Library Eclipse Program (SEAL)

Library Eclipse Program (SEAL)


5,000,000 Eclipse Glasses to 10,000 Libraries

In one of the biggest jobs for the 2023 and 2024 eclipses, American Paper Optics manufactured over 5,000,000 eclipse glasses for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

These 5 million eclipse glasses were given out by the Space Science Institute, through its "Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries program", with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that supports science and health care. Aside from donating the eclipse glasses, the SEAL program also provided fun eclipse activity ideas and important safety tips for library patrons looking to plan their eclipse adventure.

The SEAL team developed a robust guide for public libraries and their communities in advance of the 2023 and 2024 eclipses. Their guide introduced library staff and their patrons to eclipse science and viewing. It provided a range of ideas for library eclipse events and community partners that libraries can enlist for help. 

How the project came to be (press release):

The Space Science Institute (SSI) was awarded a generous grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to provide 5 million solar viewing glasses, in-person training workshops, kits, print resources and more to 10,000 public libraries and 55 state library agencies across the United States. Public libraries will serve as centers for eclipse education and viewing for their communities during the annular solar eclipse in 2023 and total solar eclipse in 2024, while State Library Agencies will be a backbone supporting their individual library constituents through training and circulating kits. This project also aims to support U.S. territories in the Pacific who will have a partial solar eclipse in April of 2023.

The libraries will be selected through a registration process managed by the STAR Library Education Network (STAR Net), a program led by SSI’s National Center for Interactive Learning.

The Project Director for the Moore eclipse award is Anne Holland (Senior Education Associate, SSI/NCIL). Dr. James Harold (SSI/NCIL) is the project Co-I in charge of science content for library activities, and Andrew Fraknoi (Professor of Astronomy, University of San Francisco; Emeritus Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothills College), and Dennis Schatz (Senior Fellow, Institute for Learning Innovation) will lead the effort to connect this program with other eclipse projects, subject matter experts, and activities.