4/15-5/3: Central Library Lower Level/Children’s Library area will be closed due to construction work.

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Eclipse glasses from SEAL

Santa Barbara Public Library’s Celestial Spectacle: Free Eclipse Glasses and Stellar Library Events

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On Saturday, October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America. This eclipse will be visible for millions of people in the Western Hemisphere. Remember, during an annular eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the Sun without eye protection. In preparation for the last annular solar eclipse that will be visible from the U.S. until 2039, Santa Barbara Public Library (SBPL) will be giving out 4,000 eclipse glasses and hosting educational events to help the community observe this celestial phenomenon.

Library staff will be handing out eclipse glasses at Eastside Library, Montecito Library, the children’s library desk and the upper-level desk at Central Library, and at Library on the Go stops (while supplies last). If schools or community groups are interested in sets of eclipse glasses to host their own viewing, reach out via the Library’s website contact form to make arrangements.

Families can also attend a special edition of Library Lab, SBPL’s weekly STEAM educational event for school-age children, in anticipation of the eclipse. Library Lab: Eclipse Edition will be held on Saturday, October 7 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Faulkner Gallery at Central Library. Children and families can learn about eclipses and outer space with fun, interactive STEAM activities. Learn more in the Library’s event calendar.

Local Astronomer and NASA Solar System Ambassador Krissie Cook will be facilitating an activity at Library Lab: Eclipse Edition and is ready to answer all your eclipse-related questions! Krissie Cook was selected to be a Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) Eclipse Expert by STAR Net and is excited to share her knowledge. (Some available eclipse glasses will be reserved for those attending this event).

The distribution of eclipse glasses and related programming has been made possible thanks in part to the Seal program, which is funded by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Supplemental funding came from the NASA@ My Library Project, managed by the Space Science Institute’s STAR Net team. STAR Net is providing 5 million solar viewing glasses to about 10,000 public libraries and 55 state library agencies across the nation. Eclipses are only safe to view with solar viewers like these that are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. These viewers can be reused if their filters aren’t scratched, punctured, torn, coming loose from the frame, or otherwise damaged. To learn more about the upcoming solar eclipse, go to scigames.org/eclipse.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library online at SBPLibrary.org for information about programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.



Holly Higgins
Youth Programming Librarian