Public libraries invited to apply for the NASA@ My Library STEM initiative

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/01/2017

Contact:

Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

312-280-5061

sostman@ala.org

Public libraries are invited to apply for NASA@ My Library, a STEM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education.

The project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and the Education Development Center. 

Seventy-five U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to become NASA@ My Library Partners and participate in the 18-month project (Phase 1), with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period (Phase 2).

Applications will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 22, 2017. To view the project guidelines and apply online, visit https://apply.ala.org/nasalibraries. ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to apply; membership status will have no impact on your application.

As part of Phase 1 (May 2017 to Oct. 2018), selected NASA@ My Library Partners will receive:

  • Two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (total value: $750) designed for use in hands-on STEM programming facilitated by library staff or outside groups, such as NASA subject matter experts. The kits will include STEM tools and hands-on activities based on the following themes: “Sun-Earth-Moon Connections” and “Expanding Your Senses.” The kits’ contents are being finalized based on feedback from three NASA@ My Library pilot libraries; sample contents may include a telescope, binoculars, a microscope, a “green screen” backdrop, robotics and coding activity sets, and more.
  • A tablet computer, pre-loaded with how-to videos, apps, educational games and visualizations relevant to the kit materials.
  • A $500 programming stipend
  • Participation for one library staff member in a required two-day orientation workshop in Denver in February 2018
  • An $800 stipend for travel costs for the orientation workshop
  • Promotion to NASA subject matter expert networks for potential program partnerships
  • Training webinars about using the NASA STEM Facilitation Kit materials in programming
  • Ongoing networking opportunities with participating libraries

NASA@ My Library Partners that participate in Phase 2 (November 2018 to December 2020) will receive:

  • NASA STEM backpacks designed for circulation (total value: $200)
  • Two additional NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (total value: $750)
  • An additional $500 programming stipend

Participating libraries will be required to hold at least three public programs per year that utilize the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, NASA educational resources and/or NASA subject matter experts. The programs should target a variety of age groups, and at least one program per year must be a publicized, high-profile event. Grantees will also be asked to host a community dialogue event to discuss STEM learning needs of their community. View the full project guidelines.

African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socioeconomic status are underrepresented in various fields of science and engineering across all levels – from K-12 to long-term workforce participation. Public libraries serving rural and geographically isolated communities, as well as those conducting outreach to other groups underrepresented in STEM fields, are especially encouraged to apply.

The educational support materials and outreach opportunities provided are part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.

To learn more about the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA@ My Library and 26 other cooperative agreements SMD selected via a national competition to engage the public in space and earth science see: https://science.nasa.gov/learners.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the ALA Public Programs Office

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. The office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities to help libraries serve their communities as cultural hubs and centers of lifelong learning. For programming ideas, professional development and grant opportunities, and free, on-demand online courses, visit www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org.

About the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI)

The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute is dedicated to developing and implementing world-class projects and initiatives that improve formal and informal STEM education and the evaluation/research foundation on which they are based. NCIL works with national partners to develop STEM exhibitions for public libraries, science centers, and museums; conduct professional development for informal educators; and create educational games and apps that can be deployed on websites, mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets) and multi-touch tables. NASA@ My Library is an initiative of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country. STAR_Net focuses on helping library professionals build their STEM skills by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. STAR_Net resources include STEM Activity Clearinghouse, blogs, webinars, workshops and meet-ups at library conferences, partnership opportunities, information about upcoming national STEM events, and the STAR_Net online newsletter. For more information about NCIL and STAR_Net, visit www.nc4il.org and www.starnetlibraries.org

NASA@ My Library is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AE30A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.