In my family we had a rite of passage. When my sister, brother, and I each turned five-years-old, my mother took us to the Charleston County Library and we registered for our very own library card. I can still remember walking into the children’s department, where I got to choose any (any!) three books in that room and check them out for four weeks. Talk about overwhelming my five-year-old brain.
But as wonderful as books and libraries were to me then, it’s amazing to see what libraries are doing today.
Libraries are local community centers and hubs for learning, with more and more libraries responding to the need to increase science literacy and support 21st century skills by adding STEM programs and resources for patrons of all ages. Visit your local public library and you’re likely to find programs like Science Saturdays, Makerspaces, STEM exhibits, citizen science programs, hands-on learning that blends science and art, and much more.
As part of the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative,* my group has been working with GIO and the NASA@ My Library project led by the Space Sciences Institute (SSI). SSI has developed a network of U.S. libraries that are promoting science and technology programs and resources. For Earth Day 2017, almost 100 libraries across the U.S. have registered to do Earth Day programs related to weather and clouds, using GLOBE Observer to do cloud observations.
Are you looking for ideas to celebrate Earth Day 2017? U.S. GLOBE Partners might consider reaching out to a library in your area that has registered to host an Earth Day event. You can see the latest list of registered libraries, including points of, on the map at the top of this page: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/earth-day/
On that site you can also learn more about this Earth Day collaboration using GLOBE Observer, including resources to support library programs.
Looking for inspiration? The GLOBE Partner at University of Alaska Fairbanks is working with the Noel Wien Public Library on a program Sunday, April 23, from 2-4 pm, targeting youth, families and interested community members. In addition to the GLOBE Observer app cloud observations, they plan to do cloud learning activities (cloud cover estimation art and creating clouds in a bottle), as well as activities related to Earth as a system and climate themes (e.g., Arctic ecochains and guess the Earth landform from space).
*The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is collaborating on this initiative with GIO and NASA@ My Library Project through the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC). NESEC is a partnership between IGES and the Earth science divisions at three NASA Centers: Goddard Space Flight Center, Langley Research Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.