Library Telescope Award

Library Telescope Award Coordinator:

Tom Lynch
43 Elm Street
Lynbrook, NY11563
(516) 593-8580


The Astronomical League has been supportive of promoting Library Telescope Programs. A Library Telescope is a telescope owned by a library which is made available to adult library patrons for borrowing just like a book. Generally, the telescope is a modified Orion StarBlast 4.5” Reflector Telescope.

The Library Telescope Program started in 2008 with the New Hampshire Astronomical Society selecting a reasonably priced and reasonable quality telescope and defining various modifications to be made to the telescope to make it more user friendly. The modified telescope was promoted to libraries across New Hampshire with great success and has since spread across the United States and the world. 

Library Telescopes are available to library patrons who may have little or no experience with telescopes. Library staff may also have little or no experience with telescopes. Libraries need help from amateur astronomers in many ways to make their Library Telescope Program work.

Background Information

The Astronomical League’s Library Telescope Award encourages and recognizes the work of individuals who promote the Library Telescope Program by performing Library Telescope activities.

Library Telescope Award Activities consist of:

  1. Promoting the Library Telescope Program to libraries and the general public.
  2. Explaining the Library Telescope Program to libraries.
  3. Modifying Library Telescopes.
  4. Instructing Library Staff in the care and use of Library Telescopes.
  5. Instructing Library Patrons in the care and use of Library Telescopes.
  6. Doing periodic maintenance on Library Telescopes.
  7. Participating in Library Star Parties where the Library Telescope is among the telescopes used by the applicant. 

For more information on Library Telescope Programs see and/or the Facebook page Library Telescope (

There are many reasons why the Astronomical League values the Library Telescope Program:

  1. Making reasonably high-quality, yet relatively inexpensive, telescopes available to the general public through libraries will promote astronomy and foster the development of future amateur astronomers.
  2. Library Telescopes give libraries another means of serving their patrons of all ages with quality content.
  3. Library Telescopes can enhance the lives of individuals in our communities. Astronomy is a worthwhile hobby and has much to offer individuals and society. Through the use of Library Telescopes, we offer children and teenagers a door into mathematics and sciences which may become future career fields.  For older adults Library Telescopes can introduce them to astronomy as a new challenge that can enrich their retirement years.  Library Telescopes for intergenerational groups can enhance a family’s life together.  
  4. Enabling a child to locate and view the Moon or a planet through a Library Telescope can not only generate awe but also build self-confidence.
  5. The highly-successful League Observing Programs are popular and inviting. By placing Library Telescope Activities on the same level as League Observing Programs, it promotes the importance of Library Telescope Programs among our many members. It also encourages clubs and societies to become more involved.
  6. Astronomy can often be a solitary activity.  Library Telescope Programs connect individual astronomers in a way that enables these individuals to share, teach, and mentor one another so that we all enjoy our hobby to an ever-greater extent.
  7. The Astronomical League is the organization that has historically tied together amateur clubs and societies. The League is, therefore, the best vehicle to recognize and reward individual Library Telescope Award Activities.

Requirements and Rules

This certification is available to members of the Astronomical League, either through their local astronomical society or as members at large.  If you are not a member and would like to become one, check with your local astronomical society, search for a local society on the Astronomical League Website, or join as a Member-at-Large .

  1. You MUST make a submission on the excel spreadsheet available here. It is required that this submission form be sent to the Library Telescope Award Coordinator as an Excel file via email.  If the submission is a narrative format rather than on the excel spreadsheet form, you may be asked to resubmit using the correct form.
  2. Time submitted for the Library Telescope Awards must be after July 1, 2015.
  3. Time submitted for the Outreach Awards cannot also be submitted for the Library Telescope Awards, and vice versa.
  4. When you make submissions for the Gold Level of this award, it is in your best interest to use your original excel spreadsheet submission for the Silver Level award by adding the additional information.  This allows for you to make the best of the hours you have spent.  For example, if your Silver Award submission has a total of 22 hours, the form automatically counts the “extra” two hours toward your Gold Award Level. 

Levels of Awards and the Requirements for Each

The concept is to award Library Telescope Activities just as the Astronomical League currently recognizes Observing Programs based on the number of Library Telescope Activity hours. There are two levels of recognition:  Silver Library Telescope Award and Gold Library Telescope Award.




Silver  A minimum of 20 hours of Library Telescope Activities are required. Certificate
Gold  Award An additional 80 hours (for a total of 100 hours) of Library Telescope Activities are required. Certificate and Pin

This structure of tiered recognition encourages the initial recipient to continue with his or her Library Telescope efforts. The Astronomical League’s Library Telescope Awards are numbered.

Submitting for Certification

To receive your Silver Library Telescope Award certificate or your Gold Library Telescope Award certificate and pin, review the submission instructions for recording your events, fill out the Library Telescope Award Activity Log/Application form, and send the completed Library Telescope Award Log Spreadsheet to the Library Telescope Award Coordinator:

Library Telescope Award Coordinator:

Tom Lynch
43 Elm Street
Lynbrook, NY11563
(516) 593-8580

Upon verification of your submission and of your active membership in the Astronomical League, your recognition (certificate, pin, etc.) will be sent to you or to the awards coordinator for your society, as you specified.  Your name will also appear in an upcoming issue of the Reflector magazine and in the Astronomical League’s on-line database.  Congratulations.  Good luck with your next observing challenge.


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