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Library to host solar eclipse party

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit puts it between the Earth and the sun.

Getty Images

The United States will experience a total solar eclipse on Monday afternoon, Aug. 21. It will track across the country from coast to coast for the first time in 40 years. Holmes County is not in the narrow band that will experience the total eclipse, but it will see a partial one with the moon covering 83 percent of the sun’s surface.
 
People can participate in this rare event and learn more about it at the solar eclipse party at the main branch of the Holmes County Library in Millersburg.
 
Michele Skolmutch, head of children’s services and public relations, and her colleague Lynda Figueroa will kick off the event with a short presentation about the eclipse along with an explanation of the methods of safely viewing the eclipse.
 
“The eclipse will begin at 1:04 p.m. and will reach its maximum at 2:31 p.m.,” Skolmutch said. “It will wind up at 3:53 p.m. The public is welcome to come early and stay throughout the event.”
 
The library has planned a full afternoon of activities related to the eclipse for people of all ages in addition to the main viewing of the event.
 
“We will have coloring sheets and activities for the younger kids and shadow drawings for the older kids,” Skolmutch said. “We are also firing up our popcorn machine, and folks can bring their own snacks as well.”
 
Other activities will include determining the effect the eclipse will have on the temperature by recording it every 15 minutes as the eclipse progresses and observing how wildlife reacts to dusk in the middle of the day.
 
According to Skolmutch, safety is important. “We have eclipse viewing glasses available while they last, donated by StarNet. Never look at the sun with unprotected eyes.”
 
The library will demonstrate other methods of safely viewing the event such as viewing the shadow of its progress on a surface through the holes of a colander or even through the leaves of the trees.
 
“We will have box viewers and tube viewers available,” Skolmutch said, “or you can watch it in puddles or bowls of water. We will also have a telescope with a sun viewer.”
 
In case of rain, Skolmutch said, “We do have a plan if it is cloudy or rains. We will have a projector and big-screen TV in the library where people can gather and watch a live stream from NASA of the total eclipse as it travels across America.”
 
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit puts it between the Earth and the sun. Although the moon is much smaller than the sun, it also is much closer. This proximity makes it appear about the same size as the sun, so it blocks it either partially or totally, depending on where you are. It is similar to the way you can shade your eyes from the sun by holding your hand in front of your eyes.
 
The eclipse will start in Oregon and move east across the United States, ending in South Carolina. It will move from west to east, due to the orbits of the Earth and moon and the direction and speed of the Earth’s rotation.
 
The Holmes County District Public Library is located in Millersburg with a branch in Walnut Creek. It also has two bookmobiles that travel around the county.
 
“We have been having a fundraising drive to purchase a new bookmobile, and we are nearly there,” Skolmutch said. “At the end of the month we will have a retirement party for the old bookmobile.”
 
The library is anticipating the arrival of the new bookmobile by Aug. 28. In addition to books, the bookmobiles have computers and internet available to patrons.
 
Other activities of the library include story time for kids age 2-5, two book clubs for adults, and monthly game and activity nights for teens. Volunteer opportunities also are available.
 
People can join the library simply by signing up for a library card. They will then have privileges at all 93 public libraries in Ohio, access to e-books as well as the ability to borrow books, music, DVDs and games that aren’t available locally. Cardholders also can access databases through the library to learn languages or get information for school or health.
 
There is plenty of parking at the library, 3102 Glen Drive, Millersburg, or next door at Deer Run Park.
 
“Bring sunscreen, lawn chairs and water to drink,” Skolmutch said.
 
Learn more about the event at the library’s website at www.holmeslibrary.org or on its Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/holmeslibrary.
 

Published: August 9, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170809947