Tag Archives: Spotlight Program Series

Spotlight Program: Citizen Science Partnerships

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

Citizen Science Program

As a mulitype system, we are always enthused about partnerships and sharing across different types of libraries. This program sounded really fun – and a great way to share resources and skills across academic and public libraries.

Citizen science programs can be great ways to bring people into your  public library, and to get them involved with your resources. Adding in the expertise of an academic institution to bring in expertise just builds the interest! (Note that this is funded by an IMLS grant – yet another great program from this organization!! Tell your federal representative and senators to keep funding for libraries!)

Can you do some science? Are you interested in exploring this? Let’s talk! We can help you to find a member to partner with, and you can offer some new, exciting programs to your community!

 

ASU Citizen Science grant project ASU’s 2016 Citizen Science Maker Summit: (from left to right) Narendra Das, a research scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Dan Stanton, associate librarian for academic services at ASU Library and co-investigator on the grant; Darlene Cavalier, professor of practice in ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and principal investigator on the grant; Catherine Hoffman, managing director of SciStarter; Micah Lande, assistant professor and Tooker Professor at The Polytechnic School; and Brianne Fisher, former ASU graduate student. Download Full Image

Arizona State University aims to position public libraries as key facilitators of citizen science, a collaborative process between scientists and the general public to spur the collection of data.

Through a new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), researchers from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU Library will develop field-tested, replicable resource toolkits for public libraries to provide to everyday people contributing to real research, from right where they are.

Despite growing interest from public libraries to incorporate citizen science programming into their role as go-to community hubs, Dan Stanton, associate librarian for academic services at ASU Library, says there are no documented road maps, best practices or models to follow.

“Our project team is well equipped to address this need, as there is substantial expertise in the area of citizen science here at ASU,” said Stanton, co-investigator on the grant.

Led by Darlene Cavalier, a professor of practice in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the grant brings together an interdisciplinary team of faculty and librarians to build on previous work around citizen science — a practice rapidly gaining in popularity, particularly at ASU.

In 2016, ASU hosted the Citizen Science Maker Summit, organized by Cavalier, who is also the founder of SciStarter, an online platform and ASU research affiliate, where more than 1,600 citizen science projects are registered online and open for support and participation. The projects include everything from observing or recording natural phenomena to developing software or instrumentation.

Cavalier also serves on the National Academy of Sciences committee on citizen science and is the co-founder of the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network.

“We know from previous research that too frequently the lack of access to low-cost instruments, coupled with an unmet desire to feel part of a community, creates a barrier to entry for would-be citizen scientists,” Cavalier said. “We are grateful to IMLS for supporting our effort to understand how the characteristics and capacities of librarians, their local communities and the scientists who need help from those communities can be supported through public libraries.”

As part of the grant, ASU will partner with six Arizona public libraries representing a mix of urban and rural and youth and senior populations.

The toolkits that will be developed for the libraries will offer multiple entry points that acknowledge varying library capacities and diversity of patrons.

Risa Robinson, coordinator of the grant and the assistant director of learning services at ASU Library, says libraries are ideal conduits for citizen science.

“Citizen science represents the kind of low-cost but impactful programming public libraries have always provided,” she said.

“With the increasing demand for science literacy, the growing interest in citizen science and the library’s strong community anchor, this partnership makes sense.””

Spotlight Program: Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace portraitAt CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

At CMLE, we celebrate STEM programming!! You may want to get on board with the Ada Lovelace Day programming coming up in October! Ada is regarded as the first computer programmer – and we depend on her work today.

Have you been to Codeacademy? Lynda? EdX? Coursera? Girls Who Code? Black Girls Code? Scratch?

There are so many resources out there to help yourself, or your community members, learn to code! And when you do: think of Ada and all the great things she helped to make possible.

Celebrating women in STEM

“Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October. It features a flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ event in London, UK, at which women in STEM give short talks about their work or about other women who have inspired them, or perform short comedy or musical interludes with a STEM focus. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday 10 October 2017 at the Ri in London.

The day also includes dozens of grassroots events around the world, organised entirely independently from the ALD Live! event. These events take many forms — from conferences to Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’ to pub quizzes — and appeal to all ages, from girls to university students to women with well-established careers. Every year, people in dozens of countries across six continents put on their own event to support women in their own communities. Anyone can hold an event, so why not get involved?

Organise your own ALD event

Every year, people around the world, people like you, organise their own events for Ada Lovelace Day. We’ve put together a handy organisers’ pack for inspiration, advice and resources to help people get involved by organising their own events. You can also chat to other organisers about what they are doing on our community forum!”

Weekly Spotlight Program: Outside the Lines – Libraries Reintroduced

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

This week we found a program particularly interesting in a multitype environment: Outside the Lines: Libraries Reintroduced.  We like this program – and want to do some of this ourselves! If you have ideas that would be best if partnered across the system, let us know.

“Libraries and library staff are skilled in their ability to adapt to meet the changing needs of their communities. Step into today’s library, and you might find expanded collections that include everything from telescopes to fishing poles to sewing machines. Libraries have embraced ideas and services that help communities to be their best, whether that’s by providing access to the latest technology or facilitating life-long learning through programming for all ages. Yet, despite these innovations, many outdated perceptions of libraries linger. For the library industry as a whole, the challenge remains: How do we help our communities understand that libraries are more relevant than ever? Outside the Lines, now in its fourth year, is an international grassroots initiative aimed at doing just that.

A weeklong global celebration

Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration – September 10-16, 2017 – demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Libraries of all types–small, large, urban, rural, public, academic–are invited to participate in an effort to reintroduce themselves to their communities. To do this, organizations agree to host at least one event or campaign during Outside the Lines (OTL) that gets people thinking and talking about libraries in a new way.

As of the late July, more than 160 libraries from across the globe–from Alabama to California, Brazil to Croatia, Ghana to Australia–will take part in OTL 2017, tailoring their events to meet the needs of their specific communities. Outside the Lines is designed to be flexible so that all libraries, no matter their size or resources, can engage with their communities in a way that works for them. Creative outreach can benefit any community – OTL simply provides a framework and support to help make it happen. And you are invited to include your library and community to this weeklong celebration!

Brainstorming for a successful OTL

Figuring out how to participate in Outside the Lines might feel a little daunting at first – the possibilities are endless. So how do you figure out a creative way to celebrate the library while also representing your community? When working with libraries on developing ideas for a successful OTL, we’ve found the following brainstorming activity to be effective. With your planning team, ask the following questions:

  • What words describe your community?
  • If you were to take your library out into the community, where would you take it?
  • What would the community be surprised to learn about your library?
  • Thinking about your answers, what dream OTL event would you host? With this question, we encourage libraries to think big and take inspiration from those big ideas. Your big dream might be closer to a reality than you think, and you can always scale back as necessary.

From a battle of the bands to wine festivals and floating libraries, check out some of the ideas that formed from one such brainstorming session at the Public Library Association 2017 conference.


“Every day of OTL I met people who were delighted to find the library out and about. We learned together about our community, splendid parks, amazing nature, fascinating personal stories, and the power of play.”

Heather Ogilvie, Bay County Public Library, Florida


In 2016, Bay County Public Library participated in Outside the Lines by hosting adventure walks, potluck picnics and a “Read on the Beach” session where residents received free admission to a state park with their library card.

Last-minute ideas

For libraries interested in participating but worried about not having enough planning time, there are several ways to create an easy OTL experience. In fact, sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective. We’ve seen a number of libraries share great success in setting up shop at their local farmers’ market, on the bike trail, or at the bus stop. What about a pop-up story time at an unexpected place like the park or a local business? You don’t have to throw a parade to make an impact on your community.

Using OTL to reach your organizational goals

Is there a specific audience your library is trying to reach? Is there a community partnership you’d like to form? What about a strategic goal you hope to fulfill? Whatever your library’s current goals, Outside the Lines can help you reach them. For example, if your library is looking to promote a specific service, think about the target audience for that service. Where in the community might you reach them? Outside the Lines is a great way to experiment and try something new.


“We were surprised at the fact that we were able to accomplish so much in just a week. A lot of our campaigns and events were things we have been wanting to do for a long time, so it was nice to finally have a catalyst to do them and find out that it was all possible!”

Jenna Harte, Sterling Municipal Library, Texas, OTL 2016


Learn more about setting and achieving organizational goals using specific examples in this free webinar hosted in conjunction with the Public Library Association.

Why participate in Outside the Lines?

  • Shift perceptions of libraries in our communities and help them understand their relevancy
  • Publicity on a state and national level
  • Experiment and pilot new services
  • Establish new partnerships
  • Meet organizational goals and objectives

Looking for more information?
Start with these resources.


“There’s a project in every community that needs a partner to help it take shape, and the library can be that partner.”

Erin Sullivan, Orange County Library System, Florida