Since 2014, libraries in the LAPL system have been offering programs for youth focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). This programming has been supported through “Full STEAM Ahead” funding, and through a Curiosity Creates grant, through the Walt Disney Company, to support libraries to develop and share kits of materials for a range of programs, including STEAM related drop-in programs and workshops. Two neighborhood libraries of the Los Angeles Public Library collaborated with the CCLL research team to document connected learning in these programs: The Wilmington Branch, with collaborating librarian Marc Horton, and the Pio Pico – Koreatown Branch, with collaborating librarian, Kevin Awakuni. This case describes the programming and assessment tools CCLL and library staff developed and used to support connected learning for youth.
The Capturing Connected Learning in Libraries (CCLL) project—a research and practice collaboration between the Connected Learning Lab, CU Boulder, SRI International, Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), YALSA, and YOUmedia—enables libraries to better assess learning outcomes for their connected learning programs and spaces, and it boosts their ability to use evaluation data to improve their programs. It is focused on identifying challenges connected learning programs face and helpful ways of addressing those challenges. This project is generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.