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State Library Chosen as a NASA@ My Library Partner
South Dakota Ag Connection - 12/04/2018

The South Dakota State Library has been selected to receive resources, training and support through NASA@ My Library, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education initiative that aims to increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons across the country. South Dakota was one of 14 state libraries to receive the NASA@ My Library grant.

NASA@ My Library strives to engage diverse communities in STEM learning, including communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields. The educational support materials and outreach opportunities provided are part of the STAR Library Network (www.starnetlibraries.org), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.

"I am thrilled that we can join with NASA in bringing hands-on informal science education materials and programming to library patrons, including students throughout the state," said South Dakota State Librarian Daria Bossman.

Over the next year, the grant will be used to support the following:

Professional development -- State Library staff will offer trainings to school and public librarians to share resources, insights, best practices and lessons learned from participating in the NASA@ My Library initiative. Attendees of these trainings will have the opportunity to earn continuing education credit.

Enrich library experiences -- State Library staff will engage space science experts and volunteers in public library programming through NASA's Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network.

Hands-on activities -- The State Library will promote and circulate multiple copies of NASA@ My Library earth and space science kits to public libraries. These are designed for people of all ages, with a focus on underserved communities. One kit will include a Lakota perspective, featuring both fiction and scientific literature and information on traditional Lakota star gazing. Several other kits will be adapted for use by the blind and visually impaired with one kit going to the South Dakota School for the Blind.

Earlier this year, the South Dakota State Library was accepted as an affiliate member of the South Dakota Space Consortium. The State Library is already working collaboratively with the South Dakota Discovery Center of Pierre to bring quality programs to rural communities and small towns in South Dakota. Bossman added, "This is an excellent opportunity for public libraries to collaborate with their local school districts. The State Library will encourage and support efforts to bring quality STEM programing to rural areas." For more information, contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665.

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