Please note: If you run a project that requires participants to use low cost (under $300) tools not commonly found around the house (rain gauge, sensor, telescope, water testing kit, clip on magnifying lens, recording device, bulk printed materials, etc), and this lack of access to the tools is creating a barrier to entry for your would-be-participants, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to support from IMLS, we will soon begin to evaluate the characteristics of projects and tools relative to the interests and capacities of communities and librarians, to understand ideal factors for creating and sustaining citizen science toolkits in libraries and supporting libraries as community hubs for citizen science. If you’d like your project and tools to be considered for this new program, please send me an email. Thank you.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 49 grants to institutions totaling $10,216,923. The awards are made through the FY 2017 second cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.
“We are delighted to announce today’s grant recipients whose projects are designed to have lasting benefits for the library and archives fields,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “These grants highlight how IMLS helps steer the nation’s investments in libraries and ensure that librarians are equipped to provide citizens access to the information, resources, and services they want and need.”
National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archives fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated.
One of the funded projects (IMLS LG-95-17-0158-17) will support public libraries as community hubs for citizen science through a toolkit of citizen science resources by Arizona State University, in partnership with Arizona State Library, NISE Net, and SciStarter .
The team will develop a field-tested, replicable, low-cost toolkit of citizen science resources for public libraries. The project team of librarians, citizen science experts, informal STEM educators, practitioners, and scientists, will: 1) develop and evaluate citizen science toolkits that will be available for and through the public library partners; 2) create associated resources to train, support, and communicate with librarians and citizen scientists; and 3) work with stakeholders to create a plan to scale the model to interested libraries, statewide then nationally. The project will leverage SciStarter, an online community that brings together science researchers and citizen scientists, with a database of over 1,600 citizen science projects, several requiring tools and instruments that may be made more accessible through the new pilot lending libraries. Summative evaluation will assess the library staffs’ knowledge of citizen science, their capacities, and sense of self-efficacy in engaging patrons in citizen science activities, and will also measure the extent of patrons’ participation in citizen science as a result of the library programming.
Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program.