PDL Telescope Program
The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society has generously donated an Orion Starblast 4.5” reflector telescope to the Portage District Library’s collection. Beginning May 21st, patrons will be able to check out the sturdy, tabletop telescope and gaze at the stars and planets from home. Astronomical societies around the country are donating telescopes to local libraries, including Madison, Colorado and the Swampscott Library in New Hampshire. However, this is the first such program to debut in Michigan.
The Telescope will be available to Portage residents and individuals and families that have purchased a resident card. Starting April 1st, you may call or ask at the adult information desk (269-329-4544 × 600) to reserve a telescope for a specific date. Telescope circulate for six days, from Wednesday to the following Monday, and have an overdue charge of $10 per day.
The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society has prepared the telescope for public use by filling an accessory bag with a red light headlamp (so as not to interfere with night vision), a guide to the constellations, a Stellarium Planetarium Software CD, a laminated moon map, and a set of easy-to-follow instructions. Using the telescope is similar to using a point-and-shoot camera: start with the finding scope to point the telescope at a specific object, then look through the lens and focus on the moon, planets, stars, or deep sky objects. The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is a volunteer nonprofit organization that promotes stargazing and astronomy by sponsoring programs like Public Observing Sessions and Star Parties. You can find their information at http://www.kasonline.org/.