Check Out a Telescope From Your Local Library!
Image Credit: The Astronomical League

Curious about astronomy and want to try out a telescope? Telescope shopping can be intimidating for someone just starting out in amateur astronomy. There are so many choices, and scopes can get expensive fast. And what if f you aren't even sure if you'd like using a telescope after all? That's where the Horkeheimer LibraryTelescope Program helps!  Started by members of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, this program makes good quality, easy to use, and sturdy telescopes available to patrons of  local pubic libraries. These readily available telescopes help curious folks decides if amateur astronomy is the hobby for them - and can help lead many folks to their local astronomy clubs after they get hooked on observing at the eyepiece! It is a great way for your astronomy club to directly give back to your community. 
Photo of an example Library Telescope Program scope
Image Credit: The Astronomical League
These  library telescopes are based on a 4.5 inch tabletop reflector. They are set up with mirrors secured and a zoom eyepiece permanently installed in order to minimize the chances of the scope's collimation going out of whack and to keep everything in one place - no lost eyepieces! The small scope size encourages use as it remains portable and easily checked out of the library, while the quality optics and 4.5 inch mirror allow newbies to easily point the scope and spot the crater on the moon, moons of Jupiter, and rings of Saturn, and even spot a few of the more notable faint fuzzies once they get familiar operating a telescope. As a result, library telescopes are huge hits and have healthy waiting lists for patron checkout!

Interested astronomy clubs can apply to win one of these specially configured library telescopes for their community library! Ten clubs, and their associated libraries, will be chosen by the Astronomical League  to win a library telescope- but you need to apply before July 31, 2017 to qualify! Interested folks can download the application PDF on the Astronomical League's website here, and more details on the program and telescopes can be found on the Library Telescope Program's official page.

Last Updated: June 7, 2017

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