IMLS National Leadership GrantViewing a telescope

Grant Program: National Leadership Grants
Category: Learning Spaces in Libraries
Award Amount: $493,770; Matching Amount: $623,523

Ms. Janet McKenney, Director, Library Development
(207) 287-5620

Grant Title

Empowering Public Libraries to Become Science Resource Centers for Their Communities

Description | Project Team | Project Partners | Library Partners | Resources


The overarching goal for this initiative is that the nation's State Library Agencies (SLAs) have a field-tested, replicable science literacy method that they can use to enable their public libraries to become skilled STEM facilitators. The project seeks to empower public libraries to build their science literacy capacity so that they can connect their communities to engaging and meaningful informal science and technology experiences, equipment, books, media and the scientific community.

This initative will test and refine the decade-long experience in Maine of public libraries partnering with the Maine State Library and Cornerstones of Science. Key results of this initiative include:

  1. The creation of the online STEM Resources Clearinghouse (how-to guides, databases of STEM programming, training for librarians, evaluation tools, and more)
  2. Expanded SLA STEM capacity and advocacy
  3. Expanded public library STEM capacity that enables them to successfully support ongoing STEM programming within daily operations
  4. A Guide that SLA's can use to nurture STEM in public libraries

Between July 2015 and December 2017, the project team will work intensively with six pilot libraries in Maine and Massachusetts to develop, test and evaluation all project materials. One result is that these libraries will become dynamic community science centers that are vibrant and valued by community members.

Project Team

Project Partners

Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services
Vermont Department of Libraries
Aldrich Astronomical Society
American Science and Engineering
Bangor Public Library
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science
Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA)
Concord Consortium
Discovery Museum
Harvard University
Jackson Laboratory
Maine Space Grant Consortium
Southern Maine Astronomers
Space Science Institute
University of New England

Library Partners - Maine and Massachsetts

Library Partner Resources

IMLS LogoThis project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services."


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