All open branches will have eclipse sunglasses available for the public
Experience the solar eclipse with the Des Moines Public Library! On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be tracking across the continental United States for the first time in nearly 40 years. Des Moines will experience a partial eclipse of 95 percent, and our library branches are celebrating! Des Moines Public Library branches will be handing out solar eclipse glasses for free on the day of the eclipse. These glasses are designed to protect people’s eyes so they may safely view the eclipse as it occurs (NASA safety tips for viewing the eclipse).
The Franklin Avenue Library is hosting a special eclipse viewing event! This starts at 12:00 PM with a lesson on viewing the eclipse safely. They’ll be handing out 500 pairs of glasses on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:30 AM. We will be handing out the glasses on the west side of the building, and they are limited to one pair per person.
The Central Library, East Side Library, Forest Avenue Library, and South Side Library will each have 100 pairs of sunglasses that they’ll be handing out on a first-come, first-served basis. The Central Library will begin handing the glasses out at 9:00 AM, and the East Side, Forest Avenue, and South Side Libraries will begin handing glasses out at 10:00 AM. Again, each pair of glasses will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, and each person is limited to one pair. We will not be taking reservations for glasses over the phone.
(Note: the North Side Library is closed on Mondays and will not be participating in this event).
The eclipse itself will begin at 11:42 AM in Des Moines, reaching its peak at 1:08 PM. The moon will continue to move across the sun’s path after that, and the eclipse will end at 2:33 PM.
You can prepare for the eclipse during a special program on Tuesday, August 15! Dave Lynch, a member of the Des Moines Astronomical Society, will be at the Franklin Avenue Library to talk about his eclipse stories. Lynch has chased solar eclipses for forty years, making trips to ten countries and two oceans in the process. He’ll share stories and photos of his fifteen eclipse trips and talk about why he finds the phenomenon fascinating.
We welcome the public to gather outside our buildings to watch the sky during this incredible event!