For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been an educational resource for the people of New York City. Now, the Library is building a team exclusively devoted to serving educators and schools. Whether you are a classroom teacher, school librarian, administrator, paraprofessional, parent, or any category of educator, the Center for Educators and Schools is here to help you make the most of the Library’s rich resources.
Schools, like libraries, are democratic spaces where people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives can learn, think, and imagine together. They are places devoted to personal and collective exploration, growth, and transformation. The pandemic has made it clear (if it wasn’t already) how necessary these institutions and the people who work in them are to our society. For many of you, this has been the toughest school year of your careers. The Library is here for you.
We want to connect with the spark that brought you into this profession and nurture it. We will provide opportunities for teachers to be learners, to ask questions, and reflect on their work and to connect with other educators in their community and beyond. Through us, you can access books, thematically curated sets of books, unique archival items, credit-bearing workshops1, author talks, and other educator-focused programs and events. You can also learn how to plan a visit with one of our expert librarians to your school or a field trip for your class to a Library exhibition. We hope NYPL’s new Center for Educators and Schools will become a professional home for you.
On this first version of our website, you will find a wealth of initial offerings, including two sets of free, credit-bearing, virtual workshops that feature items from our vast archives. In one workshop, you can learn about teaching Black history using a map of 17th century lower Manhattan, offered on both February 10 and 23. It includes information about visiting the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures with your students. Another workshop focuses on teaching with 1950s photographs of young people in the streets of East Harlem. In both cases, participants will come away with high-quality reproductions of the archival images, lesson plans, and new understandings about how to engage students with primary sources.
You will also discover ways to connect to our team of expert outreach librarians, who can help you find just-right books and resources for teaching any topic. You will additionally see information about a new residency opportunity for educators to engage with Library collections. As an educator in residence, you will receive intensive support from us to create a unit, a series of units, or even a whole course using NYPL resources.
Our team comes to this work from a wide range of disciplines and with decades of educational work, including classroom teaching, librarianship, museum education, curriculum design, and scholarly research. We share a belief in libraries and the power of stories; we love libraries and we want to share that love with you and your students. Our mission is to use the resources and collections of NYPL to ignite curiosity, joy, and passion for learning within educators, students and school communities.
If this sounds exciting to you, we hope you will join us: sign up for one or more of our upcoming events and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
1 We can provide CTLE credits to eligible educators in NY State.