Pushing the Limits
A Reading, Viewing, Discussion Series for Rural Libraries
Phase 2 Application deadline: May 15, 2013
Date posted: March 1, 2013
Phase 2 Grant Awards announced: June 21, 2013
The Twenty Pilot Grant Libraries Have Been Announced!
In the Spring of 2012, Twenty small and rural public libraries in fifteen states were selected
as pilot sites to host "Pushing the Limits", a four-part reading, viewing and discussion series
for adults. Each library received a $2,500 grant from the National Science Foundation, and building
on the experience of the pilot sites, the program will be expanded up to 75 additional rural
libraries throughout the nation. See the bottom of this page for the list of pilot libraries.
"The discussion was lively with just about everyone participating with their views and opinions
about the book, the author, and the video. I know some of them were not quite sure in the beginning
what the experience and journey would be like, but soon they all were very excited and contributed
so much to the discussion". - Linda Burns, Cross Plains Public Library
“Our first session was this past Thursday, Feb. 28, with a discussion of Thunderstruck and it went well. People were bubbling over to talk about the book right from the start, with lots of fresh ideas and opinions expressed. It felt like popping a cork! I almost hated to stop for the first video, but I didn't want to run over. We set up chairs in a circle, with an outer half ring We had a lot of good discussion, but it seemed like we only scratched the surface in the hour and 15 minutes in the circle.". - Colleen Leddy, Stair Public Library
Check out many of the wonderful project resources created by and for the Pilot Libraries during the pilot phase here.
PUSHING THE LIMITS IS NOW LOOKING FOR UP TO 75 MORE LIBRARIES!
I. Program Description
The CALIFA Group (a California-based library consortium) presents Pushing the Limits: a Reading, Viewing, and Discussion Series for Rural Libraries.
This program extends the building blocks of science literacy to two new audiences: rural
librarians and adults in the communities they serve.
Pushing the Limits
Since the beginning of time, humans have imagined and achieved ways to push the boundaries
of the physical world. We want to be stronger, smarter, and more aware, and we create
stories to bring those dreams to life. But many of those stories are no longer just stories;
and with great new advances in science and technology, we are finding ways in which all of
us are able to push the limits every day.
The Pushing the Limits public programs will explore these ideas through a discussion led
by a STEM professional (science, technology, engineering, math) and the local librarian,
using a blended science café and book club model that integrates feature film quality
videos and a recommended (popular) book reading. The overarching theme is one of real
people, real stories, and real science.
The program launched with 20 pilot sites (phase 1) and is now being expanded to as many as
75 additional rural public libraries (in phase 2). It is the work of a unique team of library
professionals, scientists, and filmmakers from Dartmouth College, The Association for Rural
and Small Libraries, The Califa Group, Dawson Media Group and Oregon State University.
In phase 2, up to 75 public libraries in the United States will receive a grant of
$2,500, program materials including videos, and will participate in an on-line training
As part of the project, you will need to identify and work with a science partner to present
the programs. The science partner should be a local scholar or someone who has knowledge
of science. The project's professional development will include strategies for selecting and
collaborating with a science partner
Access the grant application at http://bit.ly/xA4Am4
Phase 2 online applications must be submitted by May 15, 2013.
II. A programming grant opportunity: Engage your rural community in science adventure
The CALIFA Group is opening a national search for 75 rural libraries to join a grant project
funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal is to strengthen adult science programming
and resources in small and rural public libraries and to enhance public interest and involvement
in STEM topics-- science, technology, engineering and math.
Your application will have a narrative component. Before you compose the narrative
part of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully.
If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.
Please write a brief narrative describing your plans for hosting Pushing the Limits:
Making Sense of Science: a Reading, Viewing, and Discussion Series for Rural Libraries.
Describe your program plan, including overall goals, description of target audience(s),
any plans for related programs, and name(s) and role(s) of your partner(s).
Describe the publicity efforts that will be used to attract participants.
Describe the methods that will be used to evaluate how well your program met its
goals and objectives.
Summarize your library’s commitment to adult programming in general, including any
prior successful programming, if any.
If selected, you will be required to submit a Program Schedule, indicating proposed
dates, times and projected attendance for the Pushing the Limits series of programs.
The pilot libraries selected in 2012 for Pushing the Limits were:
Bertha Boyer Memorial Library- Honey Grove, Texas
Cross Plains Public Library- Cross Plains, Texas
Fairfield Library Association, Inc.- Fairfield, Texas
Flenniken Public Library- Carmichaels, Pennsylvania
Galway Public Library- Galway, New York
Georgetown County Library- Georgetown, South Carolina
Greenwich Free Library- Greenwich, New York
Gustine Branch Library- Gustine, California
Howe Library- Hanover, New Hampshire
Imperial County Free Library- El Centro, California
Independence Public Library- Independence, Kansas
Little Priest Tribal College Library- Winnebago, Nebraska
Mammoth Public Library- Mammoth, Arizona
Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library- Presque Isle, Maine
Murrysville Library- Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Richfield Public Library- Richfield, Utah
Sedro-Woolley Public Library- Sedro-Woolley, Washington
Sewickley Township Library- Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Stair Public Library- Morenci, Michigan
Sterling Public Library- Sterling, Colorado
The Califa project is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services
under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian