About 80 students and their teachers from the North Conejos School District conducted research December 1, as they prepared for National History Day competitions at the Adams State University Nielsen Library. This was the first time since Fall 2019 the library had been hosted an on-site visit, where students worked with print and other tangible collections to further their research, according to Library Director Jeffrey Bullington.

The students were very respectful of the university masking policy, and “did a great job of cleaning up as they left. They put chairs back in place everywhere and they brought books to the carts so we could get them back to their proper places” among other things, Bullington said.

Bullington credited Donna Mae Keyes and her colleagues from North Conejos schools for helping students prepare for their site visit, working with them on-site, and keeping them focused and engaged.

Bullington also thanked library staff, including Mary Walsh, who helped students access materials in Special Collections and Archives and supported students the entire time, providing directional support and additional research. Amanda Langdon also helped guide and support students.  Melissa Tuioti-Mariner and her circulation students gathered, sorted, and re-shelved the materials students used.

The visit was similar to what the library had done, pre-COVID, when teachers in area school districts would contact Nielsen Library to schedule similar visits, Bullington said. The library also had traditionally coordinated with the State History Day Office for teacher education workshops as well as student research visits. Those activities stopped because of COVID, according to Bullington, but he wants the library and partners to build them back up.

“Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences” is the 2022 theme for National History Day. Bullington is looking forward to serving as a judge at the regional competition on January 29, 2022.