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The Sciences

Libraries – Coming Soon to a Citizen Science Conference Near You!

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If you are a fan of public libraries (and I’m assuming everyone is a fan of public libraries), I’ve got some exciting news for you! Citizen Science practitioners and public libraries have been taking a good look at each other and finding ways of partnering to the mutual benefit of both. If you are attending CitSci2019, March 13-17 in Raleigh, you will have an opportunity to hear a variety of perspectives from leaders, and to contribute to the ongoing discussion, at the Building capacity for partnership-centric community and citizen science in libraries Symposium.

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Picture from Citizen Science Day at the White Tank Library. Picture provided by Dan Stanton. Just who are these leaders, you may ask? Led by Cornerstones of Science Executive Director, Cynthia Randall; the panel consists of SciStarter Founder, Darlene Cavalier; HHMI Tangled Bank Studios Director of Impact and Outreach, Jared Lipworth; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ Urban Nature Research Center Community Science Manager, Richard Smart, AND Community Science Senior Manager, Lila Higgins; and myself, a humble academic librarian from Arizona State University.

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A citizen science display at the Southeast Library. Picture provided by Dan Stanton. While we are aware of each others’ endeavors, we are very interested in sharing the details, strategies, and best practices each of us has learned in developing public/scientist partnerships. If you haven’t thought about partnering with libraries, you should; and if you’ve already partnered with libraries, you should contribute to the ongoing conversation! In addition to our session, we are excited about participating in the overall theme of Growing Our Family Tree! Lila Huggins told us: “I am looking forward to the conference for many reasons. CSA conferences in the past have provided me with an amazing and intensive learning experience, where I get to dive deeply into the community science field with old friends and colleagues and meet new people. I am most excited to hear about emerging trends in the field that are unknown to me, learn more about DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) efforts, and hear inspirational stories about projects, programs, and the people involved. I find these help give me inspiration and motivation to keep doing this work. This is particularly important to me in our current political climate, as we continue to fight the climate crisis and social inequalities that rob us of our dignity and justice.”

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Interactive citizen science display at the White Tank Library. Picture provided by Dan Stanton. And her colleague, Richard Smart, added: “I look forward to the conference being more inclusive for transgender attendees. Preferred pronouns will be on nametags. A code of conduct for the conference is being created. There will be a list of restaurants and businesses that are LGBTQIA friendly. Plus the LGBT Center of Raleigh will be present at #CitSci2019.” As for me, I consider myself a Citizen Science newbie with a lot to learn. I am looking forward to meeting people, listening to the breadth and depth of Citizen Science endeavors, and absorbing all I can. Please come see us!

Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!


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About the Author

Dan Stanton

Dan Stanton is an Associate Librarian in the Engagement and Learning Services Department of the Arizona State University Library. Dan has worked at the ASU Library for over 25 years and contributes his expertise in Government Information (US Federal, and Arizona – State and Local), supporting ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, as well as the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre. Dan has also recently served as Curator of Content for the East Africa SolarSPELL, which included conducting training in Rwanda. In addition, Dan is dedicated to improving collegial communication and professional development opportunities for library staff, and has served in several leadership roles with the Arizona Library Association, including President 2012-2015, and in the Mountain Plains Library Association, including reconvening the MPLA Leadership Institute in 2009. He currently serves as the AZ Councilor to the American Library Association, serving in Chapter Relations and the overall ALA Council. Dan is fairly new to Citizen Science, serving as Co-PI of an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to work with ASU and SciStarter to develop Citizen Science kits and other resources in partnership with public libraries. Stanton is also interested in creating a culture of Citizen Science at ASU, working with SciStarter, ASU researchers and others.

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