DEQ Press Releases

Edwards, Jessica

Montana State Library one of Fourteen Selected as NASA@ My Library Partners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2019
CONTACT: Jennie Stapp
(406) 444-3116

Montana State Library one of Fourteen Selected as NASA@ My Library Partners

(HELENA) -- The Montana State Library was recently selected to be one of fourteen state libraries to receive resources, training and support through NASA@ My Library, a STEM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons in Montana and throughout the nation. Other selected states include Alaska, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. Activities are planned through 2019 and will support the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme this year, “A Universe of Stories.” Montana’s young readers can experience A Universe of Stories by participating in their local libraries’ summer reading programs. These 14 state library agencies will join Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Washington who were the original sites who helped pilot the project during 2018.

NASA@ My Library aims to engage diverse communities in STEM learning, including communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields such as those living in rural areas and Native Americans. NASA@ My Library is funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Key partners for NASA@ My Library include the Space Science Institute and its National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), the American Library Association, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Cornerstones of Science, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and other organizations.

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.” Visit https://science.nasa.gov/learners to learn more.

Montana State Librarian, Jennie Stapp, said, “I am thrilled that we can join with NASA to bring hands-on informal science education materials to library patrons throughout our state.” Over the next 12-months this grant will support us in the following ways:

• Enrich library experiences –Space science expert volunteers will offer programs in Montana’s public libraries through NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network; and
• Hands-on Activities – Montanans of all ages will learn through two different NASA@ My Library earth and space science kits available at Montana public libraries.
• Professional development – Montana librarians will participate in professional development opportunities to help them increase their interest in, knowledge about, and confidence in promoting earth and space science programming.

For more information on this program, please visit the NASA @ My Library webpage on the Montana State Library website at http://libraries.msl.mt.gov/lifelonglearning/NAML. For questions regarding this program, please contact Amelea Kim, Lifelong Learning Librarian, at akim@mt.gov.

The Montana State Library helps all organizations, communities, and Montanans thrive through excellent library resources and services. For more information about the Montana State Library, visit http://msl.mt.gov.

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.

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