The Smithsonian Libraries today launched three courses of selected content on iTunes U that focus on topics in early aviation and space history. This release increases exposure of Libraries material and is an innovative way to reach new audiences. iTunes U is a dedicated area within iTunes that gives users public access to hundreds of thousands of free lectures, videos books, podcasts and courses from learning institutions all over the world. With more »
Did you know that today, August 19th, is National Aviation Day? This day, the birthday of Orville Wright, was chosen to celebrate flight. In honor of the day, we’d like to give you a sneak peek at an exciting new project from our National Air and Space Museum Library and introduce you to the two intrepid interns making it possible. This project was generously funded by Lockheed Martin.
We Love Kindergartners! Today we celebrate the smart and energetic 5- and 6-year olds who brighten our day! April 21st is National Kindergarten Recognition Day, which was enacted by the U.S. Senate in 2005 (view text from the Congressional Record here: http://bit.ly/cB6pmz). Kindergarten, or “children’s garden,” was coined by Friedrich Froebel in Germany in 1840. There are currently over four million kindergartners in the United States. The Smithsonian Libraries has been in a partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center’s (SEEC) kindergarten class for almost two years. Libraries staff has joined the class for several of its discovery missions, both at our Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library for Natural History and at other locations around the National Mall. The kindergartners have received a hands-on experience via rare books and manuscripts, museum objects and imaginative stories from master teacher Josh Beasley and Libraries’ staff Elizabeth Periale, Mary Augusta Thomas and Daria Wingreen-Mason. Our staff greatly enjoys working with these intelligent children, who teach us more than we could ever teach them. more »
The Libraries has been working with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center's Kindergarten class this year on a variety of educational activities. A visit earlier this year was featured in Smithsonian online newsletter The Torch. Most recently, afternoon enrichment teacher Josh Beasley invited Elizabeth Periale from the Libraries to share a book from her personal collection—a reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry—with the children. Beasley tied the Bayeux Tapestry to themes from stories like Hamlet and Beowulf that he had adapted for the children, along with concepts like the "Everywhere Library" as well as great libraries that hold treasured books, such as the Cotton Library, Bodleian Library and our own Cullman Library. The children effortlessly found related images and themes throughout the truly enriching lesson. The adventures will continue . . . —Elizabeth Periale, photos by Liz O'Brien