State Librarian’s Report
Outreach & Services: Helping Students Working on Science Fair Projects Feature Stories
Young children think of the library as a place for story time, making crafts, reading, summer programs, and checking out their favorite books and videos. Once they reach the age where school assignments require research, children begin to see another world in the library and the work of librarians. During science fair season, the reference librarian's role encompasses the work of a teacher, guide, and advocate for students learning to find reliable resources for their research.
As formats for information expand and databases improve using the library for research can be overwhelming for both students and parents. When we teach them how to find reliable information, we empower these young scientists. In Anne Libby's article, Bethanne Johnson, Reference Librarian at the Grove City Public Library said, "If librarians could just hand over the finished package, that would be really terrific for a lot of busy people! But librarians still love to teach kids how to do the research for their projects. It's a valuable tool they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.”
Hands-on science centers and activities are also valuable tools for learning about science. The 2008 'Catch the Reading Bug' summer program was a big success with children reading, learning about insects and having fun too! When I visit libraries throughout our state I find the Children's areas to be one of my favorite places. In September I visited the Avon Lake Public Library where science exploration comes to life in their DiscoveryWorks area.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue about helping students working on science fair projects. If you would like to share information about your programs, services, or handouts then I encourage you to go to WebJunction Ohio and select Library Services-Populations Served - Science Fair Resources.