The Ralph Ellison Library has been selected to participate in a NASA at My Library program that stresses science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, The Black Chronicle has learned.
STEAM is the acronym for the program emphasis.
Ellison Library is part of the Metropolitan Library System.
The National Aeronautics & Space Administration created the program to increase learning in the five disciplines, and to emphasize career opportunities in those areas.
Ellison Library is one of just 60 libraries nationwide to be part of the NASA at My Library initiative, according to Kristin Williamson, children’s services manager of the library system.
She applied for the grant that got Ellison Library involved.
“We look forward to introducing STEAM concepts to our younger customers and to exploring the universe together with people of all ages during our programs in 2021 and 2022,” she commented.
As a NASA at My Library Partner, the library will hold programs that explore NASA science and technology, specifically around the space agency’s newest next-generation telescope launch (fall 2021), the first telescope images (spring 2022) and as part of the Summer Reading program (summer 2022).
“We will be partnering with the Science Museum Oklahoma to provide STEAM programs in the coming months and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide summer meals along with those programs,” Mrs. Williamson said.
Approximately 150 libraries applied to be part of the program.
As part of this initiative, Ellison Library will receive training and resources to implement NASA events and programming, access to a university Subject Matter Expert (SME) to support patron engagement and $1,600 for programming expenses.
“These resources, along with support by the NASA at My Library team, will enable the library to conduct excellent programming and activities,” a statement said.
“The program will create compelling learning experiences for the Metropolitan Library System community and share the story, science and adventure of NASA’s scientific explorations of planet Earth, our solar system and the universe beyond.”
“The best part is that, although Ralph Ellison Library was the recipient of this grant, all of our Metro Library locations will benefit from the resources and some will host the programs using their own programming funds,” Mrs. Williamson remarked.
NASA at My Library is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute.