Library Event January 16,2013
Despite the bitter cold, we had a very successful HAL Outreach event at the Central Library in Columbia, on Tuesday, January 16th. Many thanks to Peter Friedman and Steve Jaworiwsky for joining me with telescopes, and to Joel Goodman for providing cheerleading.
While I did not count precisely, we probably had at least 50 library patrons stop to look through our telescopes at the moon and Jupiter, and they were all amazed and greatly appreciative. If you've never done public outreach, this is what it's about - hearing the oohs and aahs and "Oh, wows" from folks that are seeing the wonders of our universe through telescopes for the first time. It really does remind you why you got into the hobby in the first place. Sharing those wonders is just so much fun, even when you can't feel your fingers or toes. :-)
We have another Central Library event on March 19th, at which I am sure Barb Langridge (one of the librarians at Central, and one of our biggest supporters) will enthusiastically shepherd library patrons towards our telescopes. I hope to see you there!
And by the way, I would be remiss, as HAL's Astronomical League coordinator, if I failed to mention that one of the AL's observing club awards is for Public Outreach. You only have to participate in 5 two hour outreach sessions to get a certificate and pin, as detailed here:
So if you have ever participated in HAL public outreach activities (including hosting or participating in a HAL public star party at Alpha Ridge), be sure to log your participation in their form, and submit your form to me or to the coordinator indicated on the AL website.
P.S. I have pasted below the Thank You note from Barb Langridge, as an indication of just how much our efforts are appreciated.
Dear Peter, Joel and All,
I am sending a huge thank you to Joel, Peter and the other two stalwart astronomers who braved the bitter cold on Tuesday night at the Central Library. You all are so generous with your time and your expertise.
As always the patrons were so thrilled and excited to stop and see Jupiter or the moon. One 69 year old woman apparently had never looked through a telescope in her lifetime until Tuesday night.
Thanks for being so willing to come out despite the cold and for being so flexible with the calendar after we were clouded out. It is a pleasure to work with you.
I am looking forward to March 19. Here's to clear skies and some warmer temperatures.
Howard County Central Library
10375 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21045