Library Telescope Resource Center
The Omaha Astronomical Society is a proud supporter of the Library Telescope Program. This page contains information to help you get started using a library telescope and some links to sites that will help you learn more about astronomy and get the most out of your time with the telescope.
Getting Started With the Library Telescope
Websites to Aid in Your Exploration of the Night Sky
Skywatching tips from NASA gives you tips on things to look for each month, plus some guides for expanding your appreciation and understanding of the nighttime skies.
Sky & Telescope's Sky at a Glance provides weekly updated suggestions for the most interesting celestial objects and phenomena to observe.
Star Walk 2 is a simple to use, phone app to help find stars, planets, and constellations. Use it as a companion with the kit's star atlas to orient yourself in the night sky.
Stellarium is a free planetarium website and app to help find celestial objects like planets, constellations, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
Astrospheric provides cloud forecasts so you can plan your observing sessions around clear skies. It can be used on the web or downloaded as an app.
Background on the Library Telescope Program and how to get one started in your community
The Library Telescope Program was started in 2008 by members of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. The goal of the program is to place high quality, easy to use telescopes into the collections of public libraries where they can be checked out just like a book. The small and sturdy 4.5in reflecting telescopes recommended for the program are simple to operate and rugged enough to endure in a public setting.
The telescope kits include a StarBlast 4.5 reflecting telescope paired with a zoom eyepiece, a user manual that explains the basics of the telescope, a star atlas to help navigate the night sky, a red light source to let you read the atlas without damaging your night vision, and a fanny pack to hold it all together.
Since OAS started its involvement, the club has helped launch almost 30 telescope programs. There are currently over 900 libraries participating in the Library Telescope Program, mostly in the United States but in a few other countries as well.
To learn more about how to launch a Library Telescope Program in your community visit librarytelescope.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.