Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region @ Metropolitan State University of Denver

Teacher Librarian Day(s)

Teacher Librarian Day 2023: Critical Conversations

Our theme, Critical Conversations, is meant to be an attempt at tackling one of the most prevalent questions in society today: How do we live and love together in a society with differing perspectives, beliefs, and biases? There is no easy answer, but it takes critical conversations in order to make progress towards understanding.

Join us and help each other take on topics deeply important to today’s educators. Using the vast collections of primary sources at the Library of Congress as well as local historical collections, discover the stories of peoples from diverse locations, circumstances, and walks of life.

Come to learn about the Library of Congress and its 60 million+ digitized primary sources and teaching resources available to the public, including programs like their teachers resources, Labs, World Digital Library, the Veterans History Project, and congress.gov.

When: February 24th, 2023 | 8:00am – 4:00pm


  • History Colorado Center: 1200 N Broadway, Denver, 80203
  • Museum of the West: 462 Ute Ave., Grand Junction, 81505

*The registration is the same for both locations. Please indicate the location you would like to attend when registering.

Who: K-16 teachers, librarians, homeschool teachers, museum educators, and any other educators who want to know more about utilizing Library of Congress primary sources for learning.

Substitute Reimbursement: We are able to offer the first 100 educators substitute reimbursement. Please select the “Substitute Reimbursement + General Admission” ticket option.

Parking: We will be able to cover parking for those who drive to the History Colorado Center and park in the Cultural Garage across the street from HCC! Soon you will receive an email from EventBrite with a validation code.

Graduate Credit: Graduate credit: Optional .5 grad credit available through Adams State University for $27.50. Please select the course “20179 – ED 589” when registering. Register through ASU here.

PD Hours: Eight professional development hours will be available by certificate after the event.

Tentative schedule:

  • 7:30 – 8:00am | Breakfast
  • 8:00am – 12:00pm | TLD-Talks
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm | Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:00pm | Breakouts
  • 2:00 – 3:00pm | Breakouts
  • 3:00 – 4:00pm | Raffle and Wrap-up

*If the fee is a barrier for attendance, please reach out for a waiver.

What to expect: A full day of inspiring, diverse, and innovative voices in education. Breakfast snacks and lunch provided.


TLD 2023 Lineup

Writing Solidarity: Transnational Hip-Hop & the IGTimes, 1984-1994

Justin De Senso is an Assistant Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He recently relocated from Penn State University, where he was an Associate Teaching Professor of English and African American Studies. He specialize in first-year writing, theories of race and racism, and post-World War II American history and culture.

This presentation will tell the story of the International Graffiti Times (IGTimes), a 1984-1994 aerosol artist zine that offers a window onto hip-hop’s solidarity ethos. Primary sources from the Cornell Hip Hop Collections will be used to highlight what the culture of hip-hop teaches us about the work of solidarity.

Chicano Murals: Preservation, Appropriation, and Conformity

Denver native and artist Carlos Frésquez people came from the centuries-old Mexican borderland culture of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, but he experienced his roots from a city boy’s cross-cultural perspective. It’s an intrinsic part of who he is as a human and as an artist: community-driven, rooted in religion and folklore, yet radically political and often satirical. But Frésquez, who teaches at MSU Denver, often still returns to the heart and symbology of his ancestral culture, leading his students in the act of becoming artists or creating traditional mural projects, and gently encouraging them to remain true to themselves.

Carlos will be discuss murals he has created over the years dealing with appropriation and conformity.

The Language We Inherit

Suzi Q. Smith is an award-winning artist, organizer, and educator who lives in Denver, Colorado. The author of poetry collections Poems for the End of the World, A Gospel of Bones, and Thirteen Descansos, Suzi is also a singer-songwriter, playwright, and multi-disciplinary creative. Currently, she is Affiliate Faculty with Regis University’s Mile High MFA, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and DU’s Prison Arts Initiative, as well as the [margins.] Conference Director for The Word. She also serves as a community representative on the Denver County Cultural Council.

In this brief talk, Suzi Q. Smith will discuss techniques to explore the language we inherit and ways we use it to navigate writing and our understanding of the world. She will share stories and poems that are shaped by identities, experiences, ideas, and self-language as tools to communicate authentically, and to identify contemporary, culturally relevant materials that engage students in new ways.

Critical Conversations:  Connecting Kids, Councils and Conversations

Conversations. It’s all about meaningful conversations. Kent Willmann, with Lessons on Local Government, will be joined by a group of teachers, students, and local government leaders to discuss the challenging issues involved when working with local governments and leaders.

Bridging partisan divides, tackling controversial yet important issues to students, and purposefully connecting students with local leaders provides a wide range of critical conversations.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Dawn DiPrince, Executive Director of History Colorado and the State Historic Preservation Officer will speak about the Treaty of Guadalupe and its impact on the land we now call Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Treaty will be on exhibit at History Colorado during TLD, which will allow for participants to engage with the actual historical document.

Artificial Intelligence, Primary Sources, Critical Conversations, and YOU

Whether its primary sources about the founding fathers, 500 year old maps, presidential correspondence, historic newspapers, or political cartoons, the Library of Congress has it all. But just like historical thinking, the Library isn’t only about history. Just recently, for example, the Library added resources involving terabytes of datasets, thoughts around artificial intelligence and copyright, as well as crowdsourcing our history so that future generations can more easily explore and research.

The TPS Western Region team will discuss what it means to be a primary source through intimate stories about the past, present, and future.



Afternoon Breakouts

  • Strategies for Centering Inclusion | Suzi Q. Smith
  • Critical Conversations: Connecting Kids, Councils and Conversations | Kent Willmann and local leaders, teachers, and students
  • Not Just a Pretty Wall: Murals as a Primary Source Conversation Starters | Michelle Pearson and Laura Israelsen
  • The Sand Creek Massacre: Developing a Field Trip | Dr. Josie Chang-Order
  • Primary and Secondary Sources in Critical Conversations | Stephen H. Hart Research Center Staff
  • Critical Conversations at the Library of Congress | TPS Western Region


Previous Teacher Librarian Day(s) Resources and Recordings

  • TLD 2022: Creating a Learning Oasis – Shared Resource List
    • 2021 brought challenges unlike any other. 2022’s TLD will help you create a learning oasis in the classroom. Throughout the week, participants reimagined, reinvigorated, and re-energized their teaching practices through flexible inquiry and engaging primary source strategies.
  • TLD 2021: New Directions – Shared Resource List
    • Though we were distant, we still remained connected. We were separate and, yet, learning together in a shared experience. Creativity, compassion, and dedication helped illuminate the path for generations of young people. Our theme for Teacher Librarian Day(s) (TLD) 2021 was New Directions, meant to honor the herculean efforts of teachers throughout the 2020 pandemic, highlight the importance of purposeful pedagogy, and reflect on not only 2020, but also on our overall place in history.


Teacher Librarian Day 2018: Strategize. Connect. Engage.

Teaching with Primary Sources Western Region at MSU Denver hosted the 14th annual Teacher Librarian Day at the History Colorado Center on February 23rd. The 14th TLD came with a few logistical changes, and from preliminary reports, it was a huge success! This year we were fortunate to have Lee Ann Potter, Director of Educational […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2017: Inspire Critical Thinking Reaches Educators Across Colorado

After a small scare at the beginning of the week with the weather forecasting snow on February 24th, 2017, Teacher Librarian Day was a huge success once again. Over 150 teachers, librarians, and education specialists from all across Colorado showed up excited to listen to our 10 speakers and get resources from 18 different educational […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2016: Creative Contrast Recap

The 12th annual Teacher Librarian Day 2016: Creative Contrast was held on February 26th, 2016 at History Colorado. Nearly 200 teachers, librarians, educators, and content specialists attended the event and unlike last year, the weather was beautiful – 60 degrees and blue skies! This year’s theme was Creative Contrast. It was chosen to spur innovative […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2015 Recap

February 27th, 2015 was definitely a day for the record books.  The Denver Post reported that the 3.3 inches of snow that blanketed the already snowy Denver Metro streets broke a 103-year- record for the most snowfall in the month of February.  While the monster 22.2 inches of accumulation that Denver received in just twenty-seven […]


10 Years of TLD – A Retrospective: Strolling Through Our History

Wow, a lot has happened in the ten years we have been hosting Teacher Librarian Day! We have proudly watched this cornerstone event evolve, growing in scope, number of presenters and audience size. A Look Back: Peggy O’Neill-Jones, our TPS at MSU director since the program’ s 2004 beginning, recalls planning the first TLD in […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2013!

On March 1st of this year, over 150 educators gathered for Teacher Librarian Day at SpringHill Suites Downtown at Metropolitan State University. SpringHill Suites at Metro State, this year’s venue, was a huge hit with attendees. SpringHill Suites is one of the newest additions to Auraria Campus. It was opened in 2012 as a part […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2012: Primary Passion

Our annual Teacher Librarian Day, which was originally scheduled for February 4th, was postponed due to a monster snowstorm courtesy of Mother Nature. Fourteen inches of snow fell on the Denver Metro area the night before the conference, which led to Auraria Campus closing the following morning. Not a team to abandon all hope, we […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2010

The annual TPS-Colorado Teacher Librarian Day was held this year on February 12th.  The conference, titled “Unpack the Standards – Discover Your Story” was a professional development event for Colorado educators that was hosted by Metropolitan State College of Denver in collaboration with Rocky Mountain PBS, the Denver Public Library, the Colorado History Museum, and […]


Teacher Librarian Day 2009

TPS-Colorado held its annual Librarian Days Conference this year on the last two days of January.  Over one hundred educators from across Colorado converged on Auraria Campus, in downtown Denver, each one of them anticipating a stimulating two days of learning, networking, and information gathering.  Their main objective was to learn the methods and intricacies […]