The Primary Source Librarian

Dedicated to Excellence in Teaching with Primary Sources

About the Author

Since becoming an American Memory Fellow at the Library of Congress in 2000, I have experienced more excitement and creativity in teaching with primary sources than at any previous time in my teaching career. This Primary Source Librarian blog is just one more way for me to share that excitement. I regularly present workshops and develop curriculum based on primary sources for various non-profit, grant-funded programs. I currently work with Teaching with Primary Sources – Colorado and Teaching with Primary Sources – Western Regional Center, both outreach programs of the Library of Congress. In the mid-2000s, I did workshops around Colorado for the Collaborative Digitization Program and the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection. In 2003, I wrote a book entitled Primary Sources in the Library: A Collaboration Guide for Library Media Specialists (Linworth Publishing, Inc.). In 2009, I wrote a second book for Linworth called Primary Source Teaching the Web 2.0 Way K-12. In 2011, Cherry Lake Publishing asked me to write a 4th-5th grade level book about doing family history, and it is now available under the title Your Fascinating Family History.

In my past and present lives, I have been a French teacher in Iowa, Germany, and Colorado; a middle school library media specialist in Colorado; a school technology coordinator, an author, an editor, and an education consultant (another name for “retired”). I enjoy morning coffee, reading, new technologies, NPR, PBS, European travel, art, language learning, libraries, and the mountains. I’m pretty useful behind the scenes of my husband’s art business ( My two grown kids make me proud. Oh, and this Iowa farm girl used to pitch a mean softball.

For the record, I do use the middle initial “J” because of the dozens of Mary Johnsons at the public library and doctor’s office. I still have to turn it all around to johnsonmaryj for email, Twitter, and other social media.

2 Responses to “About the Author”

  1. Kay McCormack says:

    I LOVE this! I never knew you used to pitch softball. I bet you did it darn well, since you do everything with class and style.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  2. Cathi Webber says:

    So glad to have found your blog!

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