International Studies and Programs

International Studies Resource Library


Yes, indeed! The International Studies and Programs Resource Library offers teaching and reference material on world cultures and global issues to educators and librarians throughout Missouri. Our collection includes books, films, music, posters, curriculum units, traveling exhibitions and cultural artifact kits.

Our goal is to internationalize education in our community by sharing university resources and expertise with K-16 schools and other civic and cultural institutions in the region. For more than 30 years, ISPRL has helped introduce students in the St. Louis region to the world's cultural diversity, global issues, and ecological interdependence, by bringing an international perspective to studies across the curriculum.

In addition to our lending collection, we offer professional development workshops. We also serve as a satellite location for the St. Louis Art Museum's resource materials.

We are in Room 349 in the Social Sciences Building on North Campus - UMSL Map

SUMMER 2014 HOURS (UNTIL JULY 31, 2014):

Day Open Close
Tuesday 12 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday 12 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Thursday 12 p.m. 5 p.m.

The library is also open by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please call us at (314) 516-6455, or email

International Studies and Programs Resource Library
366 SSB (MC 58)
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400

Borrowers may contact International Studies and Programs' Resource Library by telephone (314-516-6455), or by e-mail The normal loan period is two (2) weeks from date of pick up or three (3) weeks if material is returned by mail to our office. As with all curriculum materials, teachers are advised to preview the materials to determine suitability for their students and local community.


African American

Asian Americans


Columbus and the Age of Discovery

Conflict and Peacemaking for Students

Cross-cultural Studies

Global Economy

Global Environment and Development

Global Geography

Human Rights
Immigration and Refugees

International Law, Organizations

International Relations: Resource Information
International Relations, National Security, Strategic Weapons, Arms Control and Nuclear Policy

Latin America

Middle East

Russia, the Soviet Union, and its Newly Independent States, and Europe
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Vietnam War

A kit is a collection of items representative of a country or culture and intended for hands-on use by students. Both traditional and modern aspects are presented. Typically, kits contain traditional clothing, crafts, games, artifacts, posters, coins, flags, books, music and videos. Some kits have consumable articles such as incense, tea and calligraphy ink. All kits include lesson plans and cards describing each item.

***Please note: Grade levels assigned to kits are representative of the curriculum included in the kit. Most materials can be used with all age groups (Pre-K - 16).

West Africa (middle school)
Art of China and Japan
Canada (K-5)
China (K-5)
China (5-8)
Ecuador (K-5)
France (K-5)
Guatemala (K-5)
India (K-5)
Indonesia (K-12)
Islam (6-12)
Islam in the Middle East (4-7)
Israel (K-5)
Japan (K-5)
Japan (4-8)
Korea (K-5)
Mexico (K-5)
Poland (K-6)
Russia (K-5)
St. Louis in the Fur Trade Era (K-5)
Vietnam (K-12)
Westward Movement

A collection of touch kits and curriculum kits are available for classroom use and may be checked out. Touch kits include:

American Folk Art
Art of Ancient Egypt
Art of China and Japan
Colonial Times
Native American
Pre-School Touch Kit
Westward Movement

Africa: Photos representing eight major countries
Nelson Mandela: A photo exhibit of his life
Asia (East): Photos representing eight major countries
Children's Art from China
Chinese Festivals
Children's Art from Japan
Middle East: From Turkey to Iran (6 posters)
Vietnam War
Australia: maps & posters
Americas (North, Central & South
Columbus & the New World
New World Foods
Mexican Art
South America: Photos representing eight major countries
1989-1990: A Taste of Freedom in South Africa, China, East Germany, Lithuania, Romania and Russia
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
Material World: A Global Family Portrait


Please Note: Program Availability is subject to the availability of the presenter

For the 2011-2012 school year, we offer the following programs:

From Missouri to the World
Survey and map your schoolyard and use geospatial technology to identify your school's neighborhood and your local region. Using local maps, National Geographic maps, children's literature, and hands-on multicultural kits we will help students travel from Missouri to the world and back. Use this workshop as a springboard for the reader's and writer's workshops, to creatively meet your communication arts goals, and as a way to complete your Missouri and/or world geography studies. Outdoor work = weather permitting. Presenter: Sarah Coppersmith, Level: Students in grades 1-8.

Geospatial Poetry
Engage spatial cognition via this field-based geospatial-writing workshop modeled for use in local school grounds. Survey and map a nearby terrain, apply geospatial skills and document data. Record the "poetry of place" via Geo Diaries. Extend learning indoors via a writing workshop utilizing The Poetry Home Repair Manual, by U.S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser. Outdoor work = weather permitting. Presenter: Sarah Coppersmith, Level: Students in grades 4-8.

In the Palm of Your Hand: Writing from Cultural Artifacts

This workshop offers creative ways for teachers in grades K through 8 to make use of artifacts from around the world to inspire student work in a variety of genres -- non-fiction, fiction, and science writing, among others. Such items as dolls, jewelry, clothing, paintings, sculptures, and other treasures available through the University of Missouri-St. Louis's International Studies and Programs' Resource Library are the jumping-off point for literacy activities across the curriculum -- social studies and communication arts, art and science, geography and even mathematics! Presenter: Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers, K-8.

The Spoken Word: Embracing Dialect Diversity in Elementary School Classrooms

Why do we care about the split infinitive? Is one way of speaking any better than another? Through handouts, role playing, sharing from personal experience, and seminar discussion, this workshop offers K-12 teachers an opportunity to learn the latest, encouraging news about linguistic diversity. As classrooms are increasingly filled with students who come from multilingual or non-native English speaking households (not to mention students who speak a dialect of English considered less prestigious than what's heard on the evening news), teachers will benefit from a refreshing new approach that supports learners from all backgrounds. Presenter: Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers K-8.

Using Cultural Artifacts in the Classroom
This hands-on teacher's workshop integrates social studies and art. It will model how the investigation of cultural artifacts, such as traditional clothing, and even more contemporary objects, can teach us about other ways of life and artistic expression. Presenters: Sujin Kim and/or Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers K-8.

Bringing Asian Perspectives into the Classroom
This student workshop focuses on bringing Asian perspective (particularly of China, Korea, and Japan) into the classroom through hands-on activities with cultural artifacts. Traditional and contemporary objects will be presented along with children's literature and visual resources to engage students in cross-cultural thinking and help them move beyond ethnocentric interpretations of culture. Students will have chances to touch, explore, and try on cultural artifacts themselves. Presenters: Sujin Kim and Eleanor Taylor, Level: Students K-8.

Learning About Korea through Traditional Musical Instruments

This artistic workshop introduces Korean traditional percussion music to students. By demonstrating how to play four Korean traditional instruments called Janoou, Kwangguari, Buk, and Jing, students will learn how these different instruments symbolize specific natural forces necessary for learning in old times. Students will also have an opportunity to play the instruments and enjoy the artistic experience of Korean drumming. This hands-on activity will lead students to an interesting discussion of Korean culture as well as develop their cross cultural perspectives. Presenter: Sujin Kim, Level: Students K-8.

How to Engage Your ESOL Students to Active Classroom Activities

As schools have more and more language minority students in their classrooms, teachers are struggling to look for ways to support students who have to learn language and content at the same time. We will focus on how teachers can adapt classroom materials and projects in order to make them more comprehensible and accessible for ELL students. Special attention will be paid to understanding the SIOP model and utilizing clear content and language objectives when teaching. Presenter(s): Sujin Kim and/or Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers K-12.

Workshop on Language Brokering of Immigrant Children

If you have many students who are children of immigrant families in your classroom, this workshop will help you gain insightful awareness of, and make best use of your students' potential to use their existing skills of language brokering. Many children of immigrant families mediate between their parents and the society through their language skills and cultural competency. However, in many cases, this language and cultural brokering is not acknowledged as such to mediate successful communication between two monolingual people, whereby,contributing to society as valuable social agents. In addition, studies demonstrate that language brokering enhances these children's sociocultural, cognitive, and metalinguistic abilities. Through this workshop, we aim to raise awareness among teachers about the contribution of these immigrant children, many of them also English language learners, and to help them incorporate their mediating skills into their academic achievement by acknowledging their skills and teaching how to utilize the skills to academic areas. Presenter: Sujin Kim, Level: Teacher K-12.

Cross-Cultural Story Telling
This teacher's workshop will discuss how to effectively use children's literature as a tool for developing cultural literacy among students. Possible questions that could be addressed include: Are some types of stories universal? If so, what makes them culturally unique? What can we learn about a culture from their stories? How might the story of Cinderella change if you heard it from an Asian perspective or an African perspective? What characters make a hero in a culture other than your own? This workshop can also be specified to a specific theme. Examples include: Folktales across Cultures, Heroes across Cultures, "Cinderella" across Cultures, Villains across Cultures, etc. Presenter: Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers K-12.

Cross-Cultural Character Education and Community Building
In this professional development workshop, examples of multicultural children's literature will be presented for teaching culturally conscious character education and community building. Teachers will have the opportunity to discuss how to effectively use culturally based character and community building stories in the classroom to promote student character development, civic responsibility, and school community building. Special attention can be given to specific themes if requested (e.g. peacemaking and conflict resolution). Presenter(s): Eleanor Taylor, Level: Teachers K-6.


International Studies and Programs also hosts dozens of programs each year such as International Performances, Lectures, Seminars and Conferences that may be of interest to you. Stay up-to-date on our activities by visiting our CALENDAR often. click on Calendar.