NASA’s Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center
has awarded a collection of aerospace and science books to the library
systems of Brevard, Orange and Volusia Counties. KSC Director Roy Bridges
and Pam Biegert, chief of KSC’s Education Programs and University Research
Office, presented the books to the library directors during a special
presentation at the Center for Space Education on Nov. 6.

The books were awarded as part of NASA’s Partnering Librarians and NASA
(PLAN) program. The PLAN program goal is to help libraries update the
information they have regarding NASA’s Space Program, science and
technology. The Center for Space Education used a $25,000 grant from NASA to
purchase more than 30 books for each of the 50 libraries.

“As more students use the library system to do their research for classes,
we felt that it was important that the libraries be knowledgeable of NASA’s
programs and have up-to-date materials for their use,” commented Biegert.

“We are very excited to be receiving these books that will fulfill so many
needs for our patrons and especially those students who have an interest in
space exploration and our space program,” said Catherine Schweinsberg,
director of Brevard County Libraries.

According to Steve Dutczak, lead for K-12 Education Services at the Center
for Space Education, the PLAN program evolved from a similar education
workshop for teachers that has been in place at KSC for more than 40 years.

Directors and librarians from the three counties’ libraries were invited to
attend five-day workshops during the summer of 2000. At the seminars, the
librarians were provided with useful information and materials about KSC and
NASA. They took this information back to their libraries and used the
materials as exhibits for the general public.

When the grant money became available, the librarians who attended these
seminars were canvassed as to what aerospace books were needed to update the
libraries. Some of the titles include, The History of NASA, John Glenn’s
Return to Space, NASA Space Vehicles: Capsules, Shuttles and Space Stations,
The International Space Station and Into the Final Frontier: A History of
Manned Spaceflight.

Kathryn Robinson, director of the Orange County Library System, commented,
“The partnership between Orange County Library System and the Kennedy Space
Center, consisting of a one week training program for librarians and the
donation of library materials, has enriched library programs and has
enhanced our ability to make science accessible and interesting to children
and young adults.”

“The education workshop was one of the best I’ve experienced. The generosity
of the staff and their accessibility and knowledge was an overwhelming
contribution to our library system,” said Mike Knievel, director of the
Volusia County Public Library. “Families moving into Volusia County are
looking for quality schools and education. The contribution of these
aerospace and science books is outstanding.”

Biegert added, “Educating the librarians through this program has proven to
be very beneficial in our education and outreach efforts and they have
become great assets in providing resources to the students and public.”

Bridges, during the presentation, said, “Educating the future engineers,
scientists and leaders of tomorrow is a big part of our job. We need to
find other good ideas like this.”