NASA@ My Library Guidelines



Before starting, read the application FAQ and carefully review the requirements below in each category for participating in NASA@ My Library.

Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Table of Contents

  1. Initiative Description
  2. Eligibility
  3. Award Information
  4. Requirements
  5. Application and Submission Information
  6. Getting Started
  7. Application Review
  8. Review and Selection Process
  9. Required Dates
  10. Points of Contact

Initiative Description

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI), Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), and Education Development Center (EDC), invites public and tribal libraries nationwide to apply to become a NASA@ My Library Partner.

NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate as part of its Science Activation program.

Public and tribal libraries are invited to work with NASA@ My Library project organizations and mentors, university Subject Matter Experts, and state library agencies to increase and enhance STEAM learning opportunities in their community, with an emphasis on reaching audiences underrepresented in STEM education and professions. In 2021-2022, NASA@ My Library will:

  • Develop public library staff capacity for delivering Earth and space science programming, services, and outreach to learners of diverse racial/ethnic identities
  • Increase public library patron access to exciting NASA science-focused learning opportunities
  • Increase public library staff confidence and skills in utilizing NASA science resources for high-visibility Earth and space science events
  • Support library staff in promoting patron awareness of skills, educational pathways, and careers relating to Earth and space science

Sixty libraries will be selected to become NASA @ My Library Partners through a competitive application process. NASA @ My Library Partners will use NASA STEAM Activity Toolkits, review Facilitation 101 Tutorials, and connect with NASA Subject Matter Experts to deliver programming, services, and/or outreach around three high-visibility NASA events:

  • Look Up!: Explore Our Universe
    • James Webb Space Telescope Launch (Fall 2021: currently scheduled October 2021)
    • James Webb Space Telescope First Images (Spring 2022: currently scheduled May 2022)
  • Our Planet: EARTH (Summer 2022)
    • Including programs relating to the Collaborative Summer Library Program ”Oceans of Possibility” theme, NASA Earth science, and/or environmental sustainability.

NASA STEAM Activity Toolkits and related webinars will provide a variety of hands-on activities and resources for engaging patrons in NASA content during these three events; however, partner libraries will have flexibility in how they plan and conduct programs. Facilitation 101 Tutorials are short videos for library staff, with content and demonstrations related to facilitating STEAM activities. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are NASA-funded students from geographically proximate universities. Through NASA@ My Library, libraries will form partnerships with SMEs who will contribute their experiences navigating STEAM educational and career pathways to support library virtual programming and patron engagement.

These resources, along with support by the NASA@ My Library team, will enable the Partner Libraries to conduct excellent NASA STEAM programming and activities. This project seeks to build librarians’ confidence, skills, and capacity to implement STEAM programming while developing patrons’ interest and awareness of STEAM education and opportunities.


This opportunity is open to public and tribal libraries in the U.S. Priority consideration will be given to libraries in communities with above average populations of demographics defined as underrepresented in STEM education and professions, specifically, Hispanic or Latino/a/x, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Additional consideration will be given to libraries who meet these demographic criteria and provide evidence of need for resources to support learning (e.g., low median household income and/or education levels) or are in rural or geographically isolated areas.

Award Information

60 libraries will be selected as NASA@ My Library Partner Libraries. Each of these libraries will receive training and resources to implement NASA events and programming, access to a university Subject Matter Expert (SME) to support patron engagement, and $1,600 for programming expenses as described in the FAQ.


All libraries selected to participate in the NASA@ My Library program will be required to do the following:

  • Appoint one staff member as the Project Director of the program. The Project Director is responsible for coordinating all NASA@ My Library activities from September 2021-September 2022. The Project Director (or designee) must attend required trainings online, as well as review educational and support materials, and oversee programming and marketing of programs related to the three high-visibility events (described below).
  • Develop and implement a minimum of three public NASA@ My Library programs related to the following high-visibility events: James Webb Space Telescope Launch (Fall 2021: currently scheduled October 2021), James Webb Space Telescope First light (Spring 2022: currently scheduled May 2022), Collaborative Summer Library Program - Oceanography theme (Summer 2022).
  • Implement engaging social media content to generate enthusiasm for your programs and for STEAM content in general in your community.
  • Participate in virtual training opportunities, including live webinars and asynchronous tutorials, and collaborate with other Partner Libraries through the ALA Connect platform.
  • Work with at least one community collaborator. This collaborator should support your efforts to intentionally engage members of at least one audience in your community defined as underrepresented in STEM.
  • Allow the public to attend programs free of charge.
  • Participate in third-party evaluation as requested.
  • Complete all required reporting to ALA Public Programs Office, including final report due September 15, 2022.
  • Agree to all publicity requirements, including proper use of designated program credits and/or logos on all local publicity materials, both in-print and online.
  • Sign a contract with the project sponsors agreeing to the programming, publicity, evaluation, reporting, communication, and other requirements of the project.

Application and Submission Information

ALA will accept applications for NASA@ My Library between May 17, 2021 and July 21, 2021.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before applying.

Getting Started

To submit a proposal, go to the online application form and complete the following steps. If this is your first time submitting an application through our grants management system, you may want to first review our How to Apply webpage.


1. Enter Project Name

To begin your application, enter NASA into the “Project Name” field. Respond to the questions regarding NASA@ My Library project requirements.

2. Complete Project Director Information

To complete this section, provide all the information that is requested about the Project Director.

Note: The project director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the entire proposed project. They will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.

3. Complete Library and Community Information

To complete this section, provide information about the applying library, including library type, community type, and population estimate. You will also be asked to provide community demographic information using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quick Facts.

4. Complete Library Capacity Information

To complete this section, provide information about the applying library’s capacity, social media use, experience with patron digital badging, and community collaborators.

5. Write the Narrative

Before you compose the narrative part of this application, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your application is unlikely to be competitive. Please note that each narrative response may not exceed 3,500 characters.

  1. Describe your library and the community it serves, including demographics, dynamics, and any key challenges it faces. When describing your library, please be sure to note any work your library has done to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (e.g., staff professional development, diversity audit, institutional and/or programming diversity statement and/or policies, outreach). If your library is new to DEIA, please describe your institution’s commitment to and interest in engaging in this work.

  1. Describe your library’s interest in developing/implementing NASA-related programming. How will participation in the NASA@ My Library project further your library initiatives regarding STEAM education? How do you think this programming will impact your community? What opportunities do you think working specifically with the NASA brand will bring to your community?

  1. Please describe a few examples of innovative and creative ways your library has pivoted your programs, services, and/or means of engagement to better meet your patrons’ needs. You may include examples of adaptations related to COVID-19, or other challenges your library or community has faced in the past.

6. Upload Supporting Materials

6.A. Upload Letters of Support (Required)

At least two letters of support (one from a library administrator and one from a community organization) are required.

6.B. Upload Attachments (Optional)

Uploading additional materials is optional but can provide the committee with a better understanding of your library or community. Attachments may include, but are not limited to:

  • Agenda or outline of past program(s)
  • Feedback from program participants/surveys
  • Presentation slides
  • Newsletter articles
  • Program flyers

7. Sign Application by Authorized Official

An application for NASA@ My Library is an application to participate in the project as a Partner Library. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications on behalf of the organization.

To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.

8. Review and Edit Your Application

9. Submit Your Application

Once you have completed all parts of your application, you may submit it at any time by selecting the Submit button. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CT on July 21, 2021. Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.

Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for committee review. You will receive an email confirming submission of your application.

Application Review

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The size and demographics of the community. The selection committee will prioritize submissions from areas with above average populations of demographics defined as underrepresented in STEM education or professions (Hispanic or Latino/a/x, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander). Additional consideration will be given to libraries that demonstrate need for resources to support learning in their community (e.g., low median household income and/or education levels).
  • Evidence that the site has support from library administration and the community in planning for the program and that participation in the program aligns to library goals or desired outcomes regarding STEAM education.
  • Evidence that the site is committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and can reach audiences underrepresented in STEM. Collaboration with other organizations in the community reaching underrepresented audiences is a good strategy for accomplishing this goal.
  • Evidence that the site has the capacity and commitment to carry out programming requirements and the ability to creatively adapt to best serve their community’s need.

The review rubric can be found here. Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process, and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Review and Selection Process

Each application will be assessed by a panel of library workers and NASA@ My Library project staff. Final decisions will be based on peer reviewer feedback, and other considerations such as geographic distribution and community demographics.

Required Dates

Application deadline: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Award notification: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Programming Period: September 22, 2021 – August 31, 2022

Final Report Due: September 15, 2022

Points of Contact

If you have questions, contact:

Public Programs Office

American Library Association

1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AE30A. This work was also assisted and supported by the Space Science Institute, which was the recipient of the cooperative agreement. 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 NASA or the Space Science Institute.