Reply To: Unit 9: Hesitancy about STEM Programs in My Community

Foyer Forums Rural Gateways professional development discussions Unit 9: Hesitancy about STEM Programs in My Community Reply To: Unit 9: Hesitancy about STEM Programs in My Community


As I watched this, I thought about how eager my patrons are to come to “sciency” programs but then it dawned on me, I’m thinking of “my” patrons- the ones I already see on a semi-regular basis at events here AND out in the community (theatre, hiking, pubs/coffeeshops, etc.).
What about so many other people in our community, including the people who DO come to the library for help with those basic needs mentioned early in the video, who I don’t think of as my program attendees? How do I adjust my attitude and invitation to welcome those people as well, and how do I reach them? These are hypothetical questions 🙂 I generally can tell if someone is really only here to fill out a job application and doesn’t want to hear the dozens of other things we have to offer (besides free internet) but this IS a good reminder to ALWAYS include a super quick mention that this is THEIR library and we’ve got lots more to offer when they have time.
Back to the hesitation someone might feel when the hear/read about a STEM program- I am up front about it in descriptions and include something like “STEM isn’t just for students and scientists; it’s for ALL of us, every day…”
And I like the positive note the video ends on- given the right environment, people are generally smart and open. It’s true! We just have to make people feel like this is THEIR space, and we expect good things from them, and generally they’ll meet and rise above those expectations. Might as well go into it with that attitude, right?

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