Monday, April 29, 2013

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum Is Now Open

Connect Kids to Presidential History with a Trip to a Presidential Birthplace,
Library, or Museum

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened last week on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Its mission is to "serve as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush, while also promoting a better understanding of the Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. The Library and Museum accomplishes its mission by preserving and providing access to Presidential records and other donated collections, hosting public programs, creating educational initiatives, preserving artifacts, and producing innovative museum exhibits." 

To learn more about the library and museum, visit the library's website

More than twenty states boast presidential birthplaces, historic homes, libraries, and museums. Many of these very special places include extensive exhibits profiling events from the campaign trail and include not only samples of campaign posters and other memorabilia, but also audio and video exhibits that enable you to hear or watch the candidates’ stump speeches and the commercials created to help win votes. 

Before visiting a presidential museum or library, be sure to check out the special activities calendar by calling ahead or reviewing the website because many libraries offer child-friendly and family-oriented activities to engage young people during an election year. For a comprehensive guide to finding presidential sites and museums, listed by state, check out the NCBLA’s "Field Trip Guide! Presidential Birthplaces, Houses, and Libraries.”

If visiting a presidential museum or library in person is not possible, you can visit one virtually by checking out content on the library’s website. Many presidential museums and libraries offer articles, curricula, and other resources you can download and use free. The website for the new George W. Bush Library and Museum includes articles the president and his family, as well as a section for teachers that offers classroom resources and professional development materials. The classroom resources includes, for example, the "Primary Sources Toolkit," which provides analysis strategies, lesson plans, and links to a variety of primary sources for the classroom.