Astronomers and libraries working together during Eclipse 2017
Junior solar observers at the Smith Wylie Public Library Solar Observing Session, hosted by the City Lights Astronomical Society for Students (CLASS). Photo by John Wagoner.

We here at the Night Sky Network  bring this message from Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College) and Dennis Schatz (Pacific Science Center) as part of their project to link local libraries  across the USA with amateur astronomers to help prepare communities for the upcoming eclipse:

Dear Astronomy Colleagues,

Librarians across the country need your assistance to prepare the public for the August 21st solar eclipse!  
Image preview of the Starnet library educator eclipse guide
Sample of the free-to--download booklet available from
We are happy to report that, thanks to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (with additional help from Google,) two million pairs of eclipse glasses will be distributed this spring free through public libraries.   More than 2,400 public libraries will receive a package of hundreds of free glasses, plus an information booklet on how to do public outreach about the eclipse.

We are working with the Space Science Institute, which has an active STAR Network of libraries interested in space-science activities (, supported by NASA, NSF, and others.
image of young girl safely observing the sun through eclipse glassesA young solar observer safely - and excitedly! - observes the sun through eclipse glasses at the Solar Gaze at the Greenhorn Public Library, with help from the astronomers at the Southern Colorado Astronomical Society.  Photo by Alan Knight.

Librarians are interested in working with astronomers, park rangers, and science teachers in their communities.  While the librarians 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 the Night Sky Network clubs do.  

screenshot of the interactive map of STARnet public libraries
Preview of the interactive map of STAR Network partner libraries. Click here to be taken to the main map page and find a partner library near you!

You can find an interactive map of the libraries that have signed up to participate at the STAR Network 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 links to the Eclipse Guide and the Network, 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 (Foothill College) and Dennis Shatz (Pacific Science Center)

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The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The ASP is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that advances science literacy through astronomy.