photo of a selected items from the NASA@ My Library Kits

NASA@ My Library

Two solar eclipses are coming to North America: an Annular Eclipse in 2023 and a Total Solar Eclipse in 2024! Thanks to a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a supplement to the NASA@ My Library Project, the Space Science Institute’s STAR Net team is providing 5 million solar viewing glasses, in-person training workshops, solar science circulation kits, and print resources.

The State Library of Ohio is a 2019 NASA@ My Library State Library partner. With this partnership the State Library has received a grant for resources, training and support, and funding. NASA@ My Library is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation. NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) as part of its STEM Activation program.

image of first slide of STAR Net 101 webinar - Public Libraries as STEM Learning Centers

As part of the grant, the State Library of Ohio is circulating two STEM programing kits to Ohio’s public libraries. Click on the  Sun-Earth Moon Connections Kit and Be A NASA Detective Kit tabs for more information.

Kits will be sent to libraries for one week for programming. While staff at the State Library will seek to honor requested weeks for programming, we cannot guarantee week requests. The State Library will electronically send kit information to libraries when we confirm your requested week.

Questions regarding the State Library’s NASA@ My Library program can be directed to Penelope Shumaker,

NASA@ My Library and STARnet logos NASA@ My Library is a national STAR Library Network (STAR Net) initiative that connects NASA, public libraries, state libraries, and their communities. Together we are working to increase STEM learning opportunities for millions of library patrons nationwide, particularly those under-served in STEM education.

NASA@ My Library is based upon work funded by NASA under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AE30A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the NASA@ My Library initiative and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Logos of partners, sponsors, collaborators of NASA@ My Library

Photo of "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters" bookThanks to the NASA@ My Library program, the State Library of Ohio is able to distribute almost 100 copies of the tactile book Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters to public libraries across the state. This book was created by NASA Lunar Science Institute and features tactile diagrams of the lunar surface designed to educate the blind and visually impaired about the wonders of Earth’s moon. The book also an excellent teaching tool for all library patrons of all abilities.

In order to obtain a copy for your library, reserve a NASA@ My Library STEM kit and host a NASA@ My Library Program. While supplies last all NASA@ My Library Kits will include a copy of Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters for the library borrowing the kits to keep. The NASA@ My Library kits contain STEM science activities for all of your patrons, with easy to understand instructions to plan a space science themed activity day.

Photo of inside of book - Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters

Kit One: The Sun-Earth-Moon Connections Kit focuses on activities and experiences that better help patrons understand their place in space, and how the Sun and Moon impact our planet. Major content areas in this kit include: modeling both lunar and solar eclipses with easy to use tools, detecting ultraviolet light in a creative way, using sorting cards to explore concepts relating to size, distance, and temperature, and an experiential activity that allows for a greater understanding of the vast scale of our Solar System.

Note: the State Library does not endorse content that follows on YouTube when embedded video ends.

Patrons Will Be Able To:

• Model both lunar and solar eclipses with easy-to-use tools
• Detect ultraviolet light in a creative way
• Use sorting cards to explore concepts relating to size, distance, and temperature
• Create a scale-size model of the Solar System
• Safely view the Sun with Sunoculars

Kit Activities:

Modeling Meaningful Eclipses (PDF)
Using simple materials, participants create 3D models of the Earth, Moon and Sun and demonstrate solar and lunar eclipses. This method uses 3 steps that allow learners to engage, explore, and make meaning.

UV Kid!
In this activity, children use common craft materials and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive beads to construct a person (or dog or imaginary creature). They use sunscreen, foil, paper, and more to test materials that might protect UV Kid from being exposed to too much UV radiation. Includes background for facilitators. This activity is part of the “Explore!” series of activities designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments.

Sorting Games: How Big? How Far? How Hot?
In How Big? How Far? How Hot? library staff facilitate these sorting activities in large or small groups, with patrons from Pre-K to adult. These simple and engaging activities introduce younger patrons to concepts such as size, distance, and temperature, and allow older patrons to explore these concepts further. They are excellent engagement activities for learners to begin thinking about our place in space.

Jump to Jupiter
Participants jump through a course from the grapefruit-sized “Sun,” past poppy-seed-sized “Earth,” and on to marble-sized “Jupiter” — and beyond!

Kit Science Tools:

  • UV Flashlights
  • Sunoculars

Kit Two: The Be a NASA Detective: Expanding Your Senses kit focuses on activities and experiences that help patrons be more comfortable using tools of science, and making predications based on their observations. This kit focuses on things we cannot see with our normal vision on sense with our normal senses.


Note: the State Library does not endorse content that follows on YouTube when embedded video ends.

Patrons will Be Able to:

  • Model the vast distances in our Solar System using a fun paper folding activity
  • Create the shapes of the Moon’s phases with some “tasty” resources
  • Explore art as science and science as art through planetary images
  • Investigate the insides of planets using hands-on objects and detecting tools
  • Using scientific tools such as a telescope and infrared thermometer to observe properties of objects that are difficult to see with our eyes

Kit Activities:

Planet Party
Visitors view planets, the Moon, and stars in the sky with the naked eye and binoculars or telescopes. Planning resources and tips for partnering with a local astronomical society are provided.

Pocket Solar System
Using a strip of paper, patrons construct a quick scale model of the distances between the objects of our solar system.

Art and the Cosmic Connection
Using NASA imagery, participants use images as inspiration for artwork while learning about geology of planetary bodies and moons

Investigating the Insides
Investigate the composition of unseen materials, using a variety of tools, as an analogy to how scientists discover clues about the interiors of planets using spacecraft.

Taking the Earth’s Temperature
Participants are introduced to a type of energy, infrared radiation, which we can’t see with our eyes but we can feel as heat. Then, they explore their outdoor environment using an infrared thermometer (also known as an IR thermometer) to measure the temperatures of concrete, asphalt, grass, and bare soil.

Kit Science tools:

  • Telescope
  •  Binoculars
  •  Infrared Thermometer
  •  Planisphere
  •  Magnetic Science Kit

The Multi-Generational Programming kit is designed to help your library provide programs for all age groups.

The kit contents are:

  • Coronado Personal Solar Telescope
  • When the Sun Goes Dark Book
  • 2 large Sunoculars
  • Big Sun, Little Moon Activity Handout


Photo of Multi-Generational Programming kit items on a table

Multi-Generational Programming kit items in shipping container

The Younger Audience kit provides activities geared at younger audiences such as elementary age students. While the kit is designed for younger audiences, the kit may be used for all age groups.

The Kit contents are:

  • Sunspotter
  • 2 mini Sunoculars
  • Moonbear’s Shadow Book and activity
    • Activity Cards
    • Stressball Suns
    • Flashlights
    • Tree Stress Balls
    • Toy Bears
  • Sorting Games: How Big? How Far? How Hot?

Photo of Younger Audience kit items on a table

Younger Audience kit in blue shipping container

To learn more about each kit, please click on the “Sun-Earth-Moon Connections Kit” and “Be A NASA Detective Kit” tabs. These kits are circulating kits and must be returned to the State Library after use. Each kit will be reservation will be for 2-4 weeks based on interest and availability. When choosing the preference on Kit week, consider whether you will be able to use that kit during that time.

With funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Space Science Institute, through its Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) program is distributing five-million solar-viewing glasses to 10,000 libraries, plus providing information and activities to share with library patrons.

A form is available on the Starnet  Solar Eclipse website to register to receive free eclipse glasses for your public library.

Seal Logo - Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries

Parts of Ohio will be in the path of totality in the Total Solar Eclipse in 2024, and the State Library of Ohio hosted a workshop from the Space Science Institute’s STAR Net team on March 14, 2023.

Workshop Description:

This workshop will prepare and empower public library staff to facilitate meaningful solar and space science programs for their patrons that build curiosity, knowledge and inspiration. Attendees will receive hands-on training on operating solar telescopes and other methods for direct and indirect solar viewing, best practices for developing and facilitating STEM programs, and how to engage with community partners and library-specific digital resource networks. Attendees will also be able to sign up for free solar eclipse glasses to distribute to their communities in advance of both eclipses! STAR Net facilitators, bringing many years of experience building the STEM capacity of public library staff, will work with each state library to customize the workshop experience based on the needs and interests of public libraries within that state. These workshops will use materials from the circulation kits and highlight best practices in using those materials, but the strategies, activities and resources shared during the workshop will be useful to attendees whether they have access to a circulation kit or not.

Workshop objectives are to help library staff:

  1. Build on the excitement of the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses, and engage their patrons in solar science activities
  2. Safely and effectively facilitate direct (e.g. solar telescope and Sunoculars) and indirect methods of safe solar viewing
  3. Develop and facilitate exciting and interactive STEM programming at their library

Workshop components include:

  • Advice on engaging with community partners to promote and support solar science programs
  • Ample opportunities for peer-to-peer networking and group discussions
  • Direct instruction on setting up and using solar telescopes and sun spotters
  • “Guide on the Side” facilitation strategies for STEM learning
  • Help navigating STAR Net’s online community, where public library staff can share eclipse-related programming ideas, strategies, and resources
  • Hands-on facilitation of interactive solar science programs designed for library settings
  • Advice on leveraging NASA volunteer networks like the Night Sky Network and Solar System Ambassadors

Questions regarding the workshop should be directed to Penelope Shumaker at

Graphic showing view from space of North America with Sun...Moon...You path of eclipses


A FREE hands-on, space science-themed workshop on May 29-30 provided activities and content to prepare public library staff for the 2019 Summer Reading program, A Universe of Stories, and programming throughout the year.  The workshop was held at the State Library.

The workshop facilitators included NASA@ My Library team members from the Space Science Institute and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.


  • Learned how to conduct a dozen space science activities geared for children and teens
  • Discovered resources to connect to NASA science and missions
  • Networked with others facilitating science and technology programs, and
  • Connected to the broader online community through the STAR Library Network.
  • Watched an Orientation webinar and met the presenters here

The workshop began on May 29 at 1pm, with a Night Sky Viewing that evening and continued from 9am- 3pm on May 30.

For more information, please contact Penelope Shumaker at

Click here to download the Workshop flyer.