Although many think of public libraries when they hear National Library Week, we couldn’t resist celebrating our special collections library as well! Through social media we’ve made sure there have been plenty of pictures of old books and #shelfies, as usual, and our annual Adopt-a-Book event, which raises money for acquisitions, also launched this week. But our real celebrations took place last week, when Congressman Jim McGovern and a group of local public school librarians from Leicester, Bartlett, and Grafton came for a visit to the Society.
While here, the congressman and librarians took a tour of the library led by President Ellen Dunlap and then explored some of our treasures in the Council Room. These items included Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre, an issue of the Cherokee Phoenix, the diary of Caroline Barrett White describing the Anthony Burns fugitive slave case in Boston in 1854, and a series of letters written between Charles Slack, Frederick Douglass, and Henry David Thoreau about a speaking engagement. These are all items that we use in our workshops with K-12 teachers and we discussed the ways that we use these materials to teach critical thinking skills and enhance the educational experiences of teachers and their students. Afterwards, we held a great discussion about the importance of libraries, both public and private, and ways that AAS could possibly partner with the school librarians.
“The American Antiquarian Society is a national treasure located right in our backyard. l am so happy that [the librarians] could join me today to celebrate National Library Week and to learn more about the educational materials AAS uses to educate K-12 groups when they come through the library, or use the materials online,” said U.S. Rep. McGovern.
We at AAS, always looking for new ways to connect with the community, were happy to host this tour and hope that we will see all of them back soon!