Bellmawr Library and NASA to Equip Families for Solar Eclipse

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(Voorhees, NJ) – Thanks to some help from the NASA@MyLibrary program, families are coming together on Monday as 75 percent of the sun is covered in darkness for a historic solar eclipse. The solar eclipse viewing party at the Bellmawr branch of the Camden County Library System invites children and their parents to play games, do crafts, and don special eclipse viewing glasses as they prepare for the extraordinary event.

“Because of the health risks that can accompany viewing a solar eclipse, it is so important to provide an event where families can come to be prepared and equipped to view the event safely,” said Freeholder Bill Moen, liaison to the Camden County Library System. “These programs, made possible because of the NASA@MyLibrary program, are helping our kids experience science and technology in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”

The Bellmawr branch was chosen earlier this year through a competitive application process to be one of 75 libraries in the country taking part in the NASA@MyLibrary program. The program is meant to engage public audiences with unique learning opportunities and with the excitement that accompanies NASA’s exploration and discovery science.

When families arrive on Monday, a space-themed photo booth will help them to commemorate the moment. After playing games and doing crafts, an informational briefing will be given to all participants about the dangers of looking directly at an eclipse without proper eye protection. The library will provide special viewing glasses to participants which allow them to watch the eclipse as it reaches its pinnacle moments, where the moon blocks approximately 75 percent of the sun as seen from our region.

“An eclipse is kind of like being at the beach on a cloudy day, it may not feel like it, but you still need to apply the proper protection,” Moen said. “Eclipse viewing glasses are many times darker than conventional sunglasses, and with the news that ineffective glasses are being sold online, it is extra important that we make sure that everybody is using something that we know is safe and properly made.”

Events held as part of the NASA@MyLibrary program began in May and will continue until October 2018. The programs are designed for various age groups and all of them focus on science and technology.