NASA@ my library

NASA@ My Library Partners: Application Guidelines


Date application posted: February 1, 2017

Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Pre-application Webinar, held on February 8, 2017: Watch an archived recording of this informational webinar from the STAR_Net team for more information about the NASA@ My Library project. View the webinar at any time on the STAR_Net website.

Table of Contents

I. Project Overview

Invitation to Join NASA@ My Library

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI), the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and Education Development Center, invites public libraries nationwide to apply to become a NASA@ My Library Partner and join the NASA@ My Library project.

NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate as part of its STEM Activation program.

Public libraries are invited to work with NASA@ My Library project organizations, NASA, and state library agencies to increase and enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning opportunities for millions of library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations that are currently underserved in STEM education. The NASA@ My Library project will increase and sustain the availability of NASA science-focused learning experiences for underserved audiences through:

  • high-visibility NASA, Earth, celestial, and library events;
  • professional development; and
  • resource and experience development.

Seventy-five public libraries will be selected to become NASA@ My Library Partners through a competitive application process. NASA@ My Library Partners will receive NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, NASA STEM Backpacks for circulation, financial resources, training, and partnership opportunities. Through this project, participating libraries will engage public audiences in informal, lifelong learning opportunities during a sustained, multi-year effort involving hands-on activities, high-profile events, and other programs conducted in collaboration with national and local organizational partners, scientists, engineers, and other STEM experts. The NASA@ My Library project will include a research study and evaluation of STEM learning in a library setting.

Through this new type of grant format, libraries selected as NASA@ My Library Partners will receive resources and opportunities in two phases:

Phase 1 (required, May 2017 – October 2018):

  • Two NASA@ My Library Facilitation Kits (total value $750). The first kit will be distributed in May 2017, and the second kit will be distributed by March 2018
  • $500 programming stipend
  • Inclusion in a two-day NASA workshop for one library staff member
  • An $800 stipend for travel costs for the orientation workshop

Phase 2 (November 2018 – December 2020).

Upon completion of Phase 1, NASA@ My Library Partners will be invited to continue participating in the project and will receive the following:

  • NASA STEM Backpacks designed for circulation (total value: $200)
  • Two additional NASA@ My Library Facilitation Kits. The third kit will be distributed in fall 2018 and the final kit will be distributed by spring 2019 (total value: $750)
  • An additional $500 programming stipend

Throughout their participation, NASA@ My Library Partners will also receive the following:

  • Promotion to NASA Subject Matter Expert networks (identified below and described in greater detail on Resources page) for partnership possibilities
  • Access to training webinars for use of the NASA@ My Library materials in programming
  • Ongoing networking opportunities with participating libraries.

Facilitation kits can be used in hands-on STEM programming facilitated by library staff or by outside groups (such as NASA Subject Matter Experts). These items are also suitable for use in minimally facilitated activities (such as stations).

Underserved Focus

The project is designed to promote access to NASA science discoveries and provide learning experiences to persons of diverse backgrounds. All public libraries are eligible to participate in this program. Libraries in rural and/or geographically isolated areas and those serving underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Groups underrepresented in STEM fields include Hispanics and Latinos, African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, the economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities, and women and girls.

NASA Science Resources and Opportunities

National and International Events

By offering programming tied to existing national and international STEM/space events, NASA@ My Library Partners may draw upon existing program ideas and resources to attract the attention of the broader local community. For more information on upcoming national and international events, visit the Resources page.

STEM Education Resources

NASA hands-on activity guides, teacher guides, and family guides will be available on the STAR_Net STEM Activity Clearinghouse to support NASA@ My Library events. For more information on STAR_Net, visit the Resources page.

NASA Subject Matter Expert Networks

Libraries will be invited to collaborate with a network of NASA Subject Matter Experts to serve as program speakers and active participants in ongoing community dialogue on STEM learning and engagement. Subject Matter Experts are STEM-focused professionals from NASA-funded centers and institutions, as well as individuals within each region that can collaborate on programs with the chosen libraries throughout the NASA@ My Library project. To view a list of potential collaborators, visit the Resources page.

II. Benefits for Participating Libraries

NASA STEM Facilitation Kits

Awarded libraries will receive the first NASA STEM Facilitation Kit in May 2017, followed by an additional kit by March 2018. The NASA STEM Facilitation Kits will include STEM tools and hands-on activities around the following focus areas: 1) Sun-Earth-Moon Connections and 2) Expanding Your Senses.

Awarded libraries have the option to continue participating in the project until December 2020. Libraries that renew their commitment to the project in November 2018 will receive NASA STEM Backpacks that can be checked out by patrons, as well as two additional NASA STEM Facilitation Kits that focus on 3) The Search for Habitable Worlds and 4) Exploration.

The kits will contain STEM tools and programming materials valued at approximately $1,500. The exact contents of each kit are currently under review, with three pilot libraries testing a variety of materials in programs. The kit contents will be revised based on their experiences. As an example, the current prototype kit includes a telescope, binoculars, a microscope, a "green screen" backdrop, infrared thermometers, robotics and coding toys, and solar viewing glasses.

For each kit, printed guides, how-to videos, and webinars will provide instruction on using the tools in library programs. A tablet – pre-loaded with how-to videos, apps, games, and visualizations relevant to the kit materials – will also be provided to each selected library. A selection of these resources will also be available for patrons to download on their own smartphones or tablets.

Training Webinars

Orientation Webinar (required):

Following award notifications, an online introduction to the program will be provided to all awarded sites. This webinar will introduce sites to the resources available to them. At least one staff member from each selected library is required to participate in this webinar.

NASA STEM Facilitation Kits Webinar (required):

This webinar will familiarize sites with the contents of the first NASA STEM Facilitation Kit, to be delivered in May 2017. At least one staff member from each selected library is required to participate in this webinar.

STAR_Net Webinars:

Awarded sites will be invited to participate in our ongoing STAR_Net Webinar Series, as well as special online training opportunities for this program. These include:

  • Overviews of NASA@ My Library hands-on activities
  • Discussion of ways to adapt the activities to different programming schemes
  • Discuss techniques for facilitating STEM experiences for library patrons
  • Partnership ideas

NASA@ My Library Workshop

One project director from each awarded library will be required to attend a two-day NASA@ My Library workshop in Denver, Colorado in February 2018. The workshop will include:

  • Hands-on instruction on the STEM tools and programming approaches included in the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, as well as the NASA STEM Backpacks to be circulated to patrons.
  • Instruction on a community dialogue strategy to be employed in reaching underserved audiences. For more information, visit the STAR_Net Community Dialogue Strategy section of the Resources page.
  • Information about NASA@ My Library resources and STEM content, presented by scientists and the project team.
  • Presentations and interactive discussions about:
    • Ways to engage children and families in NASA@ My Library events
    • Building local and national partnerships with NASA scientists, engineers, and volunteers who can support NASA@ My Library activities
    • Participating in the project’s STAR_Net Online Community (and the tools that support continued collaboration)
    • Care and maintenance of NASA STEM Facilitation Kits and NASA STEM Backpacks
    • NASA science mission updates

Project Evaluation

The NASA@ My Library program will be evaluated by a third-party evaluator, Education Development Center (EDC). Selected staff from awarded libraries will be asked to complete surveys describing program implementation and impact (approximately annually as well as following the workshop and webinars). Libraries will also receive brief surveys to distribute to patrons after NASA@ My Library events and/or programs. Select libraries may also be invited to host a site visit and/or participate in a related interview.

III. Requirements for Libraries

All public libraries selected to participate in the NASA@ My Library program will be required to do the following:

  • Appoint one staff member as the Project Director of the program. The Project Director is responsible for coordinating all NASA@ My Library activities during the grant term. The Project Director (or designee) must attend required trainings online and in-person, as well as review educational and support materials, and oversee programming and marketing of programs that make use of the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, circulation of NASA STEM Backpacks, and other resources.
  • Facilitate and report on a minimum of three public NASA@ My Library programs per project year that utilize NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, NASA educational resources, and/or NASA Subject Matter Experts. The three programs should include NASA science-focused learning experiences for a variety of age groups, including adult. At least one program per award year must be a publicized, high-profile NASA@ My Library event. For examples of eligible programs, visit the National and International Events section of the Resources page. The other programs could include storytimes, maker clubs, or science cafés with a NASA science connection.
  • Participate in the orientation webinar (May 11, 2017), NASA STEM Facilitation Kit Webinar (May 22, 2017), and one in-person workshop (February 2018 in Denver).
  • Host a Community Dialogue event with community stakeholders, with an emphasis on including representatives from groups currently underrepresented in STEM professions. Libraries will use their local expertise to interface directly with the underserved audience(s) identified in their proposals. The purpose of this program will be to discuss the STEM learning needs of the community with regards to NASA science-related programming, and identify strategies for ensuring that underserved audiences are not excluded. Training will be provided.
  • Promote programs to at least one underrepresented audience in your community.
  • Allow the public to attend programs free of charge.
  • Participate in third-party evaluation as requested.
  • Provide online reports, including interim reports due each November during the active grant term, and a final report, to the ALA Public Programs Office.
  • Agree to all publicity requirements, including proper use of designated program credits and/or logos on all local publicity materials, both in-print and online.
  • Sign a contract with the project sponsors agreeing to the programming, publicity, evaluation, reporting, communication, and other requirements of the project.

Additionally, all public libraries selected to participate in the NASA@ My Library program will be strongly encouraged to do the following:

  • In 2017, one of these events may focus on the 2017 solar eclipse. Applicants to this program are encouraged to register to host an eclipse event and take advantage of the additional resources offered to registered libraries. (Note: the solar eclipse will not be visible for most of Alaska and Hawaii.)
  • Be responsible for the condition and use of the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits and NASA STEM Backpacks. The NASA@ My Library project will not replace items during the life of the project, so any repair or replacement will be the library’s responsibility, if desired.
  • Actively participate in the STAR_Net online community by sharing program descriptions and outcomes.

More information on participation in the above programs/communities can be found on the Resources page.

IV. Award Information

Seventy-five libraries will be selected to participate in the NASA@ My Library program. Each awarded site will receive the following:

Phase 1 (required, May 2017 – October 2018):

  • Two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (distributed in May 2017 and March 2018) (total value: $750)
  • A $500 grant for expenses related to local programming, such as promotional expenses and related collection materials. Please note that grant funds may not be used to pay for social events, receptions, entertainment, or alcoholic beverages. Additionally, indirect costs may not be charged to the grant.
  • Inclusion in a two-day, in-person NASA workshop for one library staff member and an $800 stipend for travel costs

Phase 2 (November 2018 – December 2020)

Upon completion of Phase 1, NASA@ My Library Partners will be invited to continue participating in the project and will receive the following:

  • NASA STEM Backpacks designed for circulation (total value: $200)
  • Two additional NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (distributed by fall 2018 and spring 2019) (total value: $750)
  • An additional $500 programming stipend

Throughout their participation, NASA@ My Library Partners will receive the following:

  • Promotion to NASA Subject Matter Expert networks for partnership possibilities.
  • A publicity kit containing images for use in publicity and on host library websites.
  • Training through periodic webinars about NASA@ My Library materials, and printed and online project support materials.
  • Libraries will have access to the STAR_Net Online Community during and after the NASA@ My Library project. The online community is a dynamic forum for host libraries to contact organizations and individuals for programming help, share programming resources and program outcomes, access a growing library of STEM activity resources, and grant opportunities. For more information on the STAR_Net Online Community, visit the Resources page
  • Technical and programming support from the National Center for Interactive Learning, other project partners, the STAR_Net Online Community and the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the project term.

V. Eligibility

NASA@ My Library is open to public libraries in the United States. Public libraries in rural areas and those serving rural populations and underserved groups are especially invited to apply. Individuals and federal entities are not eligible to apply.

VI. Application and Submission Information

Applications will be accepted for NASA@ My Library between February 1 and March 22, 2017. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on March 22, 2017. Late or incomplete applications, and applications from ineligible institutions will not be reviewed. Applications and support materials may not be submitted by mail or e-mail.

Interested applicants may preview a PDF of the online application prior to applying.

Getting Started

To begin the application process, go to the project home page on

To apply to host NASA@ My Library, you must complete the following eight steps:

  1. LOG IN OR REGISTER (if you have not registered when applying for a different project in the Apply system)
  2. LOG IN (if you have already registered when applying for a different project in the Apply system)


Before you can access the application, you must register to create an application account in Apply.



If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, you may log in, using your e-mail address and password.


Note: The Project Director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the program at the site. He or she will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.

To complete step 3, provide all the information that is requested for the Project Director, local library information, and shipping information. You must then save the information.

After clicking the "SAVE" button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in, using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the submission deadline.

NOTE: One piece of information that you must supply is the applicant institution’s DUNS number. All institutions receiving an award are required to provide a DUNS number, issued by Dun & Bradstreet. Project Directors should contact their institution’s grants administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution’s DUNS number. Federal grant or subgrant applicants can obtain a DUNS number free of charge by calling 1-866-705-5711. (Learn more about the requirement.) All awardees must have a DUNS number by May 2017. If you will not have a DUNS number by the application deadline of March 22, please contact for assistance.


Before you compose the narrative part of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read the guidelines carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.


Please describe your plans for presenting NASA@ My Library. The proposal narrative consists of six sections (described below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 400 words.

Be sure to address the following points in your narrative:

  1. Describe why your library would like to participate in this project, including community interests in NASA science discoveries, demographics, collections, or other resources or programming focuses pertinent to the project. What are your prior experiences with offering public programs about STEM topics?
  2. What do you hope to accomplish by bringing this project to your community?
  3. Identify at least one principal underserved audience you will reach with programming for NASA@ My Library and make a strong case for why you have chosen this audience and how you will reach them. A generally underserved geographic area can be considered an underrepresented audience.
  4. Describe how you will promote a NASA-related STEM program if you are selected to be a part of NASA@ My Library. For example, which groups will you target with outreach, and how? How will you use social media? How will you work with community partners on audience recruitment? Who in your library will be responsible for promoting the programs? Please focus your answers on STEM programs, rather than library programs in general. You may also upload STEM program marketing/promotional materials in the Uploads section ahead (optional).
  5. Collaboration with NASA-related STEM organizations and individuals is very important to the success of this project. Please see the resource area for a list of Subject Matter Expert networks and tell us what partnership(s) you would seek to help you to make your program a success. Have you worked with any of these organizations/individuals before, or have you worked with similar organizations/individuals?
  6. Describe three (or more) NASA-related programs you plan to host during the first year of the award (May 2017 - April 2018), including one high-profile event, to meet or to exceed the project requirements. Letters of support from external presenters may be attached on the Upload page.


5.A. Communications Plan

Upload STEM program marketing/promotional materials. (optional)

5.B. Letters of Support

Upload letters of support from project partners and other organizations, as well as from potential external program presenters (optional).


An application to participate in NASA@ My Library is an application for an award from the sponsors of this project (National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute and the American Library Association). The project sponsors are required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.

To complete this section, you must enter all information that is requested.

  • Certifying Official Name
  • Certifying Official Title
  • Certifying Official Email


The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered. From this page, you can review and edit each section, save the entire application and log out of the system, or move ahead to submit your application.


When you are satisfied with your application, submit it using the Submit button. Once your application has been submitted, you may still log in to view or print it, but no further editing or other changes will be possible. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time. on March 22, 2017.

Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.

Applications and application attachments may not be submitted by mail or e-mail.

VII. Application Review

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the ideas underlying the planned public programs.
  • The library’s effort to contact NASA Subject Matter Expert networks, such as Night Sky Network volunteers and Solar System Ambassadors.
  • The location of the sites. (The selection committee would like the program to impact all regions of the country including Hawaii and Alaska.)
  • The size and demographics of the community. (The selection committee will prioritize submissions from rural and geographically isolated areas, as well as those with outreach plans that target groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.)
  • Evidence that the site has the support of community groups and other organizations in planning for the program. Selectors welcome programming collaborations among science, education, civic and other kinds of organizations.
  • Evidence that the site can reach audiences underrepresented in STEM and underserved regions and market the program to those audiences effectively. Collaboration with other organizations in the community reaching underrepresented audiences is a good strategy for accomplishing this goal.

Review process

Each application will be assessed by a review panel of librarians and representatives of other educational and cultural institutions and disciplines, in collaboration with the sponsors.

VIII. Award Administration Information

  • Application Deadline: March 22, 2017
  • Award Notification: By May 1, 2017
  • Orientation Webinar (required): May 11, 2017 at 2 pm MT
  • NASA@ My Library "Earth-Moon-Sun Connections" Kit Ships: by May 15, 2017
  • NASA STEM Facilitation Kit Webinar (required): May 22, 2017 at 2 pm MT
  • Eclipse Webinar (recommended): June 2017
  • In-person Workshop (required): February, 2018 in Denver, Colorado
  • Interim Report Deadlines: November 1, 2017; November 1, 2018; November 1, 2019
  • Final Report Deadline: December 31, 2020

IX. Points of Contact

If you have questions about the project or the application, contact:

American Library Association Public Programs Office
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

X. Other Information

American Library Association | 50 E. Huron, Chicago IL 60611 | 1.800.545.2433

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