Teaching with Historic Places in Libraries

The National Park Service supports libraries and librarians in-person and online. Even if a library is too far from a Park or the park is not able to provide a ranger, the wide range of resources available at NPS.gov can help capture the imaginations and deepen the curiosity of library patrons.

Librarians may use historic sites found on the National Register of Historic Places to make meaningful programs by connecting book topics with historic places, including local historic sites. Programs grounded in a real historic place take advantage of a patron's existing knowledge or emotional connections. The result can be a powerful library experience.

Use TwHP Lessons in Library Programs

Use TwHP Lessons in Library Programs

Find out how librarians use Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans in their childrens' programs and see an illustrated example.

Sagmore Hill Library

Storytime with Historic Places

Take library patrons on a journey of the imagination in a storytime about heritage and historic places that matter.

Take advantage of Park Service resources to boost library programs:

  • Teacher Portal

    Use this portal to search a collection of already existing National Park Service education resources. The Portal is geared toward K-12 teachers, but the content can be used by any education facilitator.
  • Distance Learning Opportunities

    Go to a historic place or park by either scheduling a live, interactive visit with a ranger or watching short videos.
  • Materials for Loan and Travel Trunks

    Check out a traveling trunk and other media for loan from a historic site to be the center of a program or as a display in the library.
  • National Park Service Archeology for Kids

    Use the archeology lab projects and books lists for program inspiration or book displays.
  • Teaching with Museum Collections

    Use the lesson plans and visuals based on real collections and artifacts in museums or historic places for program inspiration.
  • Teaching with Historic Places

    Use these outlines, visuals, and activities to bring historic places into the library or library programs. Search by state, time period, theme or activity.
  • Telling All American Stories

    Direct patrons to this site for school research or information on the places and history significant to African American heritage, indigenous heritage, LGBTQ heritage, women’s history, immigration, technological advancements, and more.
  • Discover Our Shared Heritage: Travel Itineraries

    Use the interactive map or list to find the historic places and history of the town your library is located near or a theme you would like to explore.
  • Junior Ranger Activity Booklets for Specific Parks

    The last section of this page contains a list of historic sites and national parks that provide more information on their junior ranger program. This includes free downloadable activity booklets with pictures, word searches, and similar independent work activities. The booklets can be used in storytimes centered on historic places, theme displays, "passive" programs in your children’s sections, or take home activities after a program.
  • National Register of Historic Places Interactive Map

    Use the interactive map to find historic places and view the nomination forms or information about each place. Use this resource to begin creating an outline for a storytime with a historic place.

The Park Service offers multimedia resources that may be used in library programming. Search the National Park Service Multimedia Database to find for photos, videos, and audio files in the public domain from parks or historic sites to enrich your programs or displays in the library. Examples of free video include,

See also: "America’s Greatest Classrooms" (YouTube)

Last updated: June 28, 2018

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