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Telescope on Loan for Stargazing Patrons at St. Clairsville Public Library

Photo by Robert A. DeFrank St. Clairsville Public Library Assistant Director Sarah Stefanovski presents a newly donated telescope the library will soon be loaning out to patrons interested in stargazing.

The St. Clairsville Public Library is launching a new program to give patrons a closer look at the heavens.

Assistant Director Sarah Stefanovski is organizing the program.

“A few months back, we were reached out to by two gentlemen. They were interested in donating a telescope to us. It is actually a nationwide program called Library Telescope,” she said.

Dave Holden of the Oglebay Astronomy Club was the donor. The program provides an Orion StarBlast Astronomical Telescope for libraries to loan to patrons.

“Someone donates a telescope to the library, then they kind of act as supporters to the telescope if anything goes wrong — if something’s broken, if anything’s needed maintenance-wise, and they are willing to do programming,” she said.

Holden said he was happy to share his love of astronomy and an opportunity for others to pursue the hobby. Telescopes were also donated to Wheeling-Ohio County Public Library, the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library, and Oglebay Institute. Holden previously worked in St. Clairsville and likes the community.

“I like looking up at the sky. I always have,” he said, adding he helps operate the observatory at Oglebay. “I just like showing people, let them look through a telescope for the first time.”

“We can circulate it to our patrons just like we would a book or a DVD,” Stefanovski said. “We will start circulating it … in the next two weeks. It is a relatively easy to use telescope. There are three difference eyepiece lenses. … We give it all over to the patron.”

Stefanovski said the library will provide information and instructions. There are no credentials required from people wishing to borrow the telescope.

“It would be for your beginning stargazer. The person who’s newly interested in astronomy. I think right now a lot of kids are excited because they see it out and they want to take it home and look through it,” she said.

Stefanovski said patrons will be able to borrow the telescope for seven days.

“As long as no one else is waiting for the telescope, it can be renewed once,” she said, adding the Oglebay Astronomy Club may also put on some stargazing programs in fall.

“We’ll definitely be doing something in the near future.”

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