NJ Libraries Support STEAM-based Learning Through Mobile Mini-Makerspace Kits – Jan 30, 2017

Initiative Focuses on Partnerships Between Public and School Libraries in Small Communities

The New Jersey State Library (NJSL) and LibraryLinkNJ (LLNJ), the New Jersey Library Cooperative, announced today that they will fund three mobile mini-makerspace kits for joint use by partnering public libraries and public school libraries (Kindergarten – Grade 8). NJSL and LLNJ seek to support science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM)-based learning in both informal and formal learning environments, with the hopes of fostering cooperative relationships between partnering public and school libraries on the local level, and to leverage available funding for specialized equipment, supplies, and materials. Grant awards will be set at a maximum amount of $7,500 per award.

The focus of this initiative is on the partnership between public and school libraries in small communities – those with a current population of less than 15,000 – in an effort to strengthen the connection between the public and school libraries while reinforcing their shared role of providing school, student, and community support.

Through a competitive process, libraries were selected to develop programming and curriculum for the joint use of a Mobile Mini-Makerspace Kit. The three winning public and school library partnerships that received grant awards for their projects are:
• Glen Ridge Public Library and Forest Avenue School Library (Pre-K – Gr. 2)
• Edgewater Free Public Library and George Washington School Library (Pre-K – Gr. 2)
• Collingswood Public Library and Collingswood Middle School Library (Gr. 6-8)

“We are pleased to further grow the NJ library makerspace community by supporting the Mobile Mini-Makerspace Kit grant awards, which will foster coordinated and collaborative relationships among librarians serving young people in both school and public libraries,” said Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian. “These projects will not only broaden curriculum development, but we also hope they will spark the imagination of the students and strengthen their engagement in the learning process.”
Kathy Schalk-Green, Executive Director of LibraryLinkNJ added, “Makerspaces have been an exciting extension of 21st century library services to communities in New Jersey. We’re proud to join with the New Jersey State Library in supporting the Mobile Mini-Makerspace Kits grants in school and public library partnerships throughout the state.”

This is not the first time the State Library and LLNJ joined forces to fund makerspace projects in NJ libraries. In 2013, they partnered to launch New Jersey Library Makerspaces The Leading Edge, a $115,700 grant program that subsidized 15 Makerspaces at public, school and academic libraries statewide.

For more information about the Mobile Mini-Makerspace Kits Grant, and the participating libraries and their projects, visit: http://www.njstatelib.org/news/makerspacekit/.

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About the New Jersey State Library
The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, connects people with information and resources through its service to libraries, government and people including those with special needs. NJSL’s mission has expanded since its establishment in 1796 to lead in the provision, promotion and support of high quality library and information services to all the people of NJ. Led by State Librarian Mary Chute, NJSL coordinates, promotes and funds the NJ Library Network by providing advisory and technical information and services to support NJ’s libraries in the fulfillment of their missions. NJSL also provides support for public, school, academic, and special libraries, and continues to promote services for learners of all ages, including key areas of continuing need such as digital literacy, business outreach, workforce development, and summer reading programs. NJSL continues its focus on innovation and future trends, and seeks out exemplary models and technologies that can help assist the NJ library community in remaining relevant and essential community anchors. For more information, visit www.njstatelib.org.BR>BR>B

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