Library of Congress reopens digital library center

The Library of Congress has re-opened the National Digital Library Learning Center, which after being renovated and upgraded thanks to a $388,000 gift from Microsoft Corp., will be used to train teachers in classroom use of the library's American Memory historical collections.

The center houses a 16-seat classroom with a large-screen projection system that will be used to train educators from across the country. The center's 45-seat theater has a new large-screen monitor for demonstrations and also has a video teleconferencing area. Classes for teachers should start in the fall, said Susan Veccia, project manager for users services at LOC.

"We think it's a great opportunity for teachers, and we hope to start offering classes in the fall, working up to a greater crescendo of more course offerings in the spring and summer of next year," Veccia said. "We really hope to accommodate many, many teachers in the fall."

The library will mail information sheets to schools in September and is working with educators to see what they want to learn, Veccia said, adding that the project is targeted at school librarians as well as teachers.

American Memory, part of the Library's National Digital Library program, provides students and teachers with access to more than 2 million items on a range of subjects including the Civil War, American presidents, baseball cards, dance manuals, women's suffrage and the civil rights movement.

Teachers interested in the program are encouraged to visit the Learning Page on the World Wide Web at memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/index.html.

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