Cornerstones Heads up a Research Project that Gets NASA’s Attention

Photos of PEP Training, NASA Nugget, February 2020

Each month, the NASA@My Library project team leader (Space Science Institute) uploads slides on a specific piece of the project (called a “nugget”) to NASA. NASA then looks at each of the slides from over 27 Sci-Act Group CAN projects and chooses one to send up to the White House to highlight. For the month of March, NASA selected the NASA@My Library Patron Experience Pilot (PEP) slides to go to the White House.

You can see our presentation at NASA Science’s Nugget page – just scroll down to March.

This part of the NASA@My Library project is a small research project led by Cornerstones of Science and a researcher from Northern Illinois University (NIU) that looks at building patron interests in Earth and space science through a library setting. In February, Cornerstones of Science Program Manager, Sarah Post, and NIU researcher Dr. Amanda Durik conducted a two-day training for librarians from three libraries to help test the second year of the PEP model. These libraries learned about and received a specific freestanding display that they set up in their library and update every two weeks to help people realize interests in a specific topic. The display has large attractive images, easy and interesting facts, short reading passages, interactive content, and ways to support patrons with other hands-on activities and events that help build interest.

Participating libraries are the Stephen’s Central Branch of the Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo, TX, the Lawrenceville Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library in Lawrenceville, GA, and the Show Low Public Library in Show Low, AZ.

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“What is a nugget?

A nugget is a one page snapshot of an event that impacted learners using NASA Science-funded experts, content, or authentic experiences.” — NASA Science website


Cornerstones of Science along with NIU and the Space Science Institute are currently producing a video, developing journal article, and publishing a case study on the NASA@My Library PEP project that will be available to all libraries interested in incorporating interest development strategies and this type of model.