National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Health Programming for Summer Reading!

A Universe of Stories
Artwork by Leeza Hernandez ©CSLP

Blast off! The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has partnered with the Collaborative Summer Library Program to bring health programming to your library for Summer Reading!

A Universe of Stories is coming to public libraries this summer in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Explore DNA and family history, make stardust, discover astronaut food, and more with our science programs for kids, teens, and adults.

Check out the NNLM Summer Health Programming Manual for program guides. Inside you will find:

  • We Are All Made of Stardust: The atoms in all of our bodies and on Earth, came from stars that exploded across the galaxy a long, long time ago. Activities include instructions on making stardust playdoh and calming swirling stardust jars.
  • Bubbles in Space: Astronauts conduct all sorts of fun experiments while they are on the International Space Station. Join in on the fun! See how bubbles react differently in space then they do on Earth by watching the NASA video of bubbles on the space station, then create your own bubbles here on Earth!
  • Incredible, Edible, DNA: Citizen Science at the Library! Explore and map DNA with a candy activity or scale up and submit a project to Genes in Space for astronauts to test in space! Some of the experiments developed by students are selected and are taken to the International Space Station.
  • Food in Space: What do the astronauts eat during the time they live in space?  Astronauts eat the same foods in space that they [and we] do on earth. But preparation is much different! Consider making a “space” meal in place of another cooking program!
  • Your Family, Your History, Your Health: The Kelly twins are the only identical twin astronauts in history. And identical twins have the same genetic code. NASA scientists found this to be an excellent research opportunity to study the genes of twins. This program explore family history and genetics. Excellent tie in with any genealogy organizations in your area!

Exploring Genetics with Kids and Teens Kit

NNLM MAR piloted a program-in-a-box kit for 300 members to assist with Summer Library Programming. Below are lesson plans associated with the kit!
Exploring Genetics Kit
Incredible Edible DNA Lesson Plan
DNA Sequence Wristbands Lesson Plan

NNLM Reading Club: Book-Club-in-a-Box Kits

Short on time? Want to own a "program-in-a-box?" The NNLM Reading Club Book Kit can be requested and shipped free from a participating National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional office. Learn more and order today!

Additional Guides and Webinars

Don’t miss MAR’s Program Ideas and Guides page which includes programs-in-a-box, program ideas, and other resources for ideas and inspiration for public libraries and community based organizations.

Contact your Regional Medical Library for more information about trainings, programs, and funding opportunities.

For feedback and questions about the summer reading initiative, please contact Michael Balkenhol.