Dwayne C.

Brown Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1726) RELEASE: 01-247

Dec. 18, 2001

NASA AND AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BRING SPACE TO THE BOOKSHELF NASA and the American Library Association (ALA), Chicago, have launched a three-year program aimed at educating and exposing both children and adults to the wonders of space travel and the benefits of space research. Called "NASA @ your library(TM)," the program is being developed by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research, Washington, and ALA's Development Office to raise awareness and interest in math and science, encourage young people to pursue careers in science and increase the visibility of NASA programs and scientific findings. "Libraries can help NASA take the excitement and potential of space research to every person in every community across America. Young Americans across the country will be able to identify new career opportunities, and citizens in every community will glimpse how the same science that will take us beyond the planet could transform every American's future on the planet," said Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, NASA's Associate Administrator of Biological and Physical Research, Headquarters, Washington. NASA and ALA will develop a pilot program to share and promote scientific information on NASA research and demonstrate the expertise of librarians in selecting excellent books. A programspecific Web site and traveling exhibit will be developed, and six library sites will be selected as models. The traveling interactive exhibit will spend a month at libraries across the country and will have four special, electronic, weekly presentations specifically created for different segments of the community. Participating libraries will receive a small incentive grant to implement the program. "Through 'NASA @ your library,' we will send a strong message that both public libraries and NASA have a wealth of information freely available for all citizens," said ALA President John W. Berry.

"Libraries bring you a world of resources." NASA and ALA will develop an action kit for distribution to public libraries: a poster, guidelines for expansion of library collections to support the NASA Web site and exhibit, public library activities to encourage more young people to become scientists and program training -- both in-person and Web-based -for librarians and others. A national advisory committee will be appointed, and the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA, will manage the grant. NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research (OBPR) conducts peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, fundamental and applied research to address the opportunities and challenges to NASA that are provided by the space environment and the human exploration of space. The ALA, founded in 1876, is the oldest and largest library association in the world. More information on NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research is available at: http://spaceresearch.nasa.gov -end-