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Why We Do It

Fostering a Deeper Connection to the World Around Us

“Cornerstones helps us collaborate with libraries to make science integral to their ongoing, year-round outreach — part of the organic nature of their community work.”

— Linda Lord, Maine State Librarian

Science Cafe Crowd

Science, technology, engineering and math are vital and dynamic dimensions of contemporary life. The ability to gather, assess and apply information in these STEM fields helps people make informed decisions on complex issues, succeed in the workplace, and experience a deeper connection to the natural world. The urgent need for greater scientific understanding in our country is evident in:

  • economics—where workers need technological abilities to compete successfully in the global marketplace;
  • education—where American students lag far behind peers abroad in science and math scores (with 2012 rankings of 25th in math and 17th in science);
  • ecology—where citizens must understand complex natural systems to make sustainable choices; and
  • government—where decision-makers need to guide public policies on complex issues ranging from biotechnology to climate change.

Libraries are in the unique position of providing a non-partisan, safe environment to the public. Librarians are the local champions of science and technology, who connect their patrons to experiential learning and reawaken in them a sense of wonder about the natural and physical world. Cornerstones of Science provides libraries with the training tools, programs and support to make these connections happen. Library patrons can ask and find answers to questions they have about the world around them, and can address pressing social and environmental issues that affect them and their communities. The results of this innovative partnership are that people gain the tools and knowledge to make better-informed decisions, and their communities become more vibrant.