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posted Aug 14, 2017, 2:03 PM by Lawrence County Public Library   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 2:04 PM ]
(MOULTON, AL), (August 14, 2017) — The Lawrence County Public Library (LCPL) has joined more than 1,000 libraries across the country to participate in the celestial event of the century, the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. During this national event, the shadow of the moon will sweep across the United States in a narrow band from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in a spectacle that has not occurred in decades. 

Weather permitting, the library plans having an eclipse viewing party at the library on College Street.  The remaining supply of eclipse glasses may be picked up beginning at 11 a.m. on August 21st. A liability waiver will be required, and no more than one pair of glasses per attendee will be available until supplies run out.  Other than patrons who have attended our pre-eclipse programs, glasses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Minors must have a parent or legal guardian present to obtain a pair and complete the liability waiver.  The library plans to stream the NASA Eclipse feed in the children’s library as well; however, we are unsure if internet traffic will degrade the stream.

Due to the uncertainty of how many patrons may attend, the library will be restricting some services the day of the eclipse between the hours of 11 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  During this time, there will be no print/fax/copy services or computer assistance available.  Our computers will be on for patrons who have library cards.  The library will not process new or replacement patron cards during this time or issue temporary IDs for computer use.  The phones will rollover to our answering machine’s outgoing message.  Fines will be waived on Monday, August 21st and Tuesday, August 22nd to prevent late fees impacting patrons who not reach us during the eclipse programming.

“This is a great problem to have,” stated Library Director Bain.  “We received only 200 glasses, but between phone calls and drop-bys, we have had almost 1,000 request for glasses.  Just this morning, we had around 30 inquiries within 2.5 hours of opening.  Since we do not know how this will translate into attendance numbers, we felt it safer to focus on this once in a lifetime event rather than auxiliary services.”

The LCPL has joined the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) and its NASA@ My Library initiative, which are providing resources and STEM activities to libraries across the nation related to the eclipse. Partners include NASA, the American Library Association, and many other organizations. This project was made possible through support from the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Google, and the National Science Foundation.