A pathfinder is a sort of map that librarians create to point you in the right direction to start a research project. I’ve been creating them since library school and I think they are very useful. (You might use a library that uses something called a LibGuide (a brand name software product) which are basically the same thing with a lot of bells and whistles added.) There is a whole section of them on my website, but since the PDF function on there is a little specialized I thought it would probably be worth while publishing them here too. Since I just did a fairly big update (mostly because I’m working on a LibGuide version of them too) and with the long winter stretching ahead, I thought this would be a perfect time to share my updated handouts. Again, these are supposed to get you started on researching Laura, they are NOT meant to be all inclusive. There’s lots of stuff that I own and enjoy that I didn’t consider basic enough to make the cut.
I created the original versions of these as part of the Pathfinder Project, one of many great library projects in Iowa that was lost due to budget cuts. I have the creator’s permission to continue using the form and I have updated all three. There are three because when I started the project I came up with a pathfinder that was 4 pages. It was only then that I was told that the maximum length was 2 pages. Since you could post for different levels, I split it and put the more basic stuff in elementary and the more advanced stuff in adult. It sometimes confuses people when I hand them out, but I think it ended up working better than I thought. Later I created one specifically for Rose Wilder Lane as well. I hope you enjoy them.
Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.