Experience the Eclipse!

Experience the eclipse at Oakland Public Library! We will be hosting an eclipse viewing party August 21st at 9:30. Please join us! We have several new books on solar eclipse science, lore, and history to get you excited about this rare astronomical event.


Where will you be on August 21st?  Watching the eclipse of course!   

Oakland Public Library will be hosting a Viewing Party!! Please join us!

Certain states will experience a total eclipse this summer; those of us in California can expect to see a partial eclipse. A limited number of safe viewing glasses will be available. Come watch the partial eclipse with us! 

  • When: August 21, 2017 at 9:30am
  • Where: Main Library,  West Auditorium - Off of Madison St.

                    125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 / Phone# 510-238-3134

For those who can't join us on August 21st, NASA will be live streaming the eclipse via NASA TV and other channels. Live video streams from NASA and other locations across the country will be available here. The library is, unfortunately, entirely out of safety glasses (except for some set aside for the event itself), but you can safely view the eclipse by making a your own pinhole camera in 3D/2D:

3D files

2D files

Here is further information about viewing the eclipse safely:

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses.” Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking directly at the sun.

REMINDER: Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow instructions printed on the back of filter. Always supervise children using solar filters.

WHEN WEARING GLASSES: Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter – do not remove it while looking at the sun. If you have traveled to view a total eclipse, remove your solar filter only when the Moon completely covers the sun and it suddenly gets dark. As soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to glance at the remaining partial phases.

WARNING! Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. While using your eclipse glasses do not look at the sun though a camera, a telescope, binoculars, etc. – the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye causing serious injury.


According to the American Astronomical Society:

“How can you tell if your solar viewer is not safe? You shouldn't be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the Sun itself or something comparably bright…If you glance at the Sun through your solar filter and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus, and/or surrounded by a bright haze, it’s no good.” 

An Eclipse Reading List...

Are you interested in learning more about the history and science behind solar eclipses? Check out these new titles we’ve recently added to our collection. Discover early folklore surrounding eclipses and fun activities you can do at home to safely view the upcoming eclipse… Enjoy!


Eclipse : journeys to the dark side of the moon

In his memoir, eclipse chaser Frank Close studies the ever-growing spectator sport of eclipse watching and the fascination surrounding their popularity. From his first observation to the one he hopes to share with his grandchildren this Summer, Close’s pastime has evolved into full-fledged love affair with eclipses.  One that has taken him from to a war zone in the Western Sahara, to the South Pacific, and into the African bush.  


Sun, Moon, Earth : The History of Solar Eclipses, from omens of doom to Einstein and exoplanets

Journey through time to discover how astrologers, scientists, and philosophers have interpreted these rare events. Explore how eclipses have shaped science and were used by physicists to confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity. Author Tyler Nordgren takes readers on an entertaining look through eclipse history.


Mask of the sun : the science, history, and forgotten lore of eclipses

How were eclipses recorded in ancient times? Which Renaissance artist was partially blinded by an eclipse? Brimming with interesting facts and folklore, along with the science behind eclipses and why they occur, Mask of the Sun is a great introduction to the subject.


American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

The historic eclipse of 1878 not only pushed astronomy to the forefront of the golden age, it was the year many braved the American West to watch the planets align and the sky to darken. David Baron vividly details how three pioneers set out to witness this phenomenon. Included are James Craig Watson, a Michigan astronomer racing to discover new planets, Thomas Edison a young inventor armed with his latest invention (the tasimeter), hoping to measure the heat of the Sun’s corona, and Maria Mitchell, a Vasser professor leading a female expedition out West to witness this rare event.


The total skywatcher's manual : 275+ skills and tricks for exploring stars, planets & beyond

Looking for activities to do while observing the eclipse? Try watching it through a pinhole viewer, a household colander, or use common found objects like your fingers or fallen leaves to filter the sun’s rays and safely see the eclipse. This informative guide provides hands on tools designed for the whole family and is filled with tips, maps, and fun ideas to become a skilled skywatcher.  


In the shadow of the moon : the science, magic, and mystery of solar eclipses

Author Aveni uses his unique background in astronomy and sociology to explore the effect eclipses have had on religion, science, and society. This rare look at both the science and cultural effect these spectacular events have had across the centuries is especially timely considering the upcoming pair of eclipses in 2017 and 2024.


Online Resources and Guides:

Guest blog submitted by Kate Conn


Hello, I am a teacher at West


I am a teacher at West Contra Costa Unified School District - Ohlone Elementary at Hercules, California.

Is it possible to get 24 eclipse glasses for my students? I can pick them up.
Please let me know.

Thank you,

Lily Coker

Hello, Like Lily, I am also a


Like Lily, I am also a teacher--7/8 Science at Lighthouse Community Charter Public Schools. I am super excited to view the eclipse with my students, but we are in need of eclipse glasses as well. Is there any possibility of borrowing glasses that I can return the next day? I teach 138 7th and 8th graders.

Thank you so much in advance!


Hi Edward and Lily, Thank

Hi Edward and Lily,

Thank you for your interest in eclipse glasses. The library only has a limited number available, if you are in need of a set for a classroom ...please check out http://eclipsediscount.com they have discounts for librarians and educators. Other sources are:
American Paper Optics: http://www.eclipseglasses.com
Rainbow Symphony: https://www.rainbowsymphony.com/eclipse-glasses
Thousand Oaks Optical: http://www.thousandoaksoptical.com/

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