Best Public Service You Didn’t Know Existed

Staff Pick

The late astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors.” He was making a pitch for the importance of libraries, but he could have said the same about the stars. In a way, our universe is the biggest book of all, one few of us take the time to read. But thanks to a partnership with the Western Montana Astronomical Association, the Missoula Public Library offers a program that would surely make Sagan proud. Patrons can check out an Orion StarBlast 4.5” telescope, free of charge. The telescope can be used for up to a week and comes with plenty of instructions and tips for novices. The library added a second telescope last year, due to the program’s popularity, but there’s still plenty of open reservation spots through the rest of the summer. All we need is a clear night sky.


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