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Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1726)

Larra Clark
American Library Association, Chicago
(Phone: 312/280-5043)

July 1, 2003
 
RELEASE : 03-225
 
 
Nation's Libraries Bring Space Research Down To Earth
 
 
Your local library is making room for Space.

NASA and the American Library Association (ALA) have partnered to create a one-of-a-kind interactive space research exhibit as part of a new program called NASA @ your library. The program launched today at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

NASA @ your library was created to inspire more participation at public libraries, raise awareness and encourage interest in science. The unique exhibit will tour 120 public libraries in five regions across the nation for the next two years. It will feature special presentations specifically created to expose people of all ages to NASA research in the areas of health, home and transportation, agriculture and environment, and commerce.

"Space research plays an integral role in our daily lives. It affects many things around us from the foods we eat to everyday household products we use. This exhibit will educate everyone on the importance and opportunities in space research," said Mary Kicza, Associate Administrator for NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research, Washington.

The five libraries representing each region of the tour that will host the exhibit in its first month include the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kan.; Lakewood Library, Tacoma, Wash.; Northwest Reno Library, Reno, Nev.; and Spartanburg County Public Libraries, Spartanburg, S.C.

The exhibit is self-contained and complete with six desktop computers and workspace. The main interactive exhibit includes topics on Space Shuttle operations, living, working and conducting space research on board the International Space Station, and information on future aerospace activities. Apple Computer, Inc. is contributing 36 new "Way Cool Flat Screen" computers to the exhibit and funding the movement of the exhibit throughout the U.S.

NASA @ your library is part of The Campaign for America's Libraries, a multi-year public education effort sponsored by the ALA to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. The campaign is designed to showcase the unique and vital role played by public, school, academic and special libraries across the United States. NASA is the latest founding partner in the campaign. Invitations to participate in the program were sent to over 16,000 public libraries throughout the U.S. Libraries are being selected to participate in the tour based on criteria established by the ALA.

"The NASA @ your library program is a wonderful example of how libraries have become modern community centers for information, education and entertainment," added ALA President Carla Hayden, executive director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. "With this new partnership, ALA is also able to further spread the message that libraries play a critical role in making information accessible to all people, regardless of age, race, income or background."

As part of the program, libraries will be given a stipend to enhance their book/electronic resources and collections, and will host various social and academic activities of their choice. ALA, to engender interest in International Space Station research through reading lists, information on careers, and other space-related activities, also has created a new web site. You can find the information on the Internet at:

www.ala.org/nasa

www.ala.org/alsc

www.ala.org/@yourlibrary

Additional information about NASA can be found on the Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov

 

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