viii Foreword interpret how the item fits into the research they are doing, the topic they are looking into, and how it connects to them individually as Brooklynites. This method of instruction through archives and special collections repre- sented a departure for me, different from the usual tour-based encounter many students have when they visit libraries, archives, and even museums. It is unique because it prioritizes teaching over the usual “show and tell” prac- tices in other similar spaces. This work empowers students to know and understand what it means to do research in an archive or special collection space, removing the idea that archives and special collections privilege cre- dentialed scholars. Giving students the knowledge that they are welcome in these spaces and an understanding of how those spaces work is an added value that removes any sense of intimidation with accessing archival and special collections. In addition to benefits for students, for me as a collections manager, stu- dent visits often present themselves as the largest and most important demo- graphic for the collection. They are homegrown users and their needs often highlight the most popular and useful items in our collection—and, even more importantly, the gaps still present. Having this information is instru- mental for collection development and also helps highlight collections that would benefit most from digitization for remote use. Because the schools we partner with and the range of classes we serve vary each year, subjects being studied often change or perspectives shift, which allows for different items from the collection to be highlighted or resurfaced to the team of educators as well as to librarians and archivists. Doing near-constant research to accom- modate school visits gives us more insight into our collections than the aver- age visit from scholars or other researchers. Having provided a bit of insight into how we view education in archives and special collections here at Brooklyn Public Library, it is my hope that collec- tions managers, librarians, and archivists who have not already engaged with this work will use this book as a tool to provide more meaningful education in their respective spaces. This book provides the necessary frameworks to actively use archives and special collections in instruction, and shows how to correlate primary source material appropriately. I also hope that managers, librarians, and archivists can see how welcoming meaningful educational instruction in their institutions can benefit collection growth, amplify their collections, and shape the research experience of future generations. —Natiba Guy-Clement Assistant Director, Collections & Public Service Center for Brooklyn History
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