Library Telescope Program

Telescopes give us a powerful way to view space and stars and to experience the wonders of the universe. Cornerstones of Science fosters interest in astronomy by getting high-quality, easy to use Orion 4.5” StarBlast telescopes into the hands of the public through the public library system. We work with public libraries either directly, or through amateur astronomy clubs and others interested in offering this hands-on science tool to communities. Telescopes can be offered as a take-home for patrons and as programmatic tool at the library. Cornerstones believes it can give people of all ages and backgrounds a greater appreciation for astronomy by making hands-on science fun and accessible. The Cornerstones of Science Library Telescope Program is active in 28 states across America and growing.  

Are you interested in a telescope? Choose one of two telescope options:

Modified Telescopes with Education Pack for Libraries

These ready-to-use Orion Star Blast 4.5? Reflector Telescopes have been fully modified for libraries. Each library telescope comes modified so that the telescope is rugged enough to be checked-out to patrons, and it also comes complete with an Education Pack that stays attached to the telescope. This pack includes a simple, user-friendly telescope instruction manual, constellation guide, red and white light headlamp, and a lens pen for cleaning. Additionally, Cornerstones has developed short telescope training videos for librarians to learn about how to use the telescope, how to view the night skies, and best practices for circulating the telescope to the public. A library Resource Guide for librarians includes much of this training too and is a resource that stays at the libraries that provides information on astronomy related resources, such as books, websites, and access to local astronomy clubs. The goal of this program is to allow library patrons to check-out a telescope, just as they would a book, and to take that telescope home and explore the wonders of the night sky. Thanks to the support and generosity of Orion Telescopes & Binoculars, Cornerstones of Science is able to provide library telescopes at discounted rates. Click here to purchase a Modified Telescope.

Unmodified Telescopes

The unmodified Orion StarBlast 4.5? Reflector Telescopes are perfect for amateur astronomers, astronomy clubs, and others who want to do the modifications themselves for then donating or selling the telescopes to their local libraries. Local astronomy clubs have long been engaged with the Cornerstones of Science telescope program and are amongst our earliest customers. These clubs are actively engaged in increasing their members understanding, appreciation, and access to astronomy, and they often serve as liaisons to libraries too. Modifying telescopes is a great workshop teaching tool for astronomy clubs, and once your club has finished, the telescope can be a way for clubs to engage with communities. Offering it to a public library along with mentorship, periodic telescope maintenance, and night sky programming in partnership with the library and others can make for a meaningful astronomy program in communities . These unmodified telescopes can be purchased as a stand-alone or with modification hardware and education kits offered by Cornerstones. Click here to purchase an Unmodified Telescope.