National History Day:
Library Service to
Each year, over 500,000 middle and high
school students across the country participate
in National History Day, or NHD.
Students research a history topic relevant
to an annual theme and present creative
research projects at regional competitions.
(This year’s theme is Triumph and Tragedy
in History.) The most outstanding projects
are selected to compete nationally.
For the past two years, the NHD Club
at Shaker Middle School, together with
their advisor David Saluga, have partnered
with the Library on a dedicated NHD
Research Day. In the fall, approximately
20-30 students visit the library to access
its resources, tour the collections, learn
about research methods and databases,
and collaborate with their peers. They also
receive feedback from National History
Day coordinators from the Western
Reserve Historical Society.
When it comes time to present their
projects at the regional competition,
students may be awarded the Shaker
Library Research Prize. The prize money
is donated by Shaker residents Susan and
Tim Gall of FactCiteOnline.
Local History Librarian Meghan Hays,
Adult Services Librarian Matt Grabski, and
Susan Gall serve as judges.
Expanding on this successful
collaboration, Shaker librarians have begun
to work with Shaker Heights High School
librarians and NHD teacher Sarah Davis to
support the 10th grade advanced placement
U.S. History students with their NHD
projects. Working cooperatively, Library
staff and Shaker Schools’ faculty connect
students with information, resources, and
research skills that can help them achieve
success not only in their National History
Day research and competition but also in
future academic endeavors.
18 FALL 2018 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
Library Service to Teachers
There are many reasons to seek help at the Library, but the needs of teachers can be
unique. They may be looking for books to support a unit of study, or need to borrow
multiple copies of one title for an entire classroom, or wish to arrange a field trip for an
IB Community Helpers unit.
Librarians are always eager to offer help. One of the many benefits the Library
offers teachers is its Educator Card, which enables them to check out hundreds of books
annually to supply their students with reading material that support the curriculum. The
Library’s youth librarians build relationships with teachers to become familiar with their
particular classroom needs. A helpful assignment alert from a teacher enables Library
staff to set aside a collection of books for their students.
Jill Lasheen, a teacher of English Language Learners at Boulevard Elementary
School, uses the Library’s resources extensively to connect her students with their new
community in Shaker. Each year, Lasheen brings her students and their families to the
Main Library to meet the youth librarians, sign up for library cards, and learn about the
Library’s services in a comfortable, fun environment.
Says Lasheen, “I see my role not only as a teacher for the kids who need to learn
English, but also as a person who helps to create a community for the entire family,
guiding them to the resources they need. Without the Library, there would be a missing
component in our work. Since literacy is vital to our students’ learning goals, they need
that connection to our Library, and it helps build a sense of belonging and community.”
This spirit of community building is one example of the Library’s cooperative
spirit. Librarians build relationships with their patrons every day, and the stronger the
relationships, the better they can serve residents, teachers, and students.
Matt Grabski and Meghan Hays bookend last
year’s winners of the Shaker Library Research
Prize sponsored by FactCite Online: from left,
Izzy Hart, Maria Krouse, Mary Basilion, Lillian
Potiker, and Nathalie River for their entry
The Burning of the Cuyahoga River and the
Resulting Triumph – The Clean Water Act.