Upcoming events to highlight solar eclipse


By now you have likely heard that there is a major celestial event happening in Delaware County on Monday, April 8 – a total solar eclipse! This phenomenon hasn’t happened in Ohio since 1806, and the next won’t occur until 2099. To say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is not an understatement.

If you are one of the people living inside the 124-mile-wide area of Ohio who will be able to experience the total solar eclipse, you’re likely already planning for the day. The Delaware County District Library has some tools to help you plan!

Unfortunately, those tools don’t include eclipse glasses (we recommend purchasing a pair from your favorite local business or supporting Perkins Observatory with their fundraiser for a pair). What they do include is a handy website, educational programming, community partnerships, resources, projects, books and more.

When you visit www.delawarelibrary.org/eclipse-2024, you’ll find a countdown to the eclipse, an illustration of the path of totality map, and a video, with time breakdowns for when to expect totality in your area. Delaware residents can expect to see totality at 3:11 p.m. and have it last two minutes and 35 seconds. Our neighbors to the north in Marion will also begin their totality experience at 3:11 p.m. and, being closer to the center line, will experience midnight-like darkness for three minutes and 34 seconds.

The Delaware County District Library has some fun programs planned with local partners. Bring the family out to “Eclipse Education at the Park” on Tuesday, March 12, at 5:30 p.m. This fun family program will take place with our partners at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in the Alum Creek State Park Campground. Elementary-aged students can become “Solar Eclipse Explorers” at the Delaware Main Library on Wednesday, March 27 at 2 p.m. or the Liberty Branch Library on Thursday, March 28, at 5 p.m. Kids will create their own pinhole eclipse viewer and learn fun facts about eclipses.

Adults looking for a deeper understanding won’t want to miss “Solar Eclipse Facts with an Astrophysicist” featuring the experts from Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory on Thursday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Liberty Branch Library Community Rooms.

Because we’re in the business of making learning fun for all ages in the library, we also have some eclipse education for our littlest library goers. Bring the toddlers and preschoolers out for a “Total Eclipse of the Heart Dance Party” storytime on Monday, April 1, at 11 a.m. Caregivers are sure to love the music at this special dance party storytime, and littles will get their wiggles out while learning a bit about our solar system, too.

All Delaware County District Library locations will be closed on April 8 to help eliminate additional road traffic and free up emergency services for those who are visiting the county to view this special occasion. Be sure to stock up with your favorite materials in advance!

As we wrap up the last few days of Black History Month (with a bonus day for Leap Year), the library’s free video streaming service Kanopy has hundreds of hours of films available that highlight African American cinema, identity and community, arts and culture, social and political leaders, history, pioneers in sports, and activism. Add one of these titles to your “to watch” list for the weekend.

• “Life Without Basketball: The Life of a Female Muslim Athlete.” (2019) Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir broke barriers in becoming the first Division I basketball player to play wearing hijab. When a ruling ends her chances at playing professionally, she re-examines her faith and identity as a Muslim American. Nominated for an award at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

• “Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten.” (2021) One hundred years after the destruction of the Black-owned Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, residents and descendants examine the history of the 1921 tragedy and its aftermath.

• “Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise.” (1980) Robert Mugge filmed jazz great Sun Ra on location in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. between 1978 and 1980. The resulting 60-minute film includes multiple public and private performances, poetry readings, a band rehearsal, interviews, and extensive improvisations.

• “Woman in Motion.” (2019) Nichelle Nichols’ daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, recruiting 8,000 of the nation’s best and brightest, including the trailblazing astronauts who became the first African American, Asian and Latino men and women to fly in space.

• “The Black Emperor of Broadway.” (2020) Based on a true story, Charles S. Gilpin was the first African-American to star in a leading role in a stage play during a time when roles of color were previously played by white men in blackface. As Gilpin rose to fame and recognition, tensions were high between him and playwright Eugene O’Neill which ultimately led to parting ways, though his acclaimed performance has changed Broadway forever.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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