and amateur astronomers use telescopes to view, appreciate, and gain a
better understanding of the universe. The Kalamazoo Astronomical
Society believes this joy should be shared with as many people as
possible. This program will give us
the avenue to reach many who have
never had the opportunity to look through a good
telescope. Our goal is
to stimulate public interest in astronomy, and help everyone gain a
better understanding of their place in the cosmos.
The Library Telescope Program utilizes the services of an astronomy
club and a local library, allowing patrons of the library the
opportunity to check out a telescope as they would check out a book.
This program was originally started by the New Hampshire Astronomical
Society (NHAS) in 2008. The January 2011 Sky & Telescope
magazine article, featuring the NHAS and the program, provided the
spark that fueled the KAS bringing the opportunity to Michigan.
The New Hampshire club graciously made all the material available on
the Internet for any club to use and copy. We have attached our version
of the program, and encourage you to copy, use, and modify the
information to suit your club’s taste. We also encourage you to visit NHAS
for the original version of the program.
Our journey began on May 22, 2012
through a donation of
Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector to the Portage District Library
. A second
telescope followed in July to the Oshtemo branch of the Kalamazoo
Public Library. We hope there are many
more to follow.
The telescope comes complete with everything needed for a night of
successful viewing, even if you’ve never used a telescope. This
telescope was chosen for several reasons including ease of use,
simplicity, a large primary mirror, and no wobbly tripod legs. You can
expect to see the rings of Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, some
galaxies, nebula and star clusters, and some breathtaking views of the
We hope you get as much enjoyment out of viewing with the telescope as
we do, and we’d appreciate your comments, concerns, and any questions
you might have. We’d especially like to hear from those who have used
Please send your feedback titled “Library Telescope