The STAR Library Network Phase 2 (STAR Net) brings inquiry-based STEM learning experiences to public libraries through six traveling exhibits, training for library staff and associated programming for library patrons, and a virtual community of practice for library staff and others interested in bringing STEM programming to libraries. In 2014, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a four-year grant to the Space Science Institute’s (SSI) National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) and its partners—the American Library Association (ALA), the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), the Afterschool Alliance (AA), and Datum—to develop a hands-on learning program for 66 public libraries and their communities.
Education Development Center (EDC) conducted the summative evaluation of STAR Net Phase 2, investigating the implementation of the project and its impact on library staff and patrons. Methods included pre- and post-exhibit surveys administered to staff from each library that hosted the exhibits; patron surveys; exhibit-related circulation records; and site visits to 12 libraries hosting a STAR Net Discover or Explore exhibit, during which patrons and library staff were observed and interviewed.
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