ecoEXPLORE Library LoanSpot Application Form
Thank you for your interest in adding your library to our network of ecoEXPLORE LoanSpots! ecoEXPLORE is citizen science enrichment initiative of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the University of North Carolina System.

ecoEXPLORE LoanSpots are public libraries selected for children ages 5-13 and their families to visit. These libraries serve as locations where families can check out outdoor learning materials and equipment such as day packs including nature study gear, trail cameras and iPod touch units used for photographing wildlife and plants. Children are invited to photograph organisms and submit their observations to High quality observations are added to, a joint initiative from the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. Children earn up to five points per observation which are redeemed for prizes such as wildlife cameras, binoculars, field guides and insect nets. You can learn more by visiting or email if you have any questions.

By hosting an ecoEXPLORE LoanSpot on your site you will:

1) Lend out nature study areas to the public. These items are provided by The North Carolina Arboretum thanks to our funders and become the property of your library.

2) Host quarterly education programs at the library. The format of these programs will be based on your library's location to our partnering Regional Hubs (these hubs include The NC Arboretum in Asheville, The Greensboro Science Center, The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Whiteville.)  

3) Offer an outdoor study area for patrons to make observations of plants and animals. Selected LoanSpots will also receive a bird feeding station and pollinator plants to create a small wildlife garden.

4) Join a statewide effort to encourage families to spend time outdoors together while participating in real-life field ecology experiences. ecoEXPLORE participants can earn badges by making observations, attending programs at our growing network of ecoEXPLORE Hubs and joining research scientists in demonstrations of fieldwork. Research demonstrates that these types of experiences promote greater interest and enthusiasm for STEM fields among other benefits.

To be considered as one of the 100 LoanSpots to be added to North Carolina please complete the following questionnaire.
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Email *
What is your name? *
What is your role at your library or libraries? *
What is the name of the library or libraries you are proposing to be added as a ecoEXPLORE LoanSpot? *
What is the physical address of the site (not a PO Box)?
What North Carolina County is your system in? (if multiple, select all that apply). *
Is your site accessible by public transportation?
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Which of the following does your library contain?
Do you currently offer citizen science programming at your library?
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Do you currently offer nature-themed programming at your library?
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Our initiative seeks to serve a representative population of each of North Carolina's counties. How would you describe the demographics of your library's patrons?
Why do you wish to have your site host an ecoEXPLORE LoanSpot? *
What else would you like us to know about your library?
What is the website for your library? *
Funds are available from a grant by the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to establish one LoanSpot in each of North Carolina's 100 counties. If accepted as one of the funded sites your site will be included on the Locations page of the website. Your site will also receive an aluminum 12"x18" sign to be posted in a prominent location at your library (see below). The sign designates the location as a HotSpot, provides added exposure of the initiative to visitors and also features a QR code that leads to an webpage that displays previous observations of organisms found at the site. If selected, do you consent to ensure this sign is posted and maintained at such a location on your property?
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Sample ecoEXPLORE HotSpot Sign
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