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Astronomy at the Library

What are you doing on August 21, 2017? On that date, there will be a Total Solar Eclipse visible in the United States… the first one since 1979! While we are not on the path of totality in Northern Kentucky, meaning the entire sun will not be blocked by the moon‘s shadow in our line of sight; we will be able to see about 90% of the sun covered! This will be the most exciting astronomical event in the US for quite some time, and I am very excited to share not just the solar eclipse, but space in general!   In February, there was a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, meaning that we were seeing the edges of the earth’s shadow on the moon. In order to share the experience with as many people as possible, I held a Lunar Eclipse program that evening at the Erlanger Branch. 75 people of a wide range of ages attended to learn about the eclipse, build some models of how eclipses work, and practice “becoming” eclipses themselves. We also took the library’s 8” Dobsonian Reflector telescope out on the front sidewalk to look at the moon during the eclipse. Since it was a Penumbral Eclipse and not a total Lunar Eclipse, it wasn’t a spectacular event, but the view of the moon that night was very good regardless! During the program, families created models, then used flashlights to simulate the sun’s light. If you did not make it to the Lunar Eclipse program, there are many other opportunities for you to experience the wonders of space at KCPL. I frequently hold children’s and all-ages programs related to astronomy and space. In fact, On April 13, at 7:00 pm, I will [...]

Maker Space Coming to Your Library

If you have visited or driven past the Erlanger Branch Library lately, you might be wondering what is being built. There are two projects. One is an administrative center to house Collection Development, Human Resources, Public Relations, Information Technology and the Business Office. The other is an addition to the current facility that will include a meeting room that can hold 450 people and a 1700 square-foot STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Education, Art and Math) Center, most commonly known as a maker space. Everything is expected to be completed by January, 2018. Administrative Center Construction Meeting Room and Maker Space Construction   The Digicart was a huge success. However, with that success came a demand for a more expansive selection of technology in the Digicart. The Digicart quickly became Digicarts as we expanded our services to include a VHS to DVD conversion service, record to CD conversion service, and a vinyl cutter. While the Digicart was mostly focused on STEM, we still wanted to be sure to include the arts and a love of reading. Thus, the STREAM Center began to take shape. However, while we will soon have a large space to house all of our maker space materials, we still need to be mobile since we visit local schools. The current Digicart has visited over 1,000 students at five area schools. I see this as an important part of what we do here. We make these materials available to local school teachers because we realize their resources are limited. This allows teachers to give their students more thought provoking interactions in the classroom. Visiting schools isn’t the only thing I do as an Emerging Technology Programmer though. I do [...]