For immediate release | June 14, 2011

ALA announces “Discover Earth,” an interactive traveling exhibition opportunity for public libraries

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning at Space Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project, announces a new traveling exhibition opportunity for public libraries. Following a competitive application process, 10 public libraries will be selected to host an interactive exhibition called Discover Earth: A Century of Change. Online applications must be submitted to ALA by Sept. 2 and can be found at

Discover Earth is made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibition and its educational support materials and outreach opportunities are part of the STAR (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.

Discover Earth will tour from January 2012 to December 2013, visiting each of the 10 selected sites for a period of eight weeks. The exhibition requires approximately 500-750 square feet of space for optimal display. Each site will be awarded a grant of $1,000 to support public programs related to the exhibition. Each host library will be asked to join a national Community of Practice (CoP), accessible at For more information about Discover Earth, STAR_Net and the CoP, visit

The Discover Earth exhibition will focus on local earth science topics—such as weather, water cycle, and ecosystem changes—as well as a global view of our changing planet. The primary message of the exhibition is that the global environment changes – and is changed by – the local environment of all exhibition hosts’ communities. Interactive, multimedia displays will allow exhibit visitors to interact with digital information in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives on our planet.

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit

The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute is dedicated to developing and implementing world-class projects and programs that improve formal and informal STEM education and the evaluation/research foundation on which they are based. For more information about the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute, visit

The Lunar and Planetary Institute is a research institute that provides support services to NASA and the planetary science community, and conducts planetary science research under the leadership of staff scientists, visiting researchers, and postdoctoral fellows. For more information about the Lunar and Planetary Institute, visit

The vision of the National Girls Collaborative Project is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For more information about the National Girls Collaborative Project, visit