Seventy‐five U.S. public libraries have been selected to receive resources, training and support through NASA@ My Library, an education initiative that will increase and enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education. Forty‐nine states are represented, including Colorado. For information about the program visit https://www.starnetlibraries.org/portfolio‐items/nasa‐mylibrary/.
The project is led by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in Boulder, Colorado, 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 (SMD). To learn more about SMD, NASA@ My Library, and 26 other NASA education programs going on across the country that are engaging the public in space and Earth science, visit https://science.nasa.gov/learners.
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). Colorado winners are Montrose Regional Library District and Red Feather Lakes Mountain Library. View a list of all of the selected sites at http://www.ala.org/programming/nasalibrariesselectedsites
“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 strives to engage diverse communities in STEM learning, including communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields. 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. "The NASA@ My Library program advances public libraries as community centers and critical hubs for lifelong learning. " said Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. "It also will help fill a gap in STEM education and engagement in rural and other underserved areas by increasing opportunities for hands‐on experiences for learners of all ages.”
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.
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 Space Science Institute (SSI)
The National Center for Interactive Learning at 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, STAR_Net, and SSI, visit www.nc4il.org, www.starnetlibraries.org, and www.spacescience.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.