The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

Thoughts of a Wannabe Historian

| January 18, 2014

I may have missed my calling. Only since I discovered the power of primary sources have I yearned for a new career as a historian. Reading history textbooks aloud in high school classes put me to sleep. I could never understand how my mother could read one biography after another from American history. I did […]

Looking Beyond Our Profession

| July 9, 2013

Even though social media has expanded our capacity to interact with educators from around the world, often our Twitter and other social media environments  still keep us fairly insulated from people outside our profession. I am occasionally reminded that I have something to offer those “outsiders” if I only remember to look. Last week my […]

Windmills or Wind Turbines? A Portuguese Metaphor

| June 18, 2012

Since I started a consulting job with the Library of Congress in late March, I’ve led a whirlwind life, complete with a previously planned two-week trip to Portugal and Spain, a two-day Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium meeting in Washington, a week-long Summer Teacher Institute at the Library of Congress, meetings, gallery openings, graduations, and […]

2,501 Migrants and a Lesson in Checking Sources

| January 2, 2012

I just returned yesterday from a one-week stay in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I experienced an extraordinary art exhibit by Alejandro Santiago. During my family’s first walk into the center of Oaxaca, we noticed policemen unloading truckloads of clay figure sculptures and carefully laying them down on the street in front of the Santo Domingo de […]

Keeping My Feet on the Ground

| November 30, 2011

One of the disadvantages of working as an education consultant is the temptation to dwell in a world of theory. I once asked a school superintendent and superb conference speaker if he had ever considered committing to a full-time speaking circuit. He responded, “Absolutely not. I’d give myself six months to become completely irrelevant.” Ouch. […]

Putting Students at the Center of QR Code Learning

| October 5, 2011

Something has been bothering me about QR codes. When teachers first learn about QR codes, they immediately start thinking of all the ways they can use them to make learning more exciting. Their minds race ahead to projects with QR codes, scavenger hunts with QR codes, QR codes that introduce students to new concepts, and […]

Catching Up…Again

| September 14, 2011

So often I think that I have to write something profound in my Primary Source Librarian posts that I simply decide not to write anything at all. I suspect that’s a challenge for many bloggers. So today I’m just going to catch up on a few of my summer workshop activities. Maybe that will help […]

A Personal Memorial Day Journey Part 2

| May 28, 2011

Hmm. Is it possible that a blog post in WordPress can be too long? I hope my readers will click on the “More…” link in the last post. Now I’m going to try posting the photos here. Oh, for a little more coding knowledge! Juvigny 1918. Some villages we visited were reconstructed, while others had […]

A Personal Memorial Day Journey Part 1

| May 28, 2011

When Learning Connects

| April 5, 2011

I’ve been thinking lately about how often our students experience the joy that comes with connected learning. Nothing delights me more than those moments when I can connect whatever sources I’m reading, listening to, or viewing with each other and with my world. Here’s a recent example: I’m listening to an Audible.com book of Unbroken: A World […]