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Public Libraries and the Solar Eclipse

by on October 13, 2017

It is finally all over! The 2017 solar eclipse craze has come to an end and public libraries all across the country managed to weather the storm. A plethora of public libraries across the country submitted applications through STAR_Net, a network of the Space Science Institute. STAR_Net distributed more than 2.1 million eclipse glasses to participating libraries.[1] Patrons who were lucky enough to receive glasses early on from their public library did not have to worry about hunting them down when it was too late. If patrons were not so lucky, obtaining a pair of glasses was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For public library employees who answered more hundreds of phone calls about the eclipse glasses…I feel your pain.

Let me say the distribution of glasses was genius. It generated so much interest that people from all walks of life wanted a pair. It didn’t even matter that most across the country could not see the solar eclipse in its totality. Patrons just wanted glasses!

Public libraries and librarians genuinely enjoyed the interest the solar eclipse generated. The door numbers were amazing during events and patrons who had never visited their local libraries before had a chance to see the services and programs they offer. Good thing we have seven years to prepare for the next one in 2024. Will public libraries encounter a second onslaught? We’ll be ready!


[1] “A Little About Us.” STAR_net, https://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/who-we-are/. Accessed August 22, 2017.

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