The Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri ("ASEM") Library Telescope Program has partnered with the St Charles City - County Library District to provide functional, easy-to-use telescopes for the general public to borrow. We hope that people who have never looked through a telescope now have the chance to experience the excitement that comes from discovery. The program takes advantage of the public library system infrastructure to place telescopes in local public libraries for circulation just like a book. Library patrons age eighteen-years or older with a valid Library card are able to check out a telescope for seven days.
ASEM uses the Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescope for its program. Each telescope is modified by ASEM to be more durable and patron friendly and is equipped with accessories to help library patrons explore the night sky, including a user’s manual, constellation guide, Moon map, and night light.
ASEM also provides the libraries with ongoing educational support and telescope maintenance. Throughout the year, libraries host star parties – telescope viewing sessions where the public can gather to view the night skies through a number of telescopes operated by ASEM members.
ASEM modeled it's program based on a design by Marc Stowbridge and the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. The New Hampshire program was launched in 2008 and has proven highly successful with over 100 participating libraries and waiting lists for patrons to “checkout” the telescope. We (ASEM) collaborate with the St Louis Astronomical Society ("SLAS") to market and care for the program in the exact same fashion in the metropolitan St Louis area.
The following St Charles Libraries have Library Telescopes to borrow: (Total : 19 telescopes!!)
Augusta (1 telescope)
Boone Trail (1 telescope)
Corporate Parkway Branch (1 telescope)
Deer Run Branch (2 telescopes)
Discovery Village (1 telescope)
Kathryn Linnenmann Branch (2 telescopes)
Kisker Road Branch (2 telescopes)
McClay Road Branch (2 telescopes)
Middendorf-Kredell Branch (3 telescopes)
Spencer Road Branch (3 telescopes)
Winghaven (1 telescope)
There may be waiting lists at your local library. If so, consider asking them about availability from other libraries. Latest link we have for availability at each is listed here: http://catalog.youranswerplace.org/((Library Scope page))
How to care for this telescope:
*****ANNOUNCING the addition of BINOCULARS to the Library Telescope Program ! ********
For both ASTRONOMY as well as BIRD WATCHING purposes. Check them out just like a book!
The St. Louis Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri and the Eastern Missouri Dark Sky Observers club in Missouri, and the Riverbend Astronomy Club in Illinois have partnered with the St. Louis Audubon Society to create a unique program where libraries can offer their patrons a binocular "kit" for use in stargazing and birdwatching. Each binocular "kit" will consist of the following:
One pair of Vortex Crossfire 8x42 Binoculars (https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-crossfire-8x42-binocular.html)
One laminated, folding pocket guide on the "Night Sky" published by Waterford Press: (http://www.waterfordpress.com/Products/series/pocket-naturalist/night-sky-the/)
One laminated, folding pocket guide on birds published by Waterford Press (http://www.waterfordpress.com/Products/collection/bestsellers/backyard-birds-of-eastern-central-north-america/)
One laminated user manual with instructions on how to use the binoculars
One waterproof, hard case to neatly hold everything (we are purchasing an "Apache 1800" hard case)