Library Customers Can ‘Keep Looking Up’ Thanks to New Telescope Lending Program

Written by Liz Foreman, Marketing Content Team Leader, Downtown Main Library

Name an item you can borrow from the Library to use outside at night. No, we’re not talking about an eBook on your digital device. It's a telescope to view the stars in the night sky!

To expand access to STEM-related learning tools and materials, the Library has partnered with Dean Regas, astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory, to circulate five Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch astronomical telescopes for use by library cardholders.

The telescopes are now available to borrow from 15 of our neighborhood branches, opens a new window. To borrow a telescope, visit our website and select an available date. You can borrow a telescope for a 7-day period, plenty of time to find a stretch of good weather.

Materials to Support Your Stargazing

When you pick up your telescope, a Library staff member demonstrates how to properly set up and use the equipment. The telescope comes with an instruction manual, two eyepieces, a star chart, and two stargazing books by Dean Regas. Want a preview? Watch this how-to video from Regas:

More About the Astronomical Telescope

Each telescope is high-quality and has a sturdy base. "The telescope is of manageable size but has a relatively large optical tube. This means that the moon and deep sky objects will show far more detail than one could see with the common ‘beginners’ telescopes. It also has a large field of view that allows the object to stay in the eyepiece longer. This is a quality instrument, reviewed by several astronomical publications and found quite worthy," according to, opens a new window.

Whether you're borrowing a telescope for your own use, your classroom, homeschool, or scout outing, you’re sure to enjoy stargazing.

Discover More This Summer

The Library and our community partners encourage you and your family to get out and enjoy the many amazing attractions in Hamilton County this summer. Attend an Astro Friday at the Cincinnati Observatory for a chance to tour the Observatory's buildings and view the sky through its historic telescopes (weather permitting). Space is extremely limited. (Ages 9 and older) Pre-registration is required for Astro Fridays.

Warm Up for A Trip to the Observatory

Kids age 18 and under are invited to participate in the Library’s Discover Summer learning program. Pick up your free to-go pack today. The booklet in the pack has great activities from the Observatory. Plus, kids and teens can win great prizes for completing activities in their summer booklets.

Join the Library at the Cincinnati Observatory for outdoor storytimes Wednesday mornings through October.