Library plans eclipse programs

Staff reports

TIPP CITY — This summer, Americans will have the rare opportunity to view a solar eclipse. The Tipp City Public Library, with the aid of a grant, has planned a program to ensure local residents view it safely.

On Tuesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m., Joe DeKold from the Stillwater Stargazers will provide a presentation for adults and children, ages 6-17 years, on what to expect from the Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21. He will explain where the best locations in the U.S. are for viewing the eclipse, when the optimum viewing time in our area will be and what you’ll be able to see.

Participants will also learn how to safely watch the Great American Eclipse. Solar eclipse viewing glasses will be handed out after the program. There is a limited supply of glasses, so only those in attendance will receive a pair.

DeKold will also show the public how to make a safe solar viewer from a box or a paper tube. If you are interested in making one, please bring along a wrapping paper tube or a shoebox. Registration for the program is requested. Call the Tipp Public Library at 937-667-3826 to register or for further information. The library is located at 11 E. Main Street, Tipp City, Ohio 45371. The program will be held in the basement meeting room.

Through this program, the library also hopes to encourage an interest in our solar system, Youth Services Librarian Heidi Martin said.

The library is also sponsoring the Great American Eclipse Viewing Party on the front lawn of the Zion Lutheran Church on 14 W. Walnut Street in Tipp City on Monday, Aug. 21 from 1-2:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and your solar viewing apparatuses.

A limited number of eclipse viewing glasses will also be available at this event on a first come, first serve basis. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was on June 8, 1918, so for many this will be a once in a lifetime experience.

The library was the recipient of a grant from the Space Science Institute (SSI), thanks to the generosity and support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Google, NASA, and Research Corporation. Martin explained the grant distributed hundreds of pairs of eclipse glasses to libraries across the country with the stipulation that they provide public outreach programs about the solar eclipse and ensure that the public knows how to safely watch the solar eclipse.

“SSI was trying to figure out a way to educate the public so that there would be safe watching of the eclipse,” Martin explained. “They chose libraries to be the vehicle to get these [glasses] out to the public.”

The STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) also provided webinars and instructional materials to help with this endeavor.

Staff reports