibly by Whitman, yeah? And the first time I saw this
item, I did exactly the same thing. I was so excited wondering
whose writing is that? You know, whose handwriting is it? And is it Walt Whitman's handwriting? And what's going on here? Is he editing the poem as it
is — as it is being written? Good. And Harry great improvements. It's important when we're sharing materials
with our students that we let them find answers to some of their questions by
looking at other primary sources. And that's the beauty of having these
collections go up in their entirety. So in the case of the Walt Whitman papers, not
only does this page that appears to be a draft of some sort appear, but — O,
by the way, that's the analysis I that I've made reference to a minute ago. I mean all of these items are linked by the way. So you can go back to them. This additional item is part of the Walt
Whitman collection, and it has something to do with the first document that I shared with you. And so my question here is: Does the information
contained in this little scrap of paper add to or help answer any of the questions
that the first item prompted in your [technical audio difficulty]? It says Camden, New Jersey,
February 9th, '88, Dear Sirs: Thank you for the little book number
32, Riverside Literature Series. Somehow, you've got a couple of big perversions
in O' Captain, and I send you a corrected sheet. Walt Whitman. So does this new document shed any light
on the questions that you had earlier? Yes Gloria, that's right. It look like his tone has been
edited and he wasn't happy about it. I love that. Gives the purpose of nearly perfect, yeah. One of my favorite things about finding
these complete collections is being able pair documents together so that the questions
posed by one possibly answered by another, and then give us more of the story. And of course, I'd love anything
that's handwritten and scribbled, like this one in particular. So the Walt Whitman papers have
been digitized by the library. And there are some extraordinary
items in these collections — not only, you know, the poetry that
we're familiar with but also photographs and correspondence materials like that butterfly
and other cards that you might not expect to exist but they do, and as a result, there are
actually two collections of Walt Whitman papers at the library that have
been digitized this year. And all totaled, they contain
literally thousands of documents related specifically
to Walt Whitman. So if you were ever looking for any good Walt
Whitman materials, highly recommend poking around the library's manuscript collections. But Walt Whitman's collections are
not the only manuscript collections that went up this year from the library. A whole bunch of others did as well
including The Papers of Salmon Chase, of General William Tecumseh Sherman,
The Papers of Phillip Henry Sheridan, The Papers of Martin Van Buren, William
Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, John Pershing, George Patton and more. And I'm assuming you see that
list and you think, oh wow, a bunch of white men, and that's true. And there are lots of others as well. Many of these collections are
actually coming from microfilm. These are materials that had been
microfilmed by the library decades ago. And the microfilm has now been digitized and is
now searchable through the library's website as, you know, the digital images from the microfilm. And by the way, I want to also mention that there are now 51 manuscript collections
available on the library's website. And just to think about some
things that are coming, we are gearing up for the 19th
Amendment anniversary, and as a result, you will soon be seeing The Papers of
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott and others that are in
the process of being digitized to be posted on the library's website in the coming year. But in addition to these papers, a
collection went up back in February that we were all very excited about. It was The Papers of Rosa Parks. In November a year ago, so I guess
actually almost two years ago now. The Howard G. Buffet Foundation gave the Library of Congress the Rosa Parks
Collection on an extended loan. And while the papers are at the library, they've
been digitized and have now been made available. They contain more than 10,000 items
that were the papers of Rosa Parks. They include notes and correspondence
and photographs. The collection has letters and birthday cards
that school children sent to Rosa Parks. This particular item that is part of
the collection is really real animated. It's one of my favorites. It's notes that she wrote about what happened
to her after being arrested, you know, for actions in Montgomery
that led to the bus boycott. And she writes: "I have been pushed around
all my life, and I felt at this moment that I couldn't take it anymore." And then she goes on and talks about
what she was feeling at that moment. And there is nothing better than reading
a person's word in their own handwriting and getting a real sense of their thoughts. And that's something I think that
is really quite extraordinary about the Rosa Parks Collection. And I love what you're saying exactly. You're getting a sense of
her perspective and a sense of how we can engage our students
with these kinds of materials. And I just — That little image
there — In all of these collections, when you go to the library's website and you
search on The Papers of or if you just go into the manuscript collection and start,
you know, glancing at what's available, you'll see that there is a strip
across the page that gives you some of the items that are within the collection. They give you a sense of what's there. And I think you can get a little bit of
that with this Rosa Parks Collection — as I mentioned that there are
photographs and notes and correspondence and so forth, really, really worth exploring. And Courtney, I totally agree with you. I think students will love this. It will be an opportunity for
them to get to know someone that they think they know a little bit about, but really get a much more robust
image of Rosa Parks and her character. In addition to Rosa Parks, there are
many other manuscript collections. And I want to show one other
object that has become a real, I don't know, kind of a favorite of mine. And I need to tell a silly story about this. But years ago when I was a
classroom teacher in Houston Texas and I was teaching American History, one
of the most challenging topics that I had to teach related to the Bank of the United
States during the Jacksonian period. And of course, I taught about the
nullification crisis, and I taught about — And I just remember thinking,
I have got figure out a way to make teaching the US Bank
interesting to teenagers. And I'm not convinced I ever succeeded quite
like I wanted to, but I'm convinced now that if I had access to the Jackson
papers like I do and like you do and like all your students do, you might stumble
into some resources that could make teaching about the Bank of the United
States quite interesting. So, when the Jackson Papers went up, I
went looking for just exploring, you know, what's there, what might I find
that I don't expect to find? And I got to thinking about that bank issue. So I did a search on bank, and suddenly
some images of checks started coming out, and I thought, oh, well that's
really interesting. So then I just did a search
within Andrew Jackson Papers. And by the way, this is a check for 50
dollars to his son, which, of course, I want to know the rest of that story. But when I did the search in the
Jackson Papers on just the term "check," what came up was 642 results. And as I looked through these different checks,
some of them, not all of them were on the, you know, from the Bank of the United States. Some of them were banks in Tennessee. Some were other banks. Well, what I started to get a sense of was
some approaches to teaching economic history that had never occurred to me before because I
never thought about checks as a primary source that I could incorporate into instruction. And so as I scored them, of course I wanted
to know more about who were these people that he's writing checks to and
getting checks from and in some cases, the memorandum actually tells you. And anyway, what struck me about this
is that of course, and for those of you who teach American History and know about the
Bank of the United States, that the first bank of the US was proposed by Hamilton
and then the second bank was formed. And Andrew Jackson never liked the
bank and claimed it was too cautious and that it constrained economic development. And so as soon as he was reelected
in 1832, he removed all federal funds from the bank immediately after the election. What I thought was so funny about
that is that here's a check from 1833, and even though he's removed all
the federal funds from the US bank, he's still using it for his personal account. And I just thought that was kind of funny. But anyway, I hope that just
thinking about the format of this particular document might
inspire some interesting searches. By the way, I also have done searches
within the Jackson Papers and also — and this is the really fun one,
through the Thomas Jefferson Papers, I did a search on the word "receipt," and
found some fabulous receipts from materials and objects purchased by Thomas Jefferson. And one of them, it really caught by
attention awhile back was a receipt for a thermometer that Jefferson purchased. And those of you who know
how much we get excited about anytime we can incorporate primary
sources into the science classroom, you can see why that would've
gotten me kind of excited. So, I'm going to — Oh, and I love this too. The — This came up when I shared this
check with some colleagues the other day. We were giggling about do students
today even know what a check is? You know, chances are their world
is and will be their debit card. And thinking about whether they're even
familiar with checks is actually kind of funny. So anyway, back to the manuscript collections. Many years ago, the library
microfilmed the WPA Slave Narratives. Now, these were interviews. These were first person accounts
that were compiled by workers with the Federal Writers Project, which was
part of the WPA during the period 1936 to 1938. And like I said, there were 2300 first person
accounts, and all of them were microfilmed. And so then the Slave Narratives
have been available. But what is really I think again,
marvelous about the new format on the library's website is the ability to
search within a collection and to be able to search on different formats and to
scroll through those featured content areas, make it really much easier I think to stumble
on materials that sort of catch your eye. And one of the items that I stumbled into
while exploring this collection was this item. And this particular item —
I'm not going to read it to you because I know it's a little hard, but it
says: "The state of Alabama, Barbour County. I Jonathan Thornton do solemnly swear that I
will henceforth faithfully support, protect, defend — excuse me and defend the
Constitution of the United States and the Union of States thereunder, and that I will in
like manner abide by and support all laws and proclamations, which have been made
during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves so help me God." When I — Again, when I taught school
and I was teaching the Civil War and got to discussing Reconstruction with
my students, I knew about amnesty oath, but honestly I'd never seen one before. And I certainly didn't expect to find an
amnesty oath in a collection such as this, because the rest of what is in a WPA Slave
Narratives are transcriptions of interviews that were done with individuals
who had been enslaved. And these interviews were conducted in the 30s. So the people they were interviewing
in most cases were quite old, and they were sharing stories
about time many years previously. Within the collection, there
are about 500 photographs of the previously enslaved
individuals who were being interviewed. And this item, this amnesty
oath, is in that collection. And I still — You know, it's
one of those — I found it. I'm excited that it's there. I think there's a great deal of value in
it, but I'm not sure how it got there. So I am just very curious about how it
landed in that particular collection. With that said, I guess sort of my
question for you all is have you or your students ever stumbled on a document
that didn't really belong where you found it, and yet, it piqued your curiosity in
a way that made it even more valuable? Have you ever stumbled on
something in your own research? So many of you know about Chronicling America. And by the way, one of our sessions
tomorrow afternoon, I believe it's the one at four o'clock also is focused
primarily on Chronicling America. So if you have time, check it out. The Chronicling America website
is really amazing. It's supported by both the Library of Congress
and the National Endowment for the Humanities. And there literally are tens of millions of
newspaper pages that are fully check searchable. And this past year, Chronicling America — up until this year, Chronicling America
only went back as far as the 1820s, so the amount of coverage in these old
newspapers was basically the 1820s to the 1920s. But now because of three
collections that have been added, Chronicling America now has
materials that go back as far 1789. So, this year, Chronicling America
added the Gazette of the United States, The National Gazette and
The National Intelligencer. So here's my question for you, what newsworthy
topics do you think might have been included in one of these newspapers during
the period 1789 to 1809 if I told you that these newspaper covered New York,
Philadelphia and Washington D.C.? So did anything big happen between 1789 and
1809 in New York, Washington or Philadelphia? So my daughter is 13 years old. And in her History class right now, they are
studying this time period and I cannot wait to have her start poking around
and seeing what she can find. I shared something with her the
other day that she got a kick out of, and I'm going to show it
to you in just a minute. But I'm going to give you guys another second or two to tell me what you think
might have been newsworthy. Yeah, Adrienne [Assumed Spelling]
excellent — The Constitution, yeah. So how about this? Did any of you or maybe you were thinking
about it even if you didn't write it, did any of you think about the duel
between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr? This is great. This is — this is what it says. This was The National Intelligencer
in Washington Advertiser in Washington D.C., July 16th, 1804. It's page three, column five. And it reads: "A duel was fought on the
11th inst [phonetic] meaning this past 11th, at New York between General Hamilton and Colonel
Burr, in which the former was mortally wounded at the first fire at died at 12 o'clock. Both gentlemen fired at the same time. General Hamilton's ball did
not touch Colonel Burr. The cause of the duel is said to be
political, but it is not definitely stated." How about that? And by the way, the newspapers also
ran a great deal of information about Hamilton's funeral precession and included
the fact that his horse followed his casket and those were the details, like I
said, caught my daughter's attention when I shared these news stories with her. Her reaction by the way to this one was that
there wasn't a lot of detail, you know — so matter of fact that it's kind of sad. And I really — I liked her observation. The move of the US capitol to Washington D.C. is
covered extensively in these three newspapers. Information that really covers
every major event during that time period is now available
in these newspapers. And thinking about the potential to introduce
students to these topics and to these, you know, to the individuals involved is really exciting. And I like — Laurie, I love that you
keep writing, "wow" and Carmen, you too, because that's exactly how I feel. It's like, wow, it's available
to us so we can find these things and Chronicling America makes
it very, very easy. More resources, I'm cognizant of time,
because I want to keep going and I want to make sure I've got time for questions. So I mentioned that Chronicling America is a
partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The library is involved in
a lot of partnerships, and this one is between the
Library of Congress and WGBH. It is called the American
Archive by Public Broadcasting. And through this partnership, a brand new
website recently launched the website here and you can link directly to it,
but it's simply americanarchive.org. It provides access to a collection
of American public radio and television content that
dates back to the 1950s. This project — Funding for
this project by the way began with the corporation for public broadcasting. And today, there are about 15,000 television and
radio programs that are accessible for streaming through this website online reading room. It's really — it's amazing to me. And, you know, whenever anybody tells me
that there are 15,000 things available, on the one hand I get really excited and on
the other hand, I get really kind of frozen, because I think, where do you even begin to look
at 15,000 objects that could be of real value, particularly when — You know, I've had so
many colleagues recently talk about, you know, the challenges that the library faces
in terms of copyrighted materials. You know, one of the reasons why so
many of the materials on the Library of Congress' website are quite
old is because of copyright laws. And here's a great example of resources from
the 20th century that are available to us because they were public broadcasting, so they
were paid for with public monies and they're in the public domain in most cases. If you jump onto this page and it's
too hard to navigate too many things, if you click on "curated exhibits," you'll
see that there are a handful of collections that have been put together by individuals
who've been working with this project. There's one on — if it's entitled,
"The Voices of Democracy, Public Media and Presidential Elections," it is terrific. It is a marvelous collection. There's an interview in there between John F.
Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt that, you know, it's 15 minutes long, but it's
absolutely worth your time. There's another one. It was a program from the 1964 election that
was looking at the big issues of the election, and it was a broadcast kind of
highlighting the similarities and differences between the candidates. And there are — there's footage from debates. There is footage from interviews. There are radio programs that were
essentially curated radio programs at the time that they were made available on radio. There is another curated collection that is
focused on celebrating public broadcast stations and their histories, which is really
an interesting way of kind of poking into a local history topic that
might not have crossed your mind. And then there's another curated
exhibit on climate change. And again, all of these curated
collections help you navigate the site. And then once you kind of explore
them, you have a sense of what's there. And just having a sense of what's
there I think helps with searching through the vastness of these collections. But again, these are streaming audio and
visual collections from the 20th century. And that's just a marvelous
thing to have our hands on. I'm really excited about
this — about this project. I mentioned curated collections. And I want to — Oh, and
there's one other by the way, and it doesn't come up in this — on this image. But another one of the curated exhibits
that's available through the American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collection focused
specifically on the Civil Rights Movement. And you can use your imagination as to
what public broadcasting had available between the 1950s and really
very recently related to Civil Rights — absolutely worth exploring. Okay, let's see — Okay, Laurie, I'm going
to correct you on this one just so you know, the War of the Worlds, that was a
Columbia broadcasting event, so it was CBS. But you can still find that online too. It's just not on this site. So I mentioned curated collections. And the curated collections that I want
to refer to now are the ones that are on the Library of Congress' website. Many of you are already familiar
with the library site, so you know how you can go
right into the catalogue. You can find individual objects. You can go into the various
collections and find materials. If you go into the online exhibitions,
what you're seeing are online versions of the exhibition that are available and mounted
in the Library of Congress' Jefferson building and in some cases, in the
library's Madison building. Now when those physical exhibitions go away,
these online ones remain and we love that. And I really want you to — I hope you
hear this, there often are materials in the online collections that are not
necessarily in the library's catalogue. And what that means is if you go on
the library's website and you search on a particular topic, that might live in
an exhibition, but doesn't necessarily live in the online catalogue, you may
or may not find it right away. So, I encourage you to explore the
online exhibitions and notice when you're on the exhibition's page, at the top left where
it says: Search this site, when you do that, you're only searching within
the online exhibitions. So it really does help you narrow
what it is you're looking for. This past year, the library
mounted six new online exhibitions. One of them related to Jacob Reese. One of them related to the Mexican
Revolution and the United States. And by the way, that exhibition
is in both English and Spanish. There was another exhibition
the America Reads exhibit, which was a [technical audio difficulty]
This particular exhibit features 20 books that were identified as being significant
milestone books in American history. And that exhibit is available online now. There's an exhibit on the jazz singers. And there's also another exhibition entitled,
"Opera Before Instagram," that our colleagues in the Performing Arts division and the
Music division at the library collaborated with our interpretative programs
office to create. But the one that caught my eye was an online
exhibition on "World War One, American Artist and Their View of the Great War." This exhibit is currently in the
Jefferson building at the library, and it's sort of a precursor exhibition. Next spring, in April of 2017, the Library of Congress will be opening a
major exhibition on World War One. And the exhibit, the amount of time that
the exhibit is in the Jefferson building, mimics the amount of time the United
States was involved in World War One. So the exhibit will be up for quite some time. And what I really like about this online
exhibition is that it's giving us just a glimpse of some of the materials that are in the
library's collection related to World War One. It features posters. It features drawings. It features items that were both created
by the government and by individuals who were involved in the war effort. And many of the stories that emerge
from the items in the exhibition, again, they introduce some surprises or some
perspectives that you might not have considered. And one of them is this. This item is a poster that is featured
in the World War One artist exhibition. And it says: The Camp Library is
yours," and the caption continues — it says: "You will find popular books for
fighting men in the recreational buildings and at other points in this camp. Free, no red tape, open every day. Good reading will help you advance. Library war service, American
library association." What I really love about the online exhibitions
at the library is that not only do you stumble on an object like this, it
might catch your attention, but you also get the exhibition script. So you get a little more contextual information
than you would get if you were just stumbling on the item in the library's catalogue. So in this case, not only do we get the
object and its citation information, but we also get a little bit more. And in this case, what it tells us
is, it says: US Military officials, concerned by low literacy rates, even among native-born American
soldiers promoted reading and writing. The American Library Association maintained
libraries for servicemen, both at home and overseas through its library war service, directed by the Library of
Congress, Herbert Putnam. In this case, artist, Charles Buckles Falls,
who signed this poster with only an F, designed a number of World War One recruitment
posters, as well as those encouraging Americans to donate books and soldiers
to use camp libraries. Between 1917 and 1920, some
seven to ten million books and magazines were distributed
to our armed forces. Again, one of those, you know, stories I didn't
know a lot about, but now that I know it, I feel like it adds another level — another layer to my understanding of not only
World War One and the soldier experience, but some home front information,
as well as connections to libraries and literacy that I got pretty excited about. And speaking of getting pretty excited, I
have another new thing to tell you about. And this jumps away from new
collections and into some new programs. Many of you know that the library
has a Teacher-in-Residence program. And our Teacher-in-Residence
program is really terrific. It's a great way for myself and my team
to continue learning about things going on in the classroom, to get to know a terrific
educator, and for that educator to learn from the library, so that we can extend
the reach of our programs and materials. And this year, we have a teacher in
residence whose name is Teresa Saint Angelo, and Teresa is a kindergarten
teacher from New Jersey. And she joined us about six or seven weeks ago. And what was so great is we continually talk about primary sources being
valuable across the grade spectrum. And Teresa has absolutely proven that
that is the case with her 5-year-olds. Some of the activities that she has engaged
her 5-year-old kindergarteners in with regard to primary sources are really awe-inspiring and
we are excited that Teresa will be sharing a lot of those strategies with all
of you in the coming year. By the way, we will be — We intend to host a teacher-in-Residence
for the 2017/18 school year. And if you have any interest in that
opportunity, the announcement about it will go out this coming February or March. So be on the lookout for that. Ashton, it's so true, 5-year-olds
in [inaudible] is so — You — There's a terrific blog post by the way
on the library's website and our teaching with the Library of Congress blog. You just search on "kindergarten
historians," you can read about it. And also, Teresa is doing a session
tomorrow as part of our online conference. So if you want to sneak-peek at
some of the things that she's going to be doing throughout the year, you
might sign in to her session tomorrow, the one entitled, "Kindergarten Historians." Okay, I love telling about this project,
so I'm glad I've got a couple more minutes. So Juan Felipe Herrera is the poet
laureate of the United States. And he became the poet laureate a year ago. And last year, he had a marvelous
national project. It was called "Casa de Colores," and what
he was doing is he was working with groups and individuals all around the
country to create an epic poem. This year, he's decided that he wants to
work with teachers and librarians and second and third graders all over the
country to write a children's book. And the project is called, "The
Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon." It is a bilingual illustrative poem
that is being created with the help of artist Juana Media and second and
third graders all around the country. So if you go to the read.gov website on the
library's site or you just go to library and you do a search on poet laureate,
this is the page that will come up. And when you're on this page,
you can click on the image of the Catalina Neon book
and read the first chapter. So, Juan Felipe and Juana Media have
collaborated to write the first chapter and now they are inviting classes of
students to read that first chapter, get to know Catalina Neon and her little
dog, Tortilla and write the next chapter. Write what they think should happen
next in Catalina's adventure. And the first round of submissions for the
next chapter are going to be due next week. So if you're a second or third
grade teacher or librarian, here's an opportunity to
get your students creating. And also, this is — these announcements
about writing the next chapter are going to come six times during the school year. So there are lots of opportunities
for participation and we're really quite excited
about the outcome. So, we have brand new TPS partners. We are very excited to welcome
them into the fold so to speak. And if you go tour blog, recently our colleague, Vivian Awumey wrote a marvelous piece
welcoming new partners from across the country who are going to be working with us to develop professional development
opportunities and more for teachers. There is always something new with the library. I encourage you to keep finding out what's
new through press releases and blog posts. At the end of my PowerPoint here,
there are links to all kinds of resources that I've made reference to. Here's a way for you to stay connected
with us through our blogs and Twitter feed and there's my contact information. And I really do welcome email.

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