In your Solar Eclipse Viewing #6 blog post, Ken Brandt from the Robeson Planetarium talks about great resources that can help plan eclipse events. Local libraries and other educational institutions can obtain free eclipse glasses and training for eclipse events, like the one coming up on October 14th. If you want your local library to offer eclipse events for your community, just keep reading. All the links are here:
NASA and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have joined forces to offer an Outreach effort in connection with the STAR network of public libraries in the US.
Operation SEAL (Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries) has compiled an outstanding dossier of Astronomy Outreach leads, to include Andy Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz.
Believe it or not, it is not too late for your local library to get in on this action! Have the lead librarian, or other institutional authority go to this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BT58RYV . From there, the library can receive 500 free pairs of eclipse glasses to distribute to their patrons. They also get access to training and links to a cornucopia of activities and handouts they can print and distribute.
There are also SEAL Eclipse experts who will volunteer to train librarians and their patrons as well. For example, I will be leading a training for the Hoke Public Library in the coming weeks, and am available if other libraries wish to schedule a virtual training.
Another outreach network your institution might tap into for volunteers and experts: the Undergraduate Eclipse Ambassador Program. Otherwise known as Eclipse Ambassadors Off the Path, this is a volunteer network of amateur astronomers and undergraduates. These ambassadors can be used to supplement events you’re already doing. Find a map here that shows Ambassadors in your area.
If you’re an undergraduate or amateur astronomer who would like to serve as an Eclipse Ambassador for your community, fill out this form on the ASP website: Eclipse Ambassador Application. This program is still seeking volunteers, so if this intrigues you, or some of your patrons, apply today!
Ken Brandt directs the Robeson Planetarium and Science Center in Lumberton, NC. He is a volunteer in NASA’s Solar System Ambassador Program. He is also a member of the 3rd cohort of NC Space Grant Ambassadors, and an Ambassador for the Mars Society.