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Dear Library Colleague,

Through a collaborative partnership with Ypsilanti District Library, Imperial County Free Library, and Tempe Public Library, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has provided grant support to create a library-specific CompuGirls program.

CompuGirls is an out-of-school project with a ten-year history of providing culturally responsive STEM learning opportunities to girls from underserved populations. The program is guided by two overarching goals:

  1. To develop a culturally responsive and low-resource model for teaching computational thinking that can be feasibly implemented in libraries; and

  2. To evaluate the feasibility of the model for scalability and sustainability with the help of an external evaluator who will conduct formative and summative assessments.  

As part of the study, we are seeking library partners who are excited to serve as research collaborators by offering CompuGirls over a 2-year period and agreeing to participate in research activities that will help improve the program.

We are able to expand this initiative to rural library settings and are inviting library systems to apply!  The principal investigator, Dr. Kimberly A. Scott and co-principal investigator, Dr. Patricia Garcia, will provide training, curriculum, and evaluation results for rural library systems interested in implementing this cutting edge program for the 2019-2021 program years.

  The program CompuGirls will provide:

  •  Hands-on training program (stipend and travel expenses included)

  • Module-based expressive circuitry curriculum for girls

  • Daily support during first implementation

  • Ongoing support with program activities such as identifying guest speakers and developing recruitment strategies

  • Ongoing support and professional development from a peer coach

  • Collaboration with an external evaluator to determine the impact of program

  • Monies for program participants to engage in one field trip per session

  • Equipment and supplies to implement curricular activities, including healthy and fresh snacks for participants

If selected, your library will:

  • Offer the program at your local library site during Fall 2019

  • Allow up to 2 librarians to attend our hands-on training program

  • Provide feedback on program implementation and research activities via virtual teleconferences

Any rural public library in Arizona, Michigan, and California is eligible to participate in this study.

Applications due May 1st, 5pm AZ time.

Notification of participation will be sent by June 2019. Training will be offered both virtually and in-person in August 2019. Implementation of the program will occur during Fall 2019 (September-December).

We have a strict non-discrimination policy, and all individuals are able to apply and participate in our programs and events without regard to race, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, national origin, native language, religion, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, pregnancy or any other characteristic protected by law.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Kimberly A. Scott, or Dr. Patricia Garcia,

Submit Application



We will consider applications from library systems that the Public Library Systems define as rural distant, rural fringe, or rural remote. See below for details:

Rural, Fringe: A Census-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster.

Rural, Distant: A Census-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster.

Rural, Remote: A Census-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster

Rural small or large libraries are eligible to apply.


The curriculum and additional resources are available cost-free via a shared Google Drive. Additionally, each participating site will also receive printed versions of the curriculum and student activities.

The curriculum and additional resources are available cost-free via a shared Google Drive. Additionally, each participating site will also receive printed versions of the curriculum and student activities.

Yes, we will provide resources such as flyers and share strategies that have previously worked for participating libraries. The program is most effectively implemented with small groups of 10 girls or less.

Training: The training consists of a 45-minute self-paced online training module and an in-person 2-day training that will be hosted at Arizona State University or the University of Michigan. Lodging and travel monies will be provided.

Preparation: The program requires 1-2 hours of preparation for each module to review facilitator instructions, gather materials, and consider activity alterations/additions.

Implementation: The program includes 10 modules of activities (approx. 20 hours total). The curriculum can be provided in multiple configurations, such as a 5-day model, weekend model, or 2-hour increments extended over a period of time that works best with library scheduling.

Research: This is not a “canned program” but one that has an active research component. Therefore, in addition to program implementation, selected librarians/library staff will need to: dedicate 1 hour/month for attending virtual meetings with other library systems implementing the program; approximately 1 hour for interacting with a peer coach during implementation; 1 hour/month during the 4-6 months before implementation for performing recruitment.

The program is most effectively implemented when 2 library staff can collaborate on the implementation. However, the research team can provide support in tailoring the program for libraries with limited staffing.

A private space for girls to feel comfortable speaking and conducting activities with ease, large table, and easel/wall space for group activities.

Any combination of the following: Willingness to be flexible, comfort with presentation/public speaking, interpersonal skills, ability to connect with young people, and time management.

Yes, we will provide several opportunities for you to interact with other librarians, beyond your peer coach, to share and borrow activities. These interactions will include virtual meetings where participating librarians will discuss program implementation and share tips and tricks. Additionally, you will be given access to an online bank of additional curricular activities that you may draw from when tailoring the curriculum.


Each participating library is assigned a coach who will support their efforts during the two-year commitment. The coach will be a librarian who has previous experience implementing COMPUGIRLS. The coach will provide peer support through activities such as providing recruitment strategies and helping create curricular revisions that suit the needs of your library.

The coach will be available during the hybrid training period, program implementation, and after the implementation to support reflection and improvement. During these periods, the coach will be available via email, virtual meetings, and on-site visits (depending on their availability).

Yes, girls are welcome to continue participating in the program. In fact, we encourage facilitators to treat returning participants as peer-to-peer role models who support new participants while expanding their own skills!


No. The librarian training is designed to prepare librarians without STEM backgrounds to effectively facilitate the program.

The 2-day training will be run by members of the research team and coaches. The training is designed to provide librarians with hands-on opportunities to engage with the modular curriculum and to develop a tailored implementation plan. Coaches will model culturally responsive strategies for facilitating the curricular activities, discuss the art of facilitation (versus teaching), and how to manage interpersonal conflict. Lodging and travel monies will be provided to support librarians/library staff who attend the training.

Research & Evaluation

Libraries will be able to sustainably expand their offerings to include a culturally responsive computational thinking module;
Libraries will be able to provide computer science programming using low-cost resources;
Librarians will participate in a hands-on professional development experience that increases their own cultural competencies and computational thinking skills;
Girls of color will gain cognitive skills associated with computational thinking; and
Girls of color will experience an improvement in non-cognitive constructs such as self-efficacy and persistence.

No, the research team is interested in the process and the impact of the program on girls.

The data collected by the research team includes audiovisual recordings of program activities such as girls’ completed projects and observation notes.

You will be asked to ensure that each participant has provided a signed copy of the parental consent form prior to program participation. You will be asked to participate in debrief sessions with the research team where they will ask you to reflect on the effectiveness of the program You may be asked to collect audiovisual recordings of program activities. In the case that you collect audiovisual recordings, we will provide access to a folder for uploading data and can provide recording tools such as an iPad.

The project team is led by the principal investigator, Dr. Kimberly A. Scott ( and co-principal investigator, Dr. Patricia Garcia ( Additionally, the project team consists of an advisory board, peer coaches, an external evaluator (David Reider), and student researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Michigan.

As an external evaluator, David Reider’s job is to examine the development and operation of the project. He is not evaluating librarians/library staff. He will attend at least one implementation session per site for approximately one-full day. David’s interactions with girls will be minimal. At times, David will ask librarians/library staff questions but this will occur during out-of-session time.