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Program Examples

LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library

As of April 2019, Leon County’s library system owned 17 telescopes, donated by Friends of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System and the Tallahassee Astronomical Society

Leon County uses the AWB 130 Newtonian by Astronomers Without Borders. This highly-rated model is lightweight and portable. AWB receives the telescopes from manufacturer Celestron at cost and the profits from sales go toward AWB’s astronomy programs.   

The telescope checkout period is seven days, with no renewals. Each cardholder may only check out one telescope at a time.

Patrons may place a telescope on hold and pick up their telescope from any library branch.

Fees include:

Manatee Libraries

Manatee Libraries uses the Astroscan Millenium tabletop from Scientifics Direct, with 11 telescopes circulating from various branches.

The Library Foundation Inc. donated $3000 to purchase the telescopes.

The library also received help from Ed McDonough, a regional sales rep from Celestron, who trained staff to use the telescopes and teach others to use them.

While the library was waiting to receive their telescopes, McDonough loaned them telescopes to display in the library. The display piqued patrons’ interest and got kids especially excited to use the telescopes.      

In addition to Celestron, Manatee Libraries partnered with the South Florida Museum to collaborate on astronomy events at its library branches.

The museum includes a planetarium, and the two organizations had an existing partnership, allowing library card holders free museum passes.

Maitland Public Library

Like many libraries, Maitland Public Library follows the original telescope program developed by NHAS and administered through Cornerstones of Science.

Cornerstones of Science provides libraries with modified Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescopes and instructions. (If you want to handle your own modifications you can purchase and unmodified telescope.)

The Friends of the Maitland Public Library donated the telescope.

The library hosts regular astronomy events for both adults and kids. In March 2019, it held an Astronomy Week.

Astronomy Week events included:

Astronomy Week helped the library publicize its telescope loaner program.

Telescopes, resources and tips

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.