ImagineIF Libraries

Science Connect

Science Connect Banner, Grandma with grandson using Citizen Science Tools

ImagineIF is excited to announce Science Connect: Lending Tools For Discovery, a new experience at ImagineIF that encourages adults and families to make science happen through exploration and participation in real research projects. Through the Science Connect program, the community is encouraged to take part in Citizen Science, the participation and collaboration of the public in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge.

Click the links below to find out more about Science Connect kits or upcoming Science Connect Initiatives.

New Science Tools for Checkout!

In partnership with Arizona State University and SciStarter, ImagineIF is offering two Citizen Science Kits for checkout – Measuring Light in the Night Kit and Exploring Biodiversity. These Citizen Science tools are a great fit for all ages, making it easy for anyone of any age to turn their curiosity into action and impact scientific discovery.

Here’s how Science Connect Works:

  • An ImagineIF library card is needed to check out a device
  • 14-day lending period, with no renewals
  • Devices will be held for pickup for 7 days and must be returned in person, not in book drops
  • Overdue fines will be charged on all devices returned over 7 days late

Overdue fines

Fees (charged at 7 days overdue):

  • $378.40 lost charge for Measuring Light in the Night Kit (ask staff about fee per lost or damaged item)
  • $186.44 lost charge for Exploring Biodiversity Kit (ask staff about fee per lost or damaged item)
  • $384.98 lost charge for Orion Starblast 4.5″ Altazimuth Reflector Telescope (ask staff about fee per lost or damaged item)

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Measuring Light in the Night Kit

Measuring light in the night kit

With the Measuring Light in the Night Kit, patrons will learn about light pollution and contribute to astronomical research. The kit features interactive star charts, astronomy binoculars and sky quality meter.

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Exploring Biodiversity Kit

Exploring Biodiversity Kit

The Exploring Biodiversity Kit will introduce patrons to our local biodiversity. It provides smartphone clip-on lenses and smartphone adaptable binoculars for you to share your observational data on iNaturalist, the world’s most popular nature app. These citizen science kits are a great fit for all ages, making it easy for anyone of any age to turn their curiosity into action and impact scientific discovery.

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Orion Starblast 4.5″ Altazimuth Reflector Telescope


In addition to Citizen Science kits, Imagine IF Libraries has partnered with The University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area in Missoula and the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation to provide an Orion Starblast 4.5″ Altazimuth Reflector telescope for check out. The telescope comes with instructions for use including how to properly transport and setup the telescope. It is capable of gathering several hundred times more light than the naked eye, magnify up to 56.25 times, and has been specially modified making it easy for amateur astronomers of all ages to observe the moon’s craters, explore Jupiter and its Galilean satellites, discover Saturn and its rings and more.

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Native Plant Garden

Exterior landscaping at ImagineIF Kalispell

In addition to the Science Connect kits, ImagineIF will be installing a Native Plant Garden Summer 2022. The landscaping around the Kalispell Library will be transformed into a Native Plant Garden featuring sixteen plant species native to Flathead County. The garden will provide opportunities for the community to explore local biodiversity, science and nature for years to come.

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Upcoming Science Initiatives

The library has also united with Glacier National Park, USGS, University of Florida, Worldwide Painted Lady Migration Project and Save Our Monarchs Foundation to sponsor three Science Initiatives offering hands-on experiences at the library this summer: Huckleberry Initiative, Solitary Bee Initiative and Butterfly Initiative.

Huckleberry Initiative

Huckleberry bush

ImagineIF Libraries, in partnership with Glacier National Park and USGS, will host programs for the public on how to identify huckleberry plants in the wild. Participants will be educated in recording data to assist scientists’ study of huckleberry phenology—the distribution and seasonal timing of huckleberry growth.

Fifteen Mountain Huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) shrubs will be added to the ImagineIF Native Plant Garden.

Solitary Bee Initiative

bee home

Make and take your own DIY bee house and help scientists learn more about the nesting preferences, diversity, and distribution of our native solitary bees and wasps.

In partnership with the University of Florida’s Native Buzz program, ImagineIF will add two solitary bee nesting sites and release twenty Blue Orchard Mason Bees (Osmia lignaria) into our Native Plant Garden.

More bee resources and information:
Managing Alternative Pollinators handbook
Native Buzz is a citizen science project

Butterfly Initiative


Join the global citizen science project! Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui) migrate all over the world, and your observations will help track their routes. Come to the library to make and take a butterfly-friendly seed ball.

Thirty Painted Lady Caterpillars will be raised in the library and released into the Native Plant Garden, where twenty Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and twelve Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) plants will also be added.

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Our job is to provide safe and fair access to books and information. With hands-on activities and experiences for all ages, we work to transform vision, dreams and desires into reality.

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