An Out-Of-This-World Exhibit Opportunity For Minnesota Libraries

The Sun is over 2,700,000 miles in circumference, but it takes a mere 200 square feet of free space to host a touring solar system exhibit in your library.


The American Library Association, in partnership with the Space Science Institute and National Science Foundation, is bringing three traveling science exhibits to public libraries in 2016-2018 through their joint STAR Net Explore program.

“Explore Space” will offer a fun and instructive look at both the Milky Way and the universe beyond. The second option, “Explore Earth,” will focus on our planet’s many and varied ecosystems. The third, called simply “Explore Science,” offers a crash course on engineering, with a specific emphasis on how engineers have shaped the modern world.

Each chosen library co-partner will host their exhibit over an eight-week loan period. Shipping costs will be covered by aSTAR Net Explore grant. Hosts will receive a publicity kit and other ready-made media resources to help drum up local interest in the exhibit.

Public libraries and affiliated Friends groups everywhere are invited to put in a bid for one of these traveling STEM exhibits. Institutions in rural areas and/or serving traditionally underserved groups are especially encouraged to apply. School and special libraries are ineligible for consideration, as are their Friends.

In total, 13-14 libraries will be selected to host each exhibit, with terms ongoing through 2018. Please note that applying libraries may only put their name forward for one of the three traveling exhibits.

Applying requires the creation of a free ALA account (a wise time investment in any case, as it opens you and your library up to future program and grant opportunities from ALA’s Public Programs Office.) Click here for more information. The entry deadline is September 18.