Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science

The summer series “Summer Reading Meets Citizen Science,” presented by the Network of the National Library of Medicine and, helped keep students, adults, and families engaged with reading and research to prevent “summer slide” learning loss. All events were online and open to all. Watch the recordings!

Register for Events

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and the All of Us Research Program has expanded its partnership with SciStarter and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, and the Collaborative Summer Library Program to bring health programming to your library for Summer Reading! 

Watch recordings of events in the Citizen Science Meets Summer Reading series via the links below and explore the featured projects before the events at

Watch the Recording: Globe at Night with South Butler Community Library in Saxonburg, PA on 7/9

Watch the Recording: Alzheimer’s Research Online Q&A with Tredyffrin Township Libraries – Paoli Library in Paoli, PA on 7/23

Watch the Recording: Help Develop RNA-based Medicines Online Q&A with the Newton Public Library in Newton, KS at 1 PM CT on 7/31

Watch the Recording: How to Measure Light in the Night Online Q&A with Riverside Regional Library in Jackson, MO at 10:30 AM CT in on 8/4

Watch the Recording: Investigating Weather and Climate Online Q&A with San Benito County Free Library in Hollister, CA at 2 PM PT on 8/4

Watch the Recording: Fight Plastic Pollution Online Q&A with Glendora Public Library in Glendora, CA at 4 PM PT on 8/12 

Watch the Recording: Alzheimer’s Research Online Q&A with Olathe Public Library in Olathe, KS at 5:30 PM CT on 8/17 

Watch the Recording: Protect Tap Water Online Q&A with the Studio City Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in Studio City, CA at 4 PM PT on 8/19

Watch the Recording: Discover New Antiviral Drugs Online Q&A with the Watts Branch Library at the Los Angeles Public Library in Los Angeles, CA at 1 PM PT on 8/25

Watch the Recording: Investigating Weather and Climate Online Q&A with Howe Library in Hanover, NH at 7 PM ET on 8/26

Watch the Recording: Protect Tap Water Online Q&A with Torrance Public Library in Torrance, CA at 4 PM PT on 8/27

Watch the Recording: Help Track the Flu Online Q&A with Scotch Plains Public Library in Scotch Plains, NJ at 2 PM ET on 8/28 

Watch the Recording: Fight Plastic Pollution Online Q&A with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries in San Luis Obispo, CA at 3 PM PT on 9/3

Learn more about the Series

The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the All of Us Research Program at NIH have expanded their partnerships. Along with (a citizen science digital community connector) and the Collaborative Summer Library Program (through which library staff share summer reading ideas and resources), these organizations have joined together to bring virtual citizen science and health programming to libraries this summer.

This new collaboration builds on work led by NNLM, SciStarter, and Arizona State University to support Citizen Science Month (April 2020) in libraries. Citizen Science Month is an annual program that builds awareness of citizen science. It helps patrons across the nation discover and engage in real scientific research addressing societal needs and accelerating biomedical science, technology, and innovation, and provides resources for libraries and communities to explore the impact of the environment on human health. Citizen science can increase transparency and strengthen trust between NNLM and the communities they serve across the nation.

NNLM and SciStarter are partnering to bring citizen science projects, programs, resources, and virtual events featuring live demonstrations and Q&As with project scientists, to libraries and their patrons to complement the Collaborative Summer Reading Program. Leveraging the Summer Reading 2020 theme, “Imagine Your Story,” the new series of online events will feature citizen science project scientists who will share their own stories of becoming scientists, describing how and why they created their participatory research projects, and providing step-by-step instructions on how anyone, anywhere can get involved and contribute to research! The SciStarter team will provide an interactive overview of citizen science, ongoing support for participants and librarians, and connect NNLM resources through a customized microsite at

“Libraries serve as vital community hubs, and this collaboration presents a perfect opportunity to help the public understand how health research impacts all of us,” said Patricia Flatley Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., director of NLM. “Working with our vast network of public libraries, we hope to contribute to medical breakthroughs that may lead to more tailored disease prevention and treatment solutions for generations to come.”

Libraries are quickly becoming community hubs for citizen science. These online events fit well with the mission to use libraries to strengthen communities and transform lives through education and lifelong learning.

Offering a safe and healthy environment is a top priority for public libraries as they pivot their services to address the health concerns posed by COVID-19. Many libraries are not able to open their doors to large gatherings making this new summer program more valuable than ever. 

There are many ways for anyone who is curious or concerned about local or global issues to engage.

To get started, go to to:

  • Sign up for a free SciStarter account
  • Access the free, “Introduction to Citizen Science” online, self-guided tutorial
  • Review and participate in any of the featured projects
  • Explore health resources from NNLM and All of Us
  • Select one or more of the free virtual, summer events to tune into and register
  • Then, tune in and engage!

Are you a library staff member who is interested in co-hosting a virtual event with SciStarter and NNLM in the coming months? Limited opportunities are still available! Simply fill out this interest form.

For other health programming ideas for Summer Reading, visit the NNLM Summer Reading site.

To learn more about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the CDC Coronavirus site.

About the Partners is the place to find, join, and contribute to science by providing people access to more than 3,000 searchable formal and informal research projects, events, and tools. SciStarter also offers a coordinated place to earn credit for your contributions across projects and platforms.  More than 100,000 global citizen scientists are registered members of the SciStarter community

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) operates the Training and Education Center (TEC) to support the All of Us Research Program. Training and educational materials are targeted to key audiences using a Team Science framework, highlighting NLM and National Institutes of Health (NIH) resources and using the expertise of national partners. The TEC collaborates with NNLM’s Community Engagement Network (CEN). The CEN focuses on NNLM’s mission to improve the public’s access to health information and provide awareness of All of Us to communities that are underrepresented in biomedical research by partnering with libraries across the United States. The CEN is designed to leverage the mission of the NNLM to help libraries in supporting the health information needs of their users.The All of Us Research Program has a simple goal: for one million or more people to share health information for research. In the future, researchers can use this data to conduct thousands of health studies.

Categories: book, Citizen Science Month, Events, libraries, NNLM


About the Author

SciStarter Team

SciStarter Team

SciStarter connects you to thousands of searchable citizen science projects in need of your help. Use the Project Finder ( to find a project to match your location, interests, and age level. Your free SciStarter account will help you earn credit for participating in projects across apps and websites (use the advanced search option at to find Affiliate projects eligible for credit in your dashboard). Together, we can move the world forward!