Dear Astronomy Colleagues:
Librarians across the country need your assistance to prepare the public for the August 21st solar eclipse!
Thanks to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (with additional help from Google,) over two million pairs of eclipse glasses will be distributed free through public libraries in anticipation of the solar eclipse. More than 2,000 public libraries will receive a package of hundreds of free glasses, plus an information booklet on how to do public outreach about the eclipse (http://www.starnetlibraries.org/EclipseGuide/).
The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) is managing the program. NCIL’sSTAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) (http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2017eclipse/) partners with NASA to present space-science programming to libraries across the country.
Librarians involved in the effort are interested in finding support from local astronomers, park rangers, and science teachers in their communities. While participating libraries can make all the arrangements for public events, they want to partner with people who know more about eclipses and safe viewing. There is no one better for this than active amateur astronomers who believe in the power of outreach the way members of Astronomical League clubs do.
You can find the libraries that have signed up to obtain glasses and participate in the eclipse programming on the STAR_Net website. We hope that you will contact your local public library and work with them. Even if your library is not on the interactive map yet, you can talk with your local librarian, give them the link to the Eclipse Guide for Libraries, and offer to help in July and early August. Remember, you don’t have to be in town for the eclipse to be of great service preparing your neighbors in advance for eclipse day.
Thanks very much,
Andrew Fraknoi, Chair, Astronomy Department, Foothill College Pacific Science Center; and Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado.