Door Peninsula Astronomical Society
Library Telescope Program
"The best thing that we're put here for's to see;
The strongest thing that's given us to see with's a telescope.
Someone in every town seems to me owes it to the town to keep one.
In Littleton it may as well be me."
Those words from Robert Frost's poem, "The Star Splitter" so eloquently summarize the idea behind DPAS's Library Scope Program, which has been patterned after the pioneering work of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, upon which this program is based and to whom we express our thanks and appreciation.
The New Hampshire Astronomical Society started placing telescopes and educational materials in selected libraries in NH beginning in December 2008. At present over fifty libraries participate in that program.
To help foster scientific literacy and to stimulate the interest in astronomy,
enable people who have never looked through a telescope the chance to experience the excitement that comes from discovery, and
to provide a valuable asset for the library along with DPAS assistance in maintenance.
The Door County Public Library has embraced our vision to place telescopes in the local public libraries, and we are pleased to provide our ongoing support to this program that allows general access to library patrons, as they can be put into circulation just as books. Where applicable, a local Club member will act as a foster astronomer/mentor to the scope. He or she will periodically clean and adjust the telescope, and act as a local astronomical resource to the library patrons. Additionally, a library member or student from a local school could be engaged as an apprentice astronomer to provide needed care to the scope.
The DPAS has selected the "StarBlast 4.5 inch Astronomical Telescope" for the library, fitted with a zoom eye piece and supportive material. We have provided a laminated, spiral-bound 4 by 6 inch copy of the users manual with each scope. The DPAS modified telescope is easy to use and robust. There is nothing to assemble. It has a wooden base, not the usual spindly tripod legs. The telescope is of manageable size, but has a relatively large optical tube. This means that the Moon and deep sky objects will show far more detail than one could see with the common "beginners" telescope. It also has a large field of view that allows the target object to stay in the eyepiece longer. This is a quality instrument, reviewed by a number of astronomical publications and found quite worthy.
Funding for the scopes has come from a variety of sources. DPAS specifically acknowledges the Door Property Owners donation in honor of our founding member, Dr. Ray Stonecipher.
We at DPAS are very proud to launch the program and are delighted to provide this opportunity to share our love of the night sky in this unique way. Thank you for visiting and taking an interest in our work Please let us know how we can improve on our efforts, and feel free to join us in opening up the skies to everyone.
The Members and Board of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. December, 2015