When the primary focus of our school districts became reading and math scores, art and STEM classes were the first to get cut from the daily curriculum. My library saw this as an opportunity to provide supplemental programming to fill this gap. In fall 2016, the Zion-Benton (IL) Library District (ZBLD) opened the Sandbox makerspace for patrons of all ages to create masterpieces, explore new things, and do something amazing. ZBLD is comprised of three communities in the Northeast corner of Illinois. We serve a diverse working-class population. Our mission is simply to broaden horizons and expose patrons to the universe of knowledge and ideas for discovery, enrichment, and lifelong learning.
Posts Tagged ‘STEM’
PLA commissioned ORS Impact to interview participating libraries and community stakeholders to create five success case studies for its performance measurement initiative, Project Outcome (PO). PO is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of essential library programs and services by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. What PLA learned from the case studies is that, even with limited survey responses, libraries are able to leverage their outcome data into actionable results. By using Project Outcome surveys, libraries are tracking their impact across time; improving and expanding programs and services to meet community needs; supporting new and deepen- ing existing partnerships; and increasing library championship.
Four Rio Arriba (New Mexico) Independent Libraries have been participating in the STEM to Read Program for the last three years. STEM to Read is preliteracy pilot program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as modeling skills that will help caregivers continue STEM and preliteracy education at home. The program was created by Explora! Museum and funded through a grant from the New Mexico Library Foundation and United Way of Northern New Mexico. The grant funding has run out, but three of the four libraries that participated in the pilot program are going to continue offering STEM activities.
Change has become the norm for libraries as it has with many other businesses who wish to remain competitive. The rise in popularity of the e-book and digital libraries, the transformation to digital centers featuring computer and Wi-Fi access, and libraries as community meeting centers has challenged what used to be the norm, and replaced it with an ever evolving one instead. Here are five emerging technology trends that will benefit both staff and patrons.
From expansion of STEM learning to televised reading programs for families of the incarcerated, IMLS funding expands library initiatives across the country.
For a while we have heard a great deal about STEM. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This focus has understandably trickled down to the public library. While I support and see the value in the STEM disciplines, I must point out that a stem without flowers is pretty bleak. It is only through diverse and well-rounded education that true advancement can be made. Aesthetic and creative disciplines are as valuable as science and math. A liberal arts education still has value. It concerns me that as a culture we seem to be abandoning humanities and arts for science and technology, rather than trying to maintain a healthy balance.
In a first for public libraries in the United States, the Carson City Library in Carson City, Nevada, has created a training environment that adheres to the guidelines of the Manufacturing Skills Institute. The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) is based in Richmond, Virginia, and is an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association.