Teachers’ Lounge

A Changing Naturalist Center for 2012

by rochelle on Jan. 31st, 2012 2 Comments

As the new year begins, we at the Academy are excited about the many new developments coming in 2012. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new aquarium gallery, Animal Attraction, will open February 11th, and prepare to be moved on May 26th with the opening of a major new exhibit and Planetarium show, Earthquake.

Changes are afoot in the Naturalist Center, as well. In order to free up resources to focus on creating more hands-on opportunities for visitors at the Academy to engage with science and sustainability, library materials are no longer available for loan.

The following is a timeline of when these changes will occur:

  • New Naturalist Center lending cards are no longer available.
  • March 1, 2012: Last day to renew an item already checked out
  • April 1, 2012: Books and DVDs will stop circulating (any items checked out before April 1 will be due 21 days from the checkout date)

We know that access to books and DVDs is important to teachers and want to assure you that these resources will remain available for you to read and watch within the Naturalist Center space. Pages of particular interest can be scanned and e-mailed free of charge, or photocopied for a small fee.

On your next visit, stop by to check out the Naturalist Nook, a new space within the Naturalist Center dedicated to hands-on science activities, made possible by this shift. As always, the Naturalist Center will continue to offer reference services – helping you find answers to questions about the natural world and assisting with the identification of natural history specimens. The Naturalist Center is—and will continue to be—a dynamic resource for teachers and students who are curious to learn more about the natural world.

You can read all about the services, programs, and resources the Naturalist Center offers by going to their website and blog.

2 Comments So Far

  1. Linda Walsh on Feb. 1st, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I’m really upset that there is a plan to discontinue lending DVDs and books to teachers. Where can we get the visual images so readily available in DVDs and books with photographs? The explanations and demonstrations of ideas are so valuable to students.
    Having circulating materials makes sure those without resources are able to have access. Are parents from the neighborhoods going to be checking out books & DVDs? The entire collection is going to be restricted to in-house only? What valuable resources to restrict.
    Can’t a way be found to have in-house users reserve materials so others can continue to check out books? Thousands of books & DVDs will essentially be sitting on the shelves most of the time. This is an unfortunate situation for our school children. Please restore lending privileges.

  2. rochelle on Feb. 9th, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    It is correct that the Naturalist Center book and DVD collection will become primarily a reference collection for on-site use only. We are re-focusing our staff and finite resources on providing more hands-on activities (opportunities to do science) and more interactive programming. Many of the children’s books and some of the DVD titles we have, though, are also available at the public library.

    While this was not an easy decision to make, the Naturalist Center will certainly continue to be a dynamic place and an information resource for visitors, teachers, and others. We appreciate your concern and your interest.

    Eileen G. Harrington
    Manager of Naturalist Center Information Services & Operations
    California Academy of Sciences

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