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For Teachers


This channel highlights the opportunities and resources for teachers that are available throughout the library system. Learn more about our primary sources, professional development opportunities and student learning experiences. Let NYPL help you reach your teaching and learning goals!

The ABC of Education: Why Libraries Matter

As I recruit a team of educators for The New York Public Library’s rapidly expanding Education Department, I consistently hear from candidates about how formative the public library was in their childhoods. Most of us remember after-school and weekend trips to the library to check out books, and the great feeling of hanging out in a space devoted to the quiet pursuit of reading and lifelong learning.

Today’s libraries, however, are more than just a space to read. They are undergoing a metamorphosis in their support of literacy and education across all stages of life, 

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Classroom Connections: 'Grace Aguilar's American Journey,' A Common Core-aligned Research Experience (Gr. 11-12)

By 1900, New York City and the United States were undergoing waves of dramatic, traumatic change. Industrialization, Reconstruction and a surge of immigrants from across the globe were remaking every aspect of life, from transportation to education, leisure, labor, race relations and the status of women. One response to the dislocations and turmoil of this era was the reform efforts that we now classify as the “Progressive Movement.”

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Classroom Connections: 'Little Lionhearts,' Young People in African-American Civil Rights Protests (Gr. 6-8)

"I could not move because history had me glued to the seat. It felt like Sojourner Truth's hands were pushing down on one shoulder, and Harriet Tubman's hand pushing down on another shoulder" —Claudette Colvin (Interview on Democracy Now, March 2013)

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and when we typically consider the 

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Classroom Connections: Lists for Lesson Planning (Gr. 6-12)

Aguilar Library, 1938 - Librarian w/ students. Want to know more about our current educational initiatives? See The ABC of Education: Why Libraries Matter by Maggie Jacobs, Director of Educational ProgramsWe have just shuttered the doors on our first Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute. During this three week Institute, master teachers from NYC (and further afar) met curators from our Research 

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Classroom Connections: The Underground Railroad to Canada (Gr. 6-8)

"I left the States for Canada, for rights, freedom, liberty. I came to Buxton [Ontario] to educate my children" —Henry Johnson (pp. 307 A North-side View of Slavery: The Refugee, Or, The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada)

Additional Resources for Further Reading Expanded Text List - Slavery ... Read More ›

Booktalking "When the Stars Go Blue" by Caridad Ferrer

Relentless physical agony for a few minutes of perfection; is this dance? A whirlwind romance with Jonathan, but will it last? Soledad is an 18-year-old woman who just finished high school. She is contemplating teaching dance during the summer or portraying Carmen in a competitive drum and bugle corps. She is not the prototype stick-thin ballet dancer; would Latin Dance work for her? It's about being free, finding your way in the world, and true love.

Effusive declarations of undying love from a boy who has pined for her for four years. Intoxicating teenage 

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Institute for Teachers Aug 5-23, 2013: Primary Sources and the Common Core

Love history? Original archival documents? Looking for new ways to incorporate primary source materials into your lesson plans? 

NYPL is searching for you! We are looking for innovative master teachers at the middle and high school level for a new 3 week collaborative summer exploration program based at The New York Public Library's flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

The Education Innovation @ NYPL Summer Institute will take place August 5-23 (Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. for 3 weeks). 


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Booktalking "Bug Boy" by Eric Luper

15-year-old exercise rider Jack Walsh hopes and dreams that someone will promote him to "bug boy," a.k.a. apprentice jockey. However, in no way, shape or form did he aspire to take advantage of the misfortune of Showboat, the leading jockey at his barn. 116 pounds is much too heavy for a jockey; ten pounds to lose in two days. Endless frantic running, eating and drinking little of anything, wrapping oneself in a heavy blanket in the middle of summer, and vomiting up anything that will come up. One hopes that his fate does not mirror Showboat's.


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Booktalking "The Story of My Life" by Helen Keller, edited by Roger Shattuck

At 19 months of age, Keller loses her sight and hearing. A girl spends five years in darkness and silence, yet she runs with strength and is healthy and vigorous. Frenetically, she reaches into everything, is fascinated by people, and is in constant gestural communication with her mother and family members. She remembers the layout of the house, so she is able to freely run through it. She loves being with her dogs and her pony, but she cannot grasp sophisticated meaning from her limited world until her teacher, 21 year old

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Booktalking "Chains: Seeds of America" by Laurie Halse Anderson

Isabel Finch thought she was getting her freedom upon the death of her master, as indicated in his will. Afraid not. Not when a man grabs her and sells her and her five year old sister Ruth to the Locktons. "Madam," as Anne Lockton insists she be called, took the liberty of renaming Isabel "Sal."

Ruth, tortured by fits of epilepsy, a brain tumor, or some 

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Booktalking "Wintergirls" by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia lives in a world highlighted by food. Never mind her parent's divorce, or her friend Cassie's death of a ruptured esophagus for binging too much. None of that is important if she can control her food intake; hopefully, she will not pass out again at the wheel of a moving vehicle. Only problem is... her parents keep hospitalizing her. When she does not have enough energy to get medication for her sister; her stepmother shoves a gigantic oatmeal cookie in her 

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Booktalking "Sugar and Ice" by Kate Messner

The Silver Blades Scholarship lands unassuming skater Claire Boucher in Lake Placid. No longer is ice skating a winter activity in the neighborhood skate center that she affectionately refers to as "Cow Pond." No longer is skating an ancillary activity to the rest of her life. Four-hour long practices dominate Claire's life as she perfects jumps and attempts to please her new coach, Mr. Groshev. Claire is his "next big talent." Her best friend Natalie resents being "dumped" by Claire for ice and all of its glory.

Claire loves the ice and 

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11 Free Websites to Practice English at Home

RTlibrary on FlickrAt the New York Public Library's Adult Learning Centers, where adults work on basic English and literacy skills, we're often asked for recommendations of websites for adults to practice English at home. Below you'll find eleven sites, some with a focus on listening, some on vocabulary, others on grammar, and some with a range of activities. Happy learning!

Easy World of English

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Kid Lit Con Part 2: Critical Literary Analysis on September 29, 2012

We were lucky to have Betsy Bird and NYPL host the Kid Lit Con on September 29, 2012. Kid Lit Con is an awesome experience, and I completely recommend it.

The afternoon session on Critical Book Reviewing was especially scintillating and enlightened me to realities inherent in the author-reviewer relationship that I was completely unaware of. I previously was unaware that authors contact reviewers and try to sway them into not being critical about their work. I think that is unethical.

I strongly believe 

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Kid Lit Con Part 1: Reviewing Graphic Novels on September 29, 2012

I was extremely excited when I heard that Kid Lit Con was coming to NYC this year, and that it was to be held in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building ("the library with the lions"). I could not have been happier. I do not travel much for conferences, so I was very happy to be able to experience a conference just for bloggers about children's literature. Thanks to Betsy Bird and NYPL for hosting the conference on September 29, 2012. Betsy Bird gave the official welcome. She 

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Booktalking "Shelter" by Harlan Coben

Shelter by Harlan Coben, 2011

Dealing with a dead father, a mother in rehab and a missing girlfriend might sound like a drag. The false promises and the perfection that you want to believe can happen in the fit-and-start world of rehab just lead to more disappointments. However, getting a true friend like Ema shines a light into all of 

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Booktalking "Sniper" by Theodore Taylor

Sniper by Theodore Taylor, 2007

Imagine lions and tigers in your backyard and a house cheetah to guard your family. Thanks to an endowment from a wealthy widow his parents met in Africa, this is Ben's home.

Fifteen-year-old Benjamin Jepson lives on a zoological research preserve specializing in big cats. Crazy people go in and out 

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Booktalking "Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff" by Walter Dean Myers

Booktalking Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff by Walter Dean Myers, 1975

Somehow he became known as "Stuff." Anyhow, one of the funniest things he ever observed was Cool Clyde, aka "Claudette" jiving with Fast Sam, who was "getting into his thing" on the dance floor in a competition. One by one, couples were asked to sit 

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Matt Myklusch at Dream Big: Imagination Academy on July 31, 2012

We were very lucky to have Matt Myklusch, author of the Jack Blank adventure trilogy, speak at the 67th Street Library's Dream Big Imagination Academy on July 31, 2012. He delivered a 60-minute talk about his story (how he came to be a writer) and his Jack Blank Books:

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Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Illustration on June 2, 2012

I was delighted to hear from members of the Children's Book Illustrators Group in New York City (CBIG-NYC) in the Margaret Berger Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on June 2, 2012. I do not draw that well, but I appreciate art. I love photographing my cats, and my drawing teacher in college told me that I have a good eye for composition. My mother also takes good photographs. CBIG-NYC was founded by Brooklyn illustrators in 1987 as a forum in which to share publishing information and 

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