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.
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.
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.”
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!