Blog Post

C*Sci 2023 Community Embedded Events

Two people exploring a citizen science kit at a library. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Image courtesy of SciStarter. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Libraries, museums, and other ‘third spaces’ make great partners for citizen/community science projects and often serve as community hubs for project volunteers. Libraries are increasingly taking on the role of citizen science hubs by providing safe, free spaces to meet and learn, access to equipment, experts and data, and resources to help connect information and data to local action. In a single year, over 170 million registered users visited U.S. public libraries over 1.35 billion times giving libraries the potential to transform participatory research approaches and outcomes. How might your project harness the power of libraries and other third spaces to increase your impact?

During the C*Science Association conference in Tempe, AZ, nine local public libraries and one science center will be hosting Community Embedded Events for conference attendees to come share information about their project or research, solicit input, or demonstrate a project. These events are scattered throughout the conference week and off attendees hands on opportunity to both see how these partnerships work in action, and to share their expertise with the local community. If you are attending the in-person event and interested in being paired with one of the libraries or science center, please see details below on how to sign up.

There are also a number of sessions and special events at C*Sci 2023 that highlight the role ‘third spaces’ (libraries, museums, and other public institutions) play as community connectors. Here are a selection of three symposia that will feature leaders in these spaces sharing their experiences and lessons learned:

  • Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science: Opportunities and Challenges from a Library Perspective (Wednesday, May 24th, afternoon session)
  • Exploring the Roles of Facilitator Organizations in Citizen and Community Science (Wednesday, May 24th, morning session)
  • C*Science in Third Spaces: Lessons and Challenges from a Museum Perspective (Thursday, May 25th, afternoon session)

Event partners SciStarter and ASU School of Innovation and Society have been deeply engaged in developing capacity for citizen science in libraries in Arizona showcasing the potential of citizen science library partnerships. More than 100 libraries in AZ alone circulate citizen science kits with everything needed to participate in a suite of projects. Many offer regular programs and trainings resulting in higher levels of awareness and confidence in citizen science and an increase in data submitted to projects (see SciStarter.org/library for more information and outcomes). Join us in Tempe this May to explore the important role these third spaces play in facilitating c*science projects.

Community Embedded Event Sign Up

Image courtesy of SciStarter. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Community Embedded days are an opportunity to share information about your work and project through relaxed, informal discussions. You’ll also gain insights on how libraries can facilitate important community connections to activate and deepen opportunities for public engagement in science.

Each Community Embedded Event will be a unique experience. Some libraries, for example, may invite small groups of visitors stroll by your table while other libraries may invite you to speak with their affinity clubs (lifelong learners, home-schoolers, gardening clubs, etc) or staff. Each community partner will provide venue space, tables/chairs and promotional support for hour-long Community Embedded Events.

Community Embedded Events will run about one hour in addition to transportation time (between 15-45 minutes each way, depending on the venue location). Round trip transportation will be provided by ASU. The host venue will provide a table, chair, access to wifi and promotion of the event.

All attendees of the conference are welcome to apply. The sign up form includes available dates/times and location. Apply here*: https://forms.gle/VW8yY51Dq6XYeYfx5

*Please note this is a separate sign up form from registration. Please add in your information even if you have already registered for the event.

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