Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference or Event Name

ALAO 43rd Annual Conference

Conference Location

Lewis Center, OH


Learn how to empower students through primary resources! Teach students how to research their communities, past and present, in order to understand their place and meaning in the world.

On this residential campus, the library has found ways to connect students with the surrounding community via primary sources. In one workshop, students researched the campus neighborhoods, as they were once home to working class families, but are now primarily occupied by students. In using Ancestry Library, Sanborn maps and other websites, students not only connect with the past, but also begin to understand the college’s role and value within the surrounding community.

In another instance, students connect with other city neighborhoods through a writing composition course. In addition to using scholarly sources, their research makes use of U.S. Census data, local documents and community members. As a result, the writing projects assume more personal meaning than traditional research assignments and help students see the value of such research in real-world settings. This library intends to build on these ideas of connectedness and empowerment next with a credit-bearing course.