Science Cafés: Bringing STEM Experts to Your Community

Learn how two university libraries have used Science Cafes – casual, live events featuring conversations with scientists -- to engage their communities in important STEM discussions.

1 hour

Engaging library patrons on science topics can be challenging. But not for the Oklahoma State University Library (OSU), which last year hosted a popular series of Science Cafés on the divisive topic of hydraulic fracturing. Learn how, in their third year of Science Café programming, OSU brought university researchers face to face with a concerned community for a series of informative talks that won ALA’s 2015 Programming Excellence Award. (Read about OSU’s award-winning series.)

Also learn how the University of Southern Mississippi Library is using Science Cafés to engage their community and also providing a science professional development opportunity for early career faculty. Information about science resources available to libraries will be included in this webinar.

Karen Neurohr

Karen Neurohr is a professor and the community outreach and assessment librarian for Oklahoma State University Library. With over 15 years in coordinating arts and humanities library programs, she expanded her programming experience by initiating Science Café at OSU in 2012 and securing co-sponsorships with OSU’s vice president for research and the OSU chapter of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. Under Neurohr’s leadership the library and its partners have hosted 17 campus Science Cafés with a total of 33 speakers and an average attendance of 81. In 2014 the library developed new partnerships with a faculty team and the Stillwater Public Library for a series of successful community programs at Stillwater Public Library. In addition to coordinating Science Cafés at OSU, Neurohr coordinates Oklahoma’s Literary Landmarks™ dedications (a national program of United for Libraries), and serves as chair of LLAMA MAES and first vice-president of Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma.



Tracy Englert is an associate professor and the reference librarian for science and technology at The University of Southern Mississippi. She is the recipient of several grants focusing on science and technology and is the creator and coordinator for the successful Cook Library Science Café series, which are open to the community and the university. She is a member of the Nova Science Café Advisory Board and serves as a community editor for the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net). She recently implemented a Sharing Science workshop for faculty members at Southern Miss, a professional development program in nanoscale informal science and education for early career researchers, after being selected to participate in the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network’s "Sharing Science Workshop & Practicum" at the Museum of Science in Boston.