Building Upon the STEM Movement: Programming Recommendations for Library Professionals

Annette Shtivelband, Lauren Riendeau, Robert Jakubowski

Abstract


A growing body of evidence is showing that youth develop their interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through participation in activities across the informal and free-choice learning environments found in libraries.1 Many libraries have joined a national movement in which libraries deliver STEM programming to youth.2 Public libraries are a place for STEM learning,3 and children’s librarians are uniquely positioned to promote a love of STEM learning among youth through such programs. The benefits of STEM programming in public libraries are promising.4 For example, participating youth can become proficient in key STEM content and skills, such as critical thinking and engineering design processes.

It is critical to youth and community success that these existing STEM programs continue to grow and expand. Public libraries are an ideal location for these programs. They provide a familiar and trusted learning environment for diverse and underserved families.5 Providing children’s librarians with a “six strand” framework will help guide the successful expansion of these fun and engaging STEM programs.6 This article provides specific recommendations and resources to help prepare and support librarians feel in adopting and implementing STEM in their programming.


Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Mizuko Ito et al., Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013); John H. Falk et al., “Taking an Ecosystem Approach to STEM Learning: The Synergies Project as Case Study,” Connected Science Learning 1 (2016), http://csl.nsta.org/2016/03/taking-an-ecosystem-approach.

John Y. Baek, “Public Libraries as Places for STEM Learning: An Exploratory Interview Study with Eight Librarians,” Space Science Institute (2013): 1–17.

Amy Garmer, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, a Report of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries (Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute, 2014), ix–x, 26.

Kathryn Zichuhr, Lee Rainie, and Kristen Purcell, “Library Services in the Digital Age,” Pew Research Center, January 22, 2013, http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/Library-services; Baek, “Public Libraries at Places for STEM Learning,” 10–14.

National Research Council, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits (Washington, DC: Academies Press, 2009).

Marina Umaschi Bers, Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom (New York: Teachers College Press, 2008).

Robert H. Tai, “Planning Early for Careers in Science,” Science 312, no. 5777 (2006): 1143–44; Peggy J. Trygstad et al., The Status of Elementary Science Education: Are We Ready for the Next Generation Science Standards? (Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research, 2013): 1–25. ED 548 249.

Paul B. Dusenbery, “STAR Library Education Network,” Informal Learning Review 125 (2014): 6–12.

Lindsay Bartolone et al., “Science Education and Public Outreach Forums Informal Educator National Survey Results,” NASA Science Mission Directorate STEM Activation Community (2014): 1–9.

Linda W. Braun, “The Lowdown on STEM: A Formula for Luring Teens Toward Science and Math,” American Libraries Magazine, September 20, 2011, https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2011/09/20/the-lowdown-on-stem/.

“Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills,” Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2009, www.imls.gov/issues/national-initiatives/museums-libraries-and-21st-century-skills.

Sylvia Vardell and J. Wong, “The Symbiosis of Science and Poetry,” Children and Libraries 13, no. 1 (2015): 15–18.

Tiffany Williams, “Being Diverse in our Support for STEM,” Young Adult Library Services 12, no. 1 (2013): 24–28.

Carolyn Miller et al., “Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading,” Pew Research Center, May 1, 2013, http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/05/01/parents-children-libraries-and-reading.

Jim S. Hakala et al., “STEM in Public Libraries: National Survey Results,” National Science Foundation, Spring 2016: 1–21.

Holly Anderton, “STEM, Teens, and Public Libraries: It’s Easier Than You Think!” Young Adult Library Services 10, no. 2 (2012): 45–46.

Jennifer Hopwood, “Initiating STEM Learning in Libraries,” Children and Libraries 10, no. 2 (2012): 53–55.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/cal.15.4.23

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


© 2019 ALSC

ALA Privacy Policy