75 public libraries selected as NASA@ My Library Partners

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/01/2017

Contact:

Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

312-280-5061

sostman@ala.org

Seventy-five U.S. public libraries have been selected to receive resources, training and support through 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. Forty-nine states are represented.

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. Support comes from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

The libraries — selected through a competitive application process from a pool of more than 500 applicants — will participate in the 18-month project (Phase 1), with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period (Phase 2). View a list of selected sites.

“Libraries are essentially ‘learning laboratories’,” said Kristen Erickson, director for science engagement and partnerships in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Providing additional tools and resources enables a broader impact for communities, and we’re pleased to connect with libraries across the country to share our science.”

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.”
  • A tablet computer, pre-loaded with apps, educational games and visualizations relevant to the kit materials.
  • A $500 programming grant.
  • Inclusion in a two-day NASA workshop in Denver (Feb. 28 to March 1, 2018).
  • An $800 stipend for travel costs for the NASA workshop.
  • Promotion to NASA subject matter expert networks for potential program partnerships.
  • Training webinars about using the NASA@ My Library materials in programming.
  • Ongoing networking opportunities with participating libraries.

Participating libraries will hold public programs that engage various age groups and utilize the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, NASA educational resources and/or NASA subject matter experts. Programs include national and international STEM/space events (such as Earth Day, the 2017 solar eclipse or International Observe the Moon Night), as well as storytimes, maker clubs, Science Cafes and other STEM-related offerings. The programs will be held between May 2017 and October 2018.

NASA@ My Library Partners that participate in Phase 2 (November 2018 to December 2020) will receive additional NASA STEM Facilitation Kits and other resources, as well as ongoing training and support to continue their STEM program initiatives.

NASA@ My Library strives to engage diverse communities in STEM learning, including communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, persons with disabilities, persons with low socioeconomic status, and persons from rural and geographically isolated communities are underrepresented in various fields of science and engineering across all levels — from K-12 to long-term workforce participation.

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 NASA’s 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, visit 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; conduct professional development; and create educational games and apps. Through the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), NCIL provides “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) for public library staff and training to use those resources. STAR_Net resources include STEM Activity Clearinghouse, blogs, webinars, workshops and meet-ups at 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 funded by NASA under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AE30A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the NASA@ My Library initiative and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.