STAR_Net STEAM Equity Project

ALA Call for Advisors: Enhancing STEAM Equity and Learning Opportunities in Libraries and Their Rural Communities (STEAM Equity Project)

The ALA Public Programs Office (PPO), ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), and the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (SSI NCIL) invite applications for Library Outreach Advisors to a STEAM Equity Project.

Application instructions are below, and submissions are requested by December 9, 2019.

About STAR Net’s STEAM Equity Project

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), ALA and SSI NCIL seek to enhance STEAM equity and learning opportunities in rural communities by bringing an exhibition to 12 public libraries and investigating how three learning pathways — STEAM Learning Spaces, Active Learning Programs, and STEAM Outreach Kits — can increase gender equity and engagement with racially diverse audiences, particularly Latino families.

The project will launch in January 2020, building on STAR Net (the Science‐Technology Activities and Resources Library Network), a community of practice led by SSI and supported by funding from NSF, NASA and other partner organizations. Additional information is online at http://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/who-we-are

Advisor Opportunity

ALA and SSI seek three library professionals to serve as Library Outreach Advisors, during the five-year STEAM Equity Project term (January 2020 – December 2024).

Advisors will be selected for their experience working with Latina/Latino/Latinx and/or rural communities: conducting public library outreach efforts, developing and hosting culturally responsive programming, and sharing best practices for successful outreach at the local, state or national level.

STEAM programming experience and/or an MLS are preferred but not required. Candidates who identify as Latina/Latino/Latinx will receive priority consideration.  

Desired qualifications/experience:

  • 3-5 years of experience conducting public library outreach to Spanish-speaking and/or Latina/Latino/Latinx patrons, preferably in a rural community.
  • Interest in designing, developing, and delivering training (in-person or online) that focuses on library outreach best practices, particularly in rural communities and for Spanish-speaking and/or Latina/Latino/Latinx patrons. 
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in collaborative planning and resource development.
  • Interest in and commitment to advancing gender equity and racially diverse audience engagement with STEAM learning and programming in public libraries. 
  • An MLS is preferred but not required.

Successful candidates must:

  • Attend an annual, in-person project team meeting in Boulder, CO. The first required in-person meeting will take place March 3 – 5, 2020.
  • Participate in one-hour, quarterly web-based planning meetings, January 2020 – December 2024. 
  • Participate in collaborative creation of outreach-focused professional development opportunities for public librarians (e.g., via webinars and/or in-person events).
  • Be available to provide feedback on critical project content, as needed (e.g., review of selection guidelines for 12 public library exhibition host sites; review of interactive components of the physical exhibition). Expected time commitment for providing feedback outside of meetings is 5-8 hours/year.

ALA PPO/ODLOS will provide each Library Outreach Advisor with:

  • A $1,000 annual honorarium, payable 2020-2024 
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses for each annual project team meeting in Boulder, CO. The first meeting will take place March 3-5, 2020, and ALA will cover airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and incidentals. 
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses for a STEAM Equity pre-conference workshop held annually during ALA’s Annual Conference. ALA will cover conference registration, airfare, ground transportation, as well as two days of lodging, meals, and incidentals.

How to Apply

To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A statement addressing your interest in serving as a Library Outreach Advisor and highlighting your relevant qualifications (500 words, max.). If you identify as Latina/Latino/Latinx, please feel free to share this information in your statement of interest.
  2. Your résumé.

The single PDF application must be submitted via email by 9 a.m. Central on Monday, December 9, 2019, to Lainie Castle, project director for the STAR Net STEAM Equity Project (lcastle@ala.org). 

ALA PPO, ODLOS and SSI staff will review applications and make final selection decisions. All applicants will be notified of their status by December 20, 2019.