Library News

Telescope Donated to a Deserving Library

By Latest News, Library News

Thomaston Public Library in Thomaston, Maine, recently received their library telescope and training from Cornerstones of Science.  A series of interesting events led up to them taking delivery of the telescope that included a retiring Cornerstones board member with a passion for the library telescope program, and the library’s strong STEM engagement for their community.

At the end of 2018, Rudi Graf, a Cornerstones Board Member from 2014-2018, decided to retire from the board due to a health issue. The staff and board felt that they wanted to do something special to honor Rudi and the work he put into the organization. Donating a library telescope to a deserving library seemed to be the perfect idea, since the program was much beloved by Rudi, previous owner of The Science Source, a science kit development and distribution company in Waldoboro, Maine. At the same time, Cornerstones staff noticed a number of STEM initiatives that the Thomaston Public Library initiated in the past year. One such initiative was the impressive 40 Days of Summer program where they not only borrowed every Cornerstones Science Trunk to use for programming, but they held numerous other activities to help the community’s youth stay engaged throughout the summer.

A small dedication ceremony took place at the library on November 15 with Rudi Graff in attendance along with CoS staff, library staff, and library patrons.

Congrats to the Thomaston Public Library! See what they do

To learn more about the CoS Library Telescope program visit

Head Librarian Diane Giese (left), Rudi Graf (center), and librarian Caroline Ward-Nesbit (right) in the Thomaston Public Library in Thomaston, Maine.

Seeking State Libraries to Participate in the NASA@ My Library Project

By Latest News, Library News

NASA My Library logo

Is your state interested in STEM and space science? Does your state library want to be part of a NASA yearlong project? The NASA@ My Library project currently has four State Libraries (MI, ND SC, and WA) participating as pilots and up to eleven more will be chosen for a total of 15 SLAs. As part of this project, State Libraries receive two space science kits that are primed to circulate out to public libraries. Participation includes attending monthly webinars, helping connect with state space science resources, and circulating the kits. The project begins in January 2019 ends in December 2019.

The application process opened on August 6th and calls for a Letter of Interest (LOI) e-submission. Closing date is September 21st and applicants chosen by October 15. We anticipate that SLAs will be under contract by mid-December.

To learn more about this opportunity please visit the COSLA web site or contact

Great American Eclipse

Prepare now for the Great American Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017

By Latest News, Library News, Library Partner News

Prepare now for the Great American Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017:
Free eclipse glasses and programming information available to public libraries through Star Net Libraries –
Apply by May 1!

Great American Eclipse

A solar eclipse on August 21 will sweep across the US over the course of a few hours allowing many communities across the nation to be a part of a significant astronomical event. Some communities will experience a total solar eclipse, which means they are in the Path of Totality, and many more of will experience a partial solar eclipse. Either way, community members will be interested in what is happening in the sky. Help your community be prepared and ready by having hundreds of approved solar viewing glasses to hand out and be able to offer eclipse programming activities, materials, information, and other amazing resources!

Click here to apply

Star Net Libraries is a Space Science Institute (SSI) National Center for Interactive Learning program. SSI was awarded a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that will provide 1.26 million FREE eclipse glasses and other resources for 1,500 public libraries across the nation. The Research Corporation and Google will also be providing glasses and materials that add an additional 740,000 glasses, bringing the total to over 2 million glasses that will be distributed to more than 2,400 libraries! These libraries will serve as centers for eclipse education and viewing for their communities.

The Space Science Institute (SSI) in Boulder, CO, through its National Center for Interactive Learning, provides STEM exhibits, programming, and training to hundreds of public libraries nationwide through STAR_Net and its NASA@ My Library project. Partners include the American Library Association, Lunar and Planetary Institute, the Afterschool Alliance, Cornerstones of Science, and many others. See for details.

Maine Libraries Receive Telescopes and Training: Seeing Things Differently at the Library

By Library News

Recently, fifteen librarians received training on how to view the night sky and on using a telescope. Why? Well, from a few different grants and an anonymous donor, Cornerstones of Science was able to award Orion StarBlast Reflector Telescopes to libraries based on their submitted essays and on their current science activities. Over thirty applications were received and ten libraries selected. Being awarded the telescope  was just one part of the package of astronomical resources and support each library received.

The Orion StarBlast Reflector telescope is modified by Cornerstones with the help of Southern Maine Astronomers. The telescope is ruggedized and made more user friendly so that it is a loanable scientific tool. The telescope is part of the STAR program (sharing Telescopes and Astronomy Resources) and part of Cornerstones’ Loanable Scientific Tools Initiative.

Click here to read more and to see the list of libraries awarded telescopes!


Telescope training at the Bangor Public Library in May with Southern Maine
Astronomer Ron Thompson and four librarians from around Maine.


Telescope training at Auburn Public Library with ten librarians and a few library
board members from around Maine.