Expect More: Why Libraries Cannot Become STEM Educators

Expect More: Why Libraries Cannot Become STEM Educators. Lankes, R. D (2015). Public Libraries and STEM Conference.



America’s public libraries can play an important role in furthering STEM education. However, this will be true only if STEM learning efforts focus on librarians and librarians acting as facilitators. Any effort to transform librarians into STEM experts will have limited success given the increasing number of roles librarians are being asked to take on. At the same time, the current belief among many librarians that they can only offer programming in which they feel comfortable or have expertise will strongly constrain STEM programming in libraries. Librarians must instead create platforms within a community to unleash STEM expertise within the communities they serve. This will involve changing the concept of libraries in the minds of librarians and community members alike. Librarians must facilitate the use and sharing of STEM expertise already existent in the community by the community. Librarians ultimately must see their communities as their collections, not simply materials in the building.