Plymouth, N.H.–Knowing how to access and use information is critical to success in today’s world. Whether you’re an auto mechanic, nuclear scientist or cook, succeeding at your job requires knowledge, and having the skills to find that knowledge in the digital age is far different now than even a decade ago.
With that in mind, nearly 30 history students at Lin-Wood Public School have taken the first step in gaining state-of-the-art research skills through a partnership with Plymouth State University’s Lamson Library and Learning Commons. The students are preparing projects for the 2012 National History Day Competition and Lin-Wood social studies teacher Kelly Nelson, a PSU graduate, said their November 22 visit to Lamson Library offered a wealth of research opportunities.
“A lot of them are searching for primary source documents like newspaper articles; we don’t have that kind of material in our library,” Nelson said. “I hope my students find some joy in learning about history and walk away with important lessons about their topics and draw conclusions from the research they’ve done today. It’s fun to see them get excited about some of the things they’ve found.”
National History Day involves 700,000 middle and high school students nationwide, including several thousand in New Hampshire. Students investigate their topic, develop a thesis and interpret primary and secondary sources to apply it to the national theme. The students then present their project in formats like a research paper, museum-style exhibit, dramatic performance, web site or video documentary. The best projects statewide are then displayed in a springtime event at Plymouth State University. Lin-Wood ninth grader Hayli Ash was excited to discover facts at the library and begin her project.
“Learning about my subject is really interesting; I’m glad I have a bigger perspective of how to use this material because our school is so small, we don’t have a lot of resources,” said Ash.
Ninth grader Colby Chase of Woodstock agreed.
“I think this place is really cool–we’ve already found five books on our topic and there’s more online, so all you have to do to get the information is get on the Web.”
Anne Jung, Lamson’s outreach librarian, said the Library and Learning Commons provides sophisticated research tools and teaching the students how to use them properly gives them a skill they can use for the rest of their lives.
“They’re getting a foot-in-the-door, so by the time they’re older, they’re better prepared to find the best resources to put together a great project or perform their job,” said Jung.
Jung added PSU prides itself on being a ‘regional, comprehensive University,’ and the Lamson Library hosts many groups every academic year.
“Anything from a small Boy Scout troop to more school groups doing in-depth research projects,” Jung noted. “We’d like to grow this out to include more middle school and high school groups.”
The Lamson Library and Learning Commons provides access to thousands of online databases and contains nearly 350,000 volumes of catalogued material, the largest in northern New Hampshire. The public is welcome to use Lamson Library; currently there are nearly 650 people not associated with PSU who have library cards.
For information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org