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MLIS student lands coveted spot in Library of Congress program

MLIS student Heather Palmer outside the Library of Congress.
MLIS student Heather Palmer outside the Library of Congress.
Photo provided by Heather Palmer.

Each year, the Library of Congress selects a group of K–12 educators for each of its seven teacher institutes in Washington, D.C. Heather Palmer, a middle school teacher and St. Catherine University student, was among the lucky few.

During her five days (May 21-25) at the library’s Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute, Palmer explored millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents, and worked with Library of Congress education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using these primary sources in the classroom.

“It was wonderful — the best professional development experience I've had,” says Palmer, who is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at St. Kate’s. “I am so grateful for the opportunity.”

Palmer has taught in the French Immersion program at Valley View Middle School in Edina, Minn., since 1999. She first learned about Library of Congress Teacher Institute at the American Association of School Librarians conference in October 2011. She wanted to participate to better understand the library’s resources — and was selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants.

“I am passionate about using technology as a teaching and learning tool in the classroom, and the resources provided by the Library of Congress digital archives fully support this teaching style,” Palmer says. “I was excited to see how the collection can enhance some of the service-learning and peace education units I already use in class, as well as how it can inspire new opportunities for my students.”

Palmer plans to earn her MLIS degree and Minnesota School Library Media Specialist license in May 2013.

“I have found my career very rewarding,” she adds, “and thought that an advanced degree from St. Kate’s in the library and information science field would complement my career.”  

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June 26, 2012 by Pauline Oo

See also: Education, Students