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).
Over the course of 2019/2020, this grant will support MD public libraries in the following ways::
- Professional development for library staff in the field of science, technology, and astronautics. NASA staff and volunteers will work directly with public libraries across the state to train, create, and provide staff educational opportunities.
- Enrich library experiences by providing expert volunteers in public library programming through NASA's Solar System Ambassadors and the Night Sky Network.
- Hands-on activities through the creation and circulation multiple copies of two different NASA @ My Library earth and space science kits to our public libraries. These are designed for people of all ages with a focus on underserved STEM communities; they are also deisgned to be accessible to the print imparied.
For more information, please read our January 2019 Press Release here. If you're a public library and would like to borrow an (accessible) NASA kit for your library, please visit the library lending page: https://mdstatelending.myturn.com/library/
NASA @ My Library is brought to you by the Maryland State Library, the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, National Center for Interactive Learning, Lunar Planetary Institue, Cornerstone of Science, Education Development Center, Cheif Officers of State Library Agencies, STAR Net, American Library Association, and the Space Science Institute.
Why it matters
Maryland public libraries are dedicated to helping youth realize their potential roles as creators, rather than mere consumers, of digital content. Maryland State Library believes this will contribute to feelings of personal efficacy as well as opening doors to education and career paths that would otherwise be unattainable. Maryland State Library strives to provide broad and creative access to the tools and emerging technologies available today, so that youth will be prepared for whatever is being created when they are ready to enter the workforce. Program partners include FutureMakers, Workbench.
Statewide Programming Laptops Initiative for Community Education (SPLICE) provided statewide programming laptops to increase STEM learning opportunities for Maryland youth. In 2015, every public library system in Maryland received a set of 10 laptops for youth and family classes and programs. During 2016, SPLICE programs engaged 1,269 participants in 77 public library programs.
The Virtual Reality (VR) Roadshow was launched with the Statewide Programming Laptops Initiative for Community Education (SPLICE) laptops and Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) headsets purchased with a prior LSTA grant. As technology started changing more rapidly, it became clear that both Maryland public library staff and members of the public needed access to products as they entered the market. In order to inspire youth, industry leaders, educators, and others with the potential of a new technology, they must be able to experience it firsthand.
Maryland State Library has partnered with the Workbench to create a digital maker space for Maryland Public Libraries. The platform, “The Make-IT Place,” will be available to anyone via a Maryland public library website. Content on the platform includes step-by- step instructions for a wide variety of STEM, maker, and computer science projects. The instructions can be used by librarians for group programs and by individual learners to use at home. The platform will be used by customers from elementary school through adulthood. Customers and librarians can also add their own content, and comment on their experiences with the various projects in order to help foster a sense of community.
Why it matters
Statewide statistics and reporting tools help Maryland public libraries collect the most accurate data, perform effective data analysis, and use their analysis to tell the story of their libraries to their various stakeholders in a more powerful way.
Maryland State Library, in partnership with the Prince George's County Memorial Library System, kicked off the first phase of a statewide data analytics project in the summer of 2016. Each library system was offered a Tableau Desktop license and the opportunity to participate in a two-day training from Icimo, a data analytics consulting firm. Icimo also worked one-on-one with library systems, starting with an initial cohort of five library systems that use the Polaris ILS. Since the project’s launch, the following Tableau workbooks and customizations have been created:
- Call number circulation statistics
- Collection rebalancing reports
- Custom turnover collection rates
- Historical numbers/longitudinal analyses
- Library-branch service area mapping
- YTD fiscal year transactions
Having workbooks in place that identify top circulation by subject, broken down regionally by each library branch, is an example of how Tableau has already helped library systems make their collections more meaningful to their communities.
In partnership with Datalogics, the Maryland State Library is pleased to announce a partnership that will work to provide all Marylanders with access to digital books from the SimplyE collection, totaling nearly 300, 000 books. Any library card holding Maryland resident will be able to use the system, at no cost. Maryland is one of the first states to work with SimplyE, originally launched by the New York Public Library. This landmark program is still in the early stages of development. Updates will be made available as they come.
Staff Development grants
Maryland State Library invests significant personnel and financial resources to support a strong and innovative Maryland library workforce. Maryland State Library plans and implements continuing education and staff development opportunities ranging from online learning platforms, staff development grants, the Library Associate Training Institute, and the Maryland Library Leadership Institute.