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Public libraries distribute free solar eclipse glasses

GPLS News, July 2017

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The first total eclipse to cross the entire U.S. in nearly a century will have Georgians looking skyward on Monday, Aug. 21. Beginning around 1 p.m. and lasting for about three hours, several northeastern Georgia counties will fall within the 70-mile-wide path of total eclipse, with residents elsewhere in the state enjoying a partial eclipse.

The only safe way to look directly at the fully or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as those contained in eclipse glasses. Thanks to STAR_Net, part of the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL); the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; and Google, 2 million pairs of eclipse glasses will be distributed free through public libraries this month, helping millions to view the eclipse safely. The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies is also partnering with NCIL and others to promote eclipse-related educational activities at public libraries across the country. Many individual libraries across Georgia plan to offer eclips-related projects and programs for youth that support the state’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) curriculum. “Georgia’s public libraries are delighted to enhance this much-anticipated event by providing eclipse glasses and learning resources for patrons of all ages,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “The sky is the limit at your public library!”

Georgia library systems that will be distributing free glasses include the following:

  • Athens-Clarke County,
  • Atlanta-Fulton County,
  • Bartow County,
  • Chattahoochee Valley,
  • Chattooga County,
  • Clayton County,
  • Cobb County,
  • Conyers-Rockdale,
  • DeKalb County,
  • Elbert County,
  • Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County,
  • Flint River Regional,
  • Forsyth County,
  • Gwinnett County,
  • Hall County,
  • Henry County,
  • Lee County,
  • Marshes of Glynn,
  • Middle Georgia Regional,
  • Mountain Regional,
  • Newton County,
  • Northeast Georgia,
  • Northwest Georgia,
  • Oconee Regional,
  • Ohoopee Regional,
  • Piedmont Regional,
  • Roddenbery Memorial,
  • Sara Hightower Regional,
  • Screven-Jenkins Regional,
  • Sequoyah Regional,
  • South Georgia Regional,
  • Southwest Georgia Regional,
  • Statesboro Regional,
  • Thomas County,
  • Three Rivers Regional,
  • Twin Lakes,
  • Uncle Remus Regional and
  • West Georgia Regional.

Not every branch of each system will be distributing glasses, and systems will begin distribution at different times during the month. A few libraries and Friends groups plan to purchase additional glasses to resell as part of fundraising efforts. Please verify participation, availability and distribution dates of glasses with your local branch library.