Queens Public Library to work with THHS Social Science Research students this fall

HTML tutorial

Despite advances in technology making much of the world’s information readily available to students everywhere, many students find projects that require scholarly research daunting. When given a research assignment, their general reaction is often to use Google and click on the first result, which can lead to faulty or simplistic data. To address the growing need to understand proper researching methods, the Queens Public Library (QPL) operates an information literacy project for high school students and will be working with Townsend Harris students to help them in their research work.  

The goal of the program is to “teach students how to use information resources, such as databases; how to differentiate primary and secondary sources; and how to cite those sources,” according to Ms. Anne Saidman, a librarian for the QPL who will be bringing the project to THHS during the fall.  

I will make sure students can access the resources available to them from the Queens Public Library, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library,” she said. “An added benefit to being able to use these resources is that students can access them from home, as opposed to the Queens College-CUNY resources, which students can only access via computers housed in Townsend Harris.”

On July 26, she came to the school for the first time to introduce herself to the Summer Rising AP Capstone Enrichment class, run by Social Science Research teacher Franco Scardino. She supplied students with new library cards so that they could access the QPL databases. “I’ll be showing students how to navigate the website, but today…I’m mostly getting to know them.” She said, “I [am] impressed with the students I met.”

Ms. Saidman said that the program will be running at three schools this fall, including THHS. “I am happy to be working with Townsend Harris High School on this project because the school has such a well-developed AP Capstone program, and [I am] happy to be working with Mr. Scardino and Ms. Laverde because they are both professionals who are devoted to their work.” She will be working with these teachers from September through December to help students learn more about research, source types, and citations. While Ms. Saidman will work with Mr. Scardino’s classes, Ms. Laverde will work with the rest of the student body on these topics.

“Part of my job as school librarian is to work with teachers to teach students Information and digital literacy throughout the school year,” said Ms. Laverde.  

Looking past the pilot term, Ms. Saidman said that she and the QPL hope that they will be able to provide all schools in Queens with the same support.

Photo by Erica Lee