2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:55 AM


CARLSON, Elizabeth C.B. and THIESSEN, Mark D., Education, Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103-6971, Betsy.Carlson@Burpee.org

Burpee Museum of Natural History of Rockford, Illinois designed the Jane collaborative as one partnership between sixty-four small urban and rural public libraries throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Burpee is in the second year of the Jane Collaborative, a two year program funded by an Institute for Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant. Here we present the results of various aspects of the Jane Collaborative and its outreach programs as computed by an independent evaluator from Northwestern University, using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The collaboration is built around “Jane,” the Tyrannosaurid dinosaur found by the museum in 2001. The museum used Jane as a bridge into the world of science through existing institutions of learning: the Burpee Museum and local libraries. Since roughly one-fifth of the American population lives in rural area, the Jane collaborative is a model that can be applied nationwide. With small rural schools frequently lacking real science opportunities, these libraries have invited science classes to attend Jane Collaborative programs. Prior to the Jane Collaborative only 45 percent of the libraries had sponsored any type of science or technology program in the previous year, and those appeared to have been a type of computer training course. The libraries have now established Jane Corners that provide the public with engaging information about paleontology and “Jane.” The Jane Collaborative serves as a nationwide model for small and rural library/school/museum partnerships to use a high impact specimen and/or exhibit to create greater awareness of both library and museum resources. While the exhibit will change, the core concepts proposed by the Jane Collaborative model will remain the same: 1) professional development training for librarians by museum staff; 2) educational resources for libraries; 3) museum staff-led outreach activities for libraries; 4) web-based discussion boards for librarians to interact with one another and museum educators and scientists. To date, the outreach presentations reached 6088 individuals. The library staff gave an average score of 9 out of 10 (high) for the presentations.