Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking Advantage of National Resources – The Smithsonian

As children’s librarians we give a lot of attention to reading and various literacy skills, and on many occasions we use fun activities to explore a variety of subjects with children. Through this blog and upcoming ones from me, I want to introduce and/or remind about us about the national based resources that can provide information and program ideas. Although I am spoiled with a wealth of program resources by working in Washington, DC at DC Public Library (DCPL), my colleagues and I should not be the only librarians taking advantage of these opportunities.

The Smithsonian site is overloaded with program resources from most of its 19 museums and galleries. Unfortunately this site doesn’t have a consistent method for accessing them. But by clicking on “educators”, “Kids” and/or “student” pages you should be able to find activities to checkout. Below are a few examples of the ideas and resources available (lifted from the site on Saturday, April 02, 2016).

American Art Museum
The American Art Museum (through its Renwick Gallery) has a project for creating a 3-D collage about your state through the program: Superhighway Scholars.

Although there is no direct link from the “Educators” page to some of the museums such the American Indian Museum and the Museum for African American History and Culture (which opens this September) you can go to their site to look for resources.

The above examples are not only good for you, but are great resources to recommend to teachers and other educators to check-out. You don’t have to do the lessons on the site exactly as presented but hopefully they will spark some new ways for fun programs with children. And, of course, promote your collection by showcasing related resources before and after the program.


Carmen Boston is a children’s librarian and the Children’s Programs and Partnerships Coordinator for DC Public Library and a member of the ALSC School-Age Programs and Services Committee. You can contact her at

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