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National Museum and Library Services Board Meeting The Role of Libraries and Museums in STEM Education

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


IMLS Press Contacts
Mamie Bittner,

Washington, DC


Dr. Carl Wieman, Associate Director for Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Ron Ottinger, Executive Director, Noyce Foundation

Dr. C. Jean Moon, Senior Scholar for Education Strategy and Planning, National Academies of Science

Click here for bios.


The 21st Meeting of the National Museum and Library Services Board


Institute of Museum and Library Services
1800 M Street, N.W.
9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036


Tuesday October 19, 2010
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


The National Museum and Library Services Board meeting will focus on the role of libraries and museums in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning.

Despite historical achievement, the United States lags behind other nations in STEM education at the elementary and secondary levels. International comparisons of students’ performance in science and mathematics consistently place the United States in the middle of the pack or lower.

A report released in September by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology notes that, "the problem is not just a lack of proficiency among American students; there is also a lack of interest in STEM fields among many students."

The report offers a series of recommendations including a call to "create opportunities for inspiration through individual and group experiences outside the classroom."

Clearly museums and libraries are part of the solution.  IMLS has supported research, conferences, professional development, and a host of library and museum projects designed to improve STEM learning and teaching. Most recently the IMLS partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create new learning laboratories in libraries and museums was highlighted in a special White House event as part of President Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" campaign, a nationwide effort to help reach the administration’s goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.

Speakers at the board meeting on October 19 will provide important perspectives on work at the federal level to coordinate STEM efforts, the growing body of research that supports informal science learning and the need for strong leadership in community organizations to leverage library and museums resources.

The National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB) is an advisory body that includes the director and two deputy directors of IMLS and twenty presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the NMLSB advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit