Bringing Science to the Children: Cooperation between Academic and Public Libraries

ALLEN-OVERBEY, Tracey and DOTSON, Daniel and MEYERS LABADIE, Molly (2016) Bringing Science to the Children: Cooperation between Academic and Public Libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 80 - Metropolitan Libraries with Academic and Research Libraries and School Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1360
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Bringing Science to the Children: Cooperation between Academic and Public Libraries

This paper offers two cases of public libraries providing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for children. These programs are designed to increase enthusiasm and achievement in the sciences. The importance of increasing enthusiasm and achievement in STEM is a well-documented need in the literature, with examples of how public and academic libraries each can serve a role via programming. Examples of them collaborating for such programming are sparser. Public libraries often lack staff subject expertise in STEM and colleges and universities often lack the day-to-day access to children. On the other hand, public libraries do have the day-to-day access to children, while colleges and universities have expertise in STEM and access to STEM researchers. Academic librarians can serve as bridges between their school and their public librarian colleagues. This combined expertise shows promise for collaboration for STEM programming targeting children. While public and academic libraries collaborate for collection and even space management, successful programming collaborations are not as evident. With thoughtful public/academic collaboration, both librarian types can work together to provide quality programs targeting children that aim to make STEM more inviting and relatable.

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