by Gene Allen, Outreach Chair
As the song goes, “The heat is on!”
With the State of New Jersey proclaiming a summer reading program theme of “A Universe of Stories,” we have experienced a deluge of requests. More distant libraries have been referred elsewhere, and two have requested just a star gazing evening, and we are left with ten which want some sort of presentation about astronomy. After searching in vain for something we could just pick up and use, I have created “An Introduction to the Night Sky” myself. The first draft of a Power Point, including a speaker narrative, is nearly complete. It will be reviewed by a few of our more qualified members and then made available to those who volunteer to offer it to one or two libraries. It is basically a walk through the distances of cosmic objects and sizes of planets and stars. It includes a fun exercise for both kids and adults of building a Pocket Solar System that they can then take home. The execution time for the presentation has not yet been determined, but portions can be omitted or rushed as needed. The exercise can be left out, but I like it so much I would find something else to delete.
Here is a list of the ten libraries that have been offered our support:
|Mercer County Library, Ewing Branch||61 Scotch Rd, Ewing, NJ 08628|
|Mercer County Library, Hickory Corner Branch||320 Hollowbrook Rd, Ewing, NJ 08638|
|Mercer County Library, Hollowbrook Branch||138 Hickory Corner Rd, East Windsor, NJ 08520|
|Plainsboro Public Library||9 Van Doren St, Plainsboro, NJ 08536|
|Old Bridge Public Library||1 Old Bridge Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ 08857|
|Mercer County Library, Hopewell Branch||245 Pennington-Titusville Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534|
|Hopewell Public Library||13 E Broad St, Hopewell, NJ 08525|
|Mercer County Library, Robbinsville Branch||42 Robbinsville-Allentown Rd, Robbinsville, NJ 08691|
|Cranbury Public Library||23 N Main St, Cranbury, NJ 08512|
|Pennington Public Library||30 North Main St, Pennington, NJ 08534|
Jim Peck has graciously volunteered to make presentations at Old Bridge and Cranbury, since they are near his home. A few other members have expressed a willingness to make a presentation or two, and now is the time to speak up for whichever ones might be of particular interest to you. There is certainly no obligation to use the Power Point I have created if you have something appropriate that you would rather present.
Scheduling the presentations will happen next. That can be handled by me, trying to meet their requests, or directly by those speaking up for particular libraries, if they would prefer that approach. Most of the contact persons have remained flexible in spite of their wish to nail me down months ago.
Only Hickory Corner must be a daytime presentation.
Hopewell Branch has requested August 14.
Ewing, Hickory Corner, and Robbinsville Branches have requested July, with Robbinsville requesting a Monday.
Hopewell Branch, Robbinsville Branch, and Pennington Public have specifically requested telescopes for star gazing. Others may add that to their very non-specific initial requests, and I will be recruiting additional members who can bring telescopes to these events.
If you can, please step up and lend a hand in this effort. It is probably the biggest opportunity we have had in decades to really reach a great number of people. Let’s make a good showing and impress them.