We are less than a month away from the upcoming April 8 solar eclipse. Our hometown of Cleveland will be in the path of totality and activities are happening across the region in preparation.

Even if you are unable to leverage your location the same way, there are still folks in your community excited for the upcoming solar event! Here are some activities to consider adding to your programming calendar in the coming weeks:

Eclipse programming ideas for libraries 

DIY Pinhole Camera 

If libraries learned anything from the 2017 eclipse, it’s that eclipse glasses are going to be in high demand with limited availability. Luckily, you don’t need fancy glasses to view the upcoming eclipse. With a few simple supplies, patrons can make a pinhole camera! NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has instructions here that libraries can use to build out a program. Perfect for in-person programming or take and make activities, pinhole cameras are an easy way to make sure everyone can safely enjoy the upcoming eclipse. 

Host an eclipse-themed book club 

Back in 1878, enterprising scientists—among them, planet hunter James Craig Watson, pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, and ambitious young inventor Thomas Edison—raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe the first great American eclipse. This story is captured in David Baron’s book American Eclipse – which has an updated afterword that unites eclipses and eclipse-chasers past and present, revisiting the total solar eclipse of 2017 and looking forward to that of 2024.  

Library partners can visit Marketplace to add American Eclipse in ebook and audiobook to their library. 

Curate a collection of eclipse-themed books 

American Eclipse is only one of many books that examines our fascination and interest in eclipses, outer space, and other celestial events. Our Digital Content Librarians have put together a wonderful list of titles with books for readers of all ages that library partners can find here. After purchasing titles, turn them into a curated collection on your digital library!  

Eclipse cookie decorating 

This activity is perfect for the teens in your community who can get creative with the decorations they use on sun and moon cookies to celebrate the upcoming eclipse. Plus, there are cookies at the end and what teen doesn’t love that? 

About the author: Jill Grunenwald is a Marketing & Communications Specialist on the North America Public Library Marketing Team. A former librarian, she joined OverDrive in 2015. Outside of the office she can be found writing, hanging out with her cats, collecting more Tarot decks than she has room for, and playing competitive pinball. Her favorite genre is something she calls “Murder at an educational institution that involves a close-knit group of suspicious characters.”