Changing Lives through Informal Learning


The dominant view is that school library programs will cease to exist if their impact on test scores is not demonstrated. But does that imply our job of impacting student learning is restricted to these outcomes? Does it mean we cannot (and should not) consider the benefits of informal learning and support students who want connected learning? Students yearn to connect their interests, needs, and cultures to every aspect of their daily lives, and seek safe and supportive environments where they can discover and make such connections. School libraries may be the only site where disadvantaged students, who lack the luxury of participating in enrichment after-school programs, can hang out, mess around and “geek out”, and explore their interests and passion. This presentation advocates that school library programs look beyond formal education measures to realize their potential as hybrid spaces for after-school informal learning, and embrace the joy of STEM and digital literacy exploration. 


Learning Outcomes

Concrete examples of programming and how informal learning is changing the lives of students across the country are shared.

Who Should Attend

School library professionals and those interested in the topic.


Dr. Mega Subramaniam is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies, and Associate Director of the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Subramaniam’s innovative research focuses on enhancing the role of school libraries in fostering the mastery of information and new media literacy so essential to the learning of science and mathematics among underserved young people. Specifically, she conducts research in creating socio-culturally relevant learning environments that leverage the strengths of school library programs, where the library programs can engage young people in inquiry experiences, utilize technology for effective learning experiences, and make connections to their interests in media, health and the environment. She serves as the co-editor of the School Library Research journal. More information about her research and teaching interests can be found at:



Access to this webinar archive is complimentary.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

Internet connection and web browser.


Jennifer Habley 
AASL Manager, Web Communications