November 27, 2018

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce that we are one of fourteen state library agencies selected to receive a 2019 NASA@ My Library grant with resources, training and support, and $5,000 in funding. NASA@ My Library is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation.

“I am thrilled that we can join with NASA in bringing hands-on informal science education materials to adults and children throughout our state. As the birthplace of astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Judith Resnick, and home to NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Ohio is the perfect setting for the NASA @ My Library initiative,” expressed State Librarian Beverly Cain. The State Library of Ohio, in conjunction with the other NASA@ My Library agencies, will provide support for space-themed summer library programs, such as A Universe of Stories from the Collaborative Summer Library Program.

“I’m excited to bring tangible science and experiences to library patrons in our state, especially underserved STEM populations,” said Penelope Shumaker, a librarian at the State Library and NASA@ My Library project coordinator. The program will begin in January. Over the following twelve months, this grant will support the State Library in the following ways:

  • Professional development—We will participate in periodic webinars and monthly calls. We will offer advice, share insights, best practices, and lessons learned from participating in the NASA@ My Library
  • Enrich library experiences—We will engage space science expert volunteers in public library programming through NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network.
  • Hands-on Activities—We will promote and circulate two different NASA@ My Library earth and space science kits to Ohio public libraries serving underserved STEM communities.

State Libraries of Alaska, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia were also selected for the 2019 NASA@ My Library grant. They will join Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Washington, the original sites that helped pilot the project during 2018.

NASA@ My Library is funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) as part of its STEM Activation program. Visit www.starnetlibraries.org/portfolio-items/nasa-my-library/ to learn more about NASA@ My Library and the 26 other cooperative agreements SMD selected via a national competition to engage the public in space and earth science. Key partners for NASA@ My Library include the Space Science Institute and its National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), the American Library Association (ALA), Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), Cornerstones of Science, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and other organizations.

 NASA@ My Library aims 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 Network (STAR Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities (www.starnetlibraries.org).

“The NASA@ My Library program advances public libraries as community centers and critical hubs for lifelong learning,” said Project Director Paul Dusenbery (Director of NCIL and STAR Net). “It also helps 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.”

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The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) (www.nc4il.spacescience.org) is dedicated to developing and implementing 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 for public libraries, science centers, and museums; conducts professional development for informal educators; and creates educational games and apps that can be deployed on websites, mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets) and multi-touch tables and kiosks. NASA@ My Library is an initiative of the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country (www.starnetlibraries.org). STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals build their STEM skills by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. Over 8,000 library and STEM  professionals have joined STAR Net to access its STEM Activity Clearinghouse, blogs, webinars, workshops and meet-ups at library conferences, partnership opportunities, information about upcoming national STEM events, and the STAR Net online newsletter. Partners include the Afterschool Alliance, American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, American Society of Civil Engineers, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Cornerstones of Science, Education Development Center, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and many others.

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.

The State Library of Ohio is a state agency that serves state government and all types of libraries. The vision for the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov