For immediate release | June 19, 2012

ALA announces eight public libraries to host 'Discover Tech' interactive traveling exhibition

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project, announced that that eight public libraries will host a new interactive traveling exhibition called Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference.

Discover Tech 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 National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute's STAR (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.

The libraries selected to host Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference (listed in alphabetical order by state) are:

  • Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, Ark.
  • Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library, Glasgow, Ky.
  • International Falls Public Library, International Falls, Minn.
  • Carnegie Public Library of Clarksdale and Coahoma County, Clarksdale, Miss.
  • Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Carson City Library, Carson City, Nev.
  • Spokane Public Library, Spokane, Wash.

Discover Tech will tour from September 2012 to June 2014, visiting each of the eight selected sites for a period of eight weeks. Each site will receive a grant of $1,000 to support public programs related to the exhibition and join a national Community of Practice (CoP). More information about Discover Tech, STAR_Net and the CoP is available on the ALA website.

The Discover Tech exhibition will focus on a number of timely topics that are essential for understanding the nature of 21st century technology and engineering—both high and low tech— and their potential for helping to solve many of the world’s problems. Through interactive elements and displays, visitors to the Discover Tech traveling exhibition will understand that engineers are real people who, through a creative and collaborative design process, arrive at practical solutions to help solve society’s problems in the U.S. and throughout the world. Exhibit visitors will also learn about the fundamental principles of energy, become aware of their own energy use and understand the impact of engineering on societies over time and place.

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


Angela Thullen Baker

Program Officer

Public Programs Office (PPO)