Crystal Nash, Director of the Lewis County Public Library, was one of forty librarians selected statewide to attend a two-day NASA@ My Library training program at Smyrna Public Library on March 28 and 29, 2019. The intensive workshop was taught by Christine Shupla, Senior Education Specialist of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Librarians participated in space lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on STEM activities connecting NASA science content to local needs.
Attendees were handpicked by the Tennessee State Library and Archives for their abilities to assimilate new information and implement that knowledge into impactful programming for the communities they serve. To be able to attend this workshop, participants agreed to facilitate training for other librarians in their areas of the state. Nash, along with two other librarians from Giles and Williamson Counties, successfully held a training event for librarians in the ten-county Buffalo River Library Region on April 17, 2019.
NASA@ My Library is a national Earth and space science initiative that connects NASA, public libraries, and their communities. Through the NASA@ My Library project, NASA, public libraries, and state library agencies work together to increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for millions of library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations that are currently underserved in STEM education.
“Libraries are essentially ‘learning laboratories’,” said Kristen Erickson, director for science engagement and partnerships in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Providing additional tools and resources enables a broader impact for communities, and we’re pleased to connect with libraries across the country to share our science.”
“It was an honor to be selected for this space science training,” stated Nash. “Lewis County Public Library recognizes the importance of STEM education, by hosting ‘Observe the Moon’ nights, science programming, and opportunities for families to engage in hands-on activities that build problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This NASA training will enhance this year’s summer reading theme, A Universe of Stories; and I am excited to lead readers of all ages on a ‘space exploration’ this summer.”
NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) as part of its STEM Activation program, in partnership with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, and the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science and the Education Development Center.