In  2015, the Miss Rumphius Award, given to a person who develops creative activities to enhance learning and literacy, was awarded to Ms. Lisa O’Shaughnessy of the East Orange Public Library for her work with tweens in the Invention Lab at her library. The presentation took place at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference at Harrah’s Convention Center during the Honors and Awards Reception there.

Lisa developed programming for the ‘Library Invention Lab’ to take tween customers on creative journeys beyond imagination and into the world of literacy, electronics, music and motion. She provides young people with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to build finished products in a team-based approach.

For each activity Lisa tackles with tweens, she directs the students to the Internet as a resource for research and exploration of a different STEM concept. Once they complete their research, the tweens follow a series of written instructions Lisa provides. The result is interesting products: squishy circuits that light up, personalized video game controllers, or instruments to make music on a computer!

Lisa’s comprehensive lesson plans and instructions make these projects easily replicable by other librarians. For more information about this winning program, contact Lisa at

Miss Rumphius Winning Programs