St. Louis Library Telescope Program
153 telescopes available for checkout
Don't have a telescope in your Library?
Have your library contact us at:
The St. Louis Library Telescope Program seeks to foster scientific literacy,
stimulate an interest in astronomy and provide people who have never looked
through a telescope the chance to experience the excitement that comes from
discovery. The program takes advantage of the public library system
infrastructure to place telescopes in local public libraries for circulation
just like a book.
The St. Louis Library Telescope Program offers a "Public" checkout program for
the general public and an "Educator" checkout program available only to
1) Public checkout program (131 telescopes available)
program for the general public to checkout a telescope like a book was launched
locally in November 2014 and has proven widely popular. St. Louis
area library patrons report finding the telescopes easy to operate and are
excited by the amazing views of our solar system and the stars. We get
many "wows" when viewing the "Moon" or "Saturns rings" for the first time.
Library patrons can get training on how to use the telescope from amateur
astronomers at the many "star parties" held each year in area libraries.
View our St.
Louis Astronomical Society calendar of events.
The telescopes are widely disbursed in more than twenty participating St. Louis
area libraries. Several libraries have at least one telescope available in
each of their branch locations. Library patrons age eighteen-years or
older with a valid library card are able to check out a telescope for seven
days. The popularity of the program means patrons may find themselves on a
library "waiting list" to get the telescope. But most find it is worth the
The St. Louis Library Telescope Program modeled its program based on a design by
Marc Stowbridge and the New Hampshire
and uses the
Orion StarBlast 4.5" Reflector Telescope
as its foundation with each telescope modified by amateur astronomers to make it
more patron friendly and durable. Telescopes are equipped with accessories
to help library patrons explore the night sky, including a user’s manual,
constellation guide, Moon map and night light. The New Hampshire design
has proven both functional and durable. Amateur astronomers partner
closely with the libraries to provide training for their staff and assist with
2) Exclusive "Educator" checkout program (18 telescopes available)
For information about the "Educator" checkout program, please click here.
Availability of library
telescopes by location (153 telescopes)
MISSOURI (133 telescopes)
St. Louis City-County (70 telescopes):
St. Charles County (21 telescopes)
Jefferson County (18 telescopes)
Franklin and Crawford Counties (11 telescopes)
Perry and Scott Counties (8 telescopes)
Cape Girardeau County (3 telescopes)
Ste. Genevieve County (1 telescope)
Washington County (1 telescope)
ILLINOIS (20 telescopes)
Madison County (16 telescopes):
St. Clair County (4 telescopes):
** Select telescopes set aside for exclusive checkout by teachers as part of the
"Educator" checkout program.
The St. Louis Library Telescope Program would not be a success without the
cooperation of its many partners. The St. Louis Astronomical Society would
to thank the executives, staff and patrons of St. Louis area libraries for
making the St. Louis Library Telescope Program a success. We also like to
New Hampshire Astronomical Society,
Astronomical Society of
Illinois University Edwardsville,
Eastern Missouri Dark Sky Observers,
River Bend Astronomy Club,
Southeast Missouri State University
and, of course, the generous support of members of the St. Louis Astronomical
Society for making the rapid expansion of this program possible.