By Dr. Jenelle S. Miller
Yesterday (Wednesday, September 21, 2017), two of my students from Accelerated Academics and their father/teacher accompanied me to the Central Branch of the San Diego Public Library in Downtown San Diego. The purpose of our visit was for a National History Day (NHD) Orientation, which included a tour with docent David Brands as well as a topic brainstorming session with the Jayne Henn, the manager of the Denny Sanford Children’s Library. My students, Fabienne and Isabel, are gearing up to participate in this year’s NHD competition and wanted to learn how to best utilize the library for their research projects.
The tour of this brand new and very large library by the docent was fascinating and highly beneficial. In addition to learning about the history of the planning and construction of the library, we visited the special collections area, technology rooms, and the teen room; saw where we could utilize group meeting rooms; and met several skilled individuals who will be available to provide us with expert help regarding our research. We also learned that we may use the library’s multi-media technology and 3-D printers for our own projects and that we can access technology experts who are there to assist us when we need help. All of these things and more make this library one to which we definitely plan to return and utilize over the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
When talking to the girls and their father about their experience during the tour, Fabienne exclaimed, “I want to live here!” and Isabel and her father are looking forward to their next opportunity to return and conduct some research. Our docent/tour guide and the children’s librarian have definitely succeeded in inspiring my students to dive in to their research projects with passion.
There are so many purposes to use the resources at the Central Branch of the San Diego Public Library - National History Day is only one of them. We plan to utilize this great resource to its fullest extent. It has everything we could possibly need for an abundance of great educational experiences.