By Jennifer Wilhelm
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University University Libraries
and Jessica Jones
Branch Manager, Bryan + College Station Public Library System
In 2016, the Bryan + College Station Public Library System received a $1,000 grant to conduct informal STEM programs for adults. The library’s stated goals were to encourage lifelong learning and civic engagement through informal STEM programs, increase and diversify adult program attendance, and strengthen ties to both the local university and the community. In addition, we wished to promote the idea of libraries as safe spaces for controversial topics; in this case, climate change. This article will examine the experience of developing, promoting, and executing an informal STEM program for adults. The resulting three-part program was divided into book club and science café portions, and was partially facilitated by a science partner. The goals were reached and surpassed, with the resulting increase in adult attendance and positive reaction to a climate change program encouraging the system to increase its STEM-based offerings for adults.
Continue reading Adults Need STEM, Too: An Assessment of One Public Library’s Experiment With STEM Programming for Adults
By M. Nathalie Hristov, Associate Professor & Music Librarian
and Allison L. Sharp, Associate Professor & International Education Liaison Librarian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The international student population in the United States has risen by over 72% over the last twenty years; however, a review of the literature seems to suggest that the LIS field would continue to benefit from greater research in this particular area of librarianship (Click, Wiley, and Houlihan, 2017, p. 328). Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of articles published in the library literature focus on services and activities that promote the international education of domestic students rather than the library needs of international students. Future efforts call for academic librarians to define their role in the information seeking activities of their international constituents (Click et al, 2017, p. 344). It is the contention of this article that a solid platform for the engagement of international students by librarians must first be established.
Continue reading Making Stone Soup: Integrating Academic Libraries into International Outreach Programs and Initiatives