The Boone County Library is pleased to offer library patrons the ability to check out astronomical telescopes to take home and enjoy. The library received four Orion Starblast telescopes for patron use thanks to the Arkansas Natural Sky Association (ANSA) in the summer of 2020.
The Orion Starblast telescopes are compact versions that are designed for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. The telescopes can provide detailed views of solar system targets like the moon and planets, as well as wide-field objects like nebulas and star clusters. Library patrons over 18 years of age and in good standing will be allowed to check out a telescope for a two-week period, and will be asked to sign a simple agreement making sure they are clear on the terms of check out. Each telescope is equipped with the ANSA publication Learning the Constellations by Robert Togni, which includes simple, easy-to-follow instructions on use of the telescopes and an introduction to the night sky throughout the year.
The Arkansas Space Grant Consortium through NASA provided the funding for these telescopes. ANSA volunteers do the work from grant writing, ordering materials, customizing the telescopes for patron use, training library staff, and making presentations on telescope use and other night sky topics.
If you would like to find out more about the Arkansas Natural Sky Association, you can visit their website at www.darkskyarkansas.org or their Facebook Page for more information. For more information, or to help support the ANSA Rural Library Telescope Lending Program, you may contact ANSA program coordinator Allan Staib at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-276-3233. For questions about checking out the telescopes, contact the Boone County Library at 870-741-5913.
Video on how to transport the telescope by the founders of the library telescope program, the New Hampshire Astronomical Society.
A seven minute YouTube Video produced by Cornerstones of Science that provides an introduction to astronomy.
A 14 minute YouTube video produced by Cornerstones of Science that covers the basics of operating the library telescope.
Link to a website where you can download a great sky map for FREE. The sky map will help you identify items in the night sky including objects that can be viewed with your unaided eye, binoculars or telescopes.