Look to the stars with the help of your local library.
St. Catharines Public Library has begun lending out telescopes and is one of the first in Ontario to do so.
Telescope kits include a Orion StarBlast 4.5 Reflector Tabletop telescope, with a custom added Celestron zoom eyepiece, a lens cleaning pen, instructions, and a National Geographic tutorial book for backyard stargazing.
According to the library, the telescope is designed to be user friendly, even to first-time telescope users. The idea for a borrowable telescope came about as the library sought out COVID-19 safe activities that families could do together and outside.
The telescope, considered to be “cost prohibitive” by the library, was funded in part by the Niagara Community Foundation. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Niagara Centre helped modify the telescopes to make them user friendly.
According to the library, with correct use of the telescope, users should be able to see details of the surface of the moon as well, on clear nights, Saturn’s rings and one of the bands across Jupiter.
The stargazing equipment can be borrowed by anyone holding an adult St. Catharines Public Library card. Holds can be placed online by searching “telescope set” in the catalogue at myscpl.ca.
Library cards are free and can be signed up for online or in person.
Other non-traditional items that you can borrow from St. Catharines Public Library include: fishing rods for kids, Memory Care Kits for people living with dementia, Launchpad learning tablets for preschool aged children, internet hot spots, and outdoor sport kits including pickleball, badminton, and disc golf.