We DON'T Have Eclipse Glasses, But …

Sorry, Library locations DO NOT have free eclipse glasses.You may have heard on TV, radio, or online that “your local library has eclipse glasses free for the public.” That’s not entirely accurate. Not ALL local libraries have the glasses. Here’s why:
Where did this information come from?
The Space Science Institute, with the help of NASA and Google, has distributed more than 2 million ISO-compliant eclipse glasses across to nearly 7,000 libraries nationwide. To receive the glasses, local libraries had to sign up by a certain date, and any library system that signed up after that date was put on a wait list. Demand outstripped supply so not every local library received the glasses.
But why am I hearing that all libraries have glasses to give away?
Details about the limited supply of glasses and the application process have not been reported, as mainstream internet sites like Buzzfeed and Business Insider, major news organizations, and even our local news outlets here in Kansas City are simply reporting that “you can get free glasses at your local library,” without calling libraries to confirm. Other KC-area library systems such as Johnson County Library and Mid-Continent Public Library are experiencing similar challenges; patrons are walking in and asking for the glasses saying, “I heard it on the news.” But in reality, most systems do not have free glasses for public distribution.
So… no way to get glasses from the Library?
Afraid not. The Kansas City Public Library applied for glasses from the Space Science Institute but, due to the high demand, was put on the waitlist. A small supply was eventually mailed to the Library; however they are designated for patrons who registered for the Central Library eclipse viewing event and, unfortunately, this event is at capacity and RSVPs are now closed. Other Library locations do not have a supply of eclipse glasses. 

What are my options now for getting glasses?
Many retailers sell eclipse glasses, and other organizations around the metro area are selling or giving pairs away. This Kansas City Star article includes some recommendations on local sources: Eclipse scramble begins: Where can you get solar glasses?, and NASA offers advice on how to ensure the glasses you obtain have the proper safety rating: How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely.
But while we have you here…
We’d be derelict in our duties as a library if we didn’t take the opportunity to suggest some books, films, music, TV programming, etc. with themes about solar – or lunar – eclipses. (The moon is a part of this, too! Without it, it’s just another sunny day in Philadelphia.)
It takes two to tango, and that goes for a total eclipse, as well. Watch the sun and moon engage in a celestial pas de deux on Monday, August 21. Each heavenly body has an allure of its own but, in combination, the view is spectacular. (Just don’t take it in without your eclipse glasses.)
The staff at KCPL has curated a list of favorite eclipse items – sun and moon – for your viewing (and listening) pleasure. No safety goggles required.

Suggested Reading and Listening

Books, films, and TV featuring eclipses > >

Eclipse books for kids > >

Photographing the Eclipse

Want to photograph the upcoming solar eclipse with your camera or smartphone? Professional photographer Reed Hoffmann, who has shot for outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, and the Associated Press over a more than 30-year career, offered a tutorial at the Central Library on Thursday, August 10. Check out tips from his Shooting the Eclipse presentation >

Bonus Stuff

Eclipse safety tips >
How to Make a Pinhole Camera >