Library Corner: The boundless opportunities of space

Polly Gallagher
GCLD Executive Director
The night sky above the alpine trees is full of stars in this image. The Grand County Library District is working with Grand County Astronomy Club founder and volunteer Dave Schlichting to bring the stars into local libraries.
Eli Pace /

While the nights might be shorter, the warm days bleed into those evenings, and many Grand County residents and visitors might enjoy spending the waning hours of their waking hours gazing up at the night sky.

“Humanity’s interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring,” according to NASA. “Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries.”

As we push out beyond our earth’s atmosphere, innovation brings many useful tools for those of us back home. Inventions as diverse as camera phones, wireless headsets, baby formula, tires, insulin pumps, and so much more can be credited to those in NASA or working with NASA. Who knows what can occur when our curiosity is stimulated?

GCLD’s upcoming space programs will provide boundless opportunities for you to excite your neurons and get your synapses flowing.

“Jewels of the Night” programs are being hosted by Grand County Astronomy Club Founder and GCLD volunteer Dave Schlichting. Recipient of NASA Cherri Brinley Award for Excellence in Space Science Education, Dave will bring the stars out of the sky and into our libraries.

“Just about everyone is interested in learning about space,” comments Dave.

During the Jewels of the Night programs, explorers will learn about the night sky indoors and then explore the sky through telescopes. Families are encouraged to attend, with a program taking place at each of Grand County’s five library branches this summer. For those attending the Kremmling Library program, telescope viewing will take place at the Robert Michael Wilson Observatory at West Grand High School.

Don’t miss West Grand School District’s very own science teacher Emmylou Harris, who will demonstrate how a comet is made with children having an opportunity to create and take home their own comet during “Tales of a Comet Tail.” Each branch is hosting this hands-on children’s program geared for those in elementary school and middle school.

“Emmylou makes science engaging and accessible!” comments Emily Pedersen, branch manager of Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling libraries. “She relates to kids of all ages with her scientist vibe and sense of humor. Over the years, she has taught us about everyday kitchen experiments, lungs, earthquakes, sound waves, and alchemy. Her programs are always very participatory, entertaining, and educational.”

For those interested in delving deeper into the boundless opportunities the night sky can offer, the Grand County Astronomy Club meets at 7 p.m. every second Saturday at the Granby Library. This group meets monthly to learn more and talk about astronomy. No prior experience is necessary to participate.

Looking to read about space in connection to your Tails & Tales Summer Reading Program? Try some of these favorites.

• “Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach — a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

• “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir — the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and earth, Ryland Grace must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

• “50 Animals That Have Been to Space” by Jennifer Read: “It’s really interesting to see the year, reasons, and which country sent various animals into space…” — Nessa’s review.

Upcoming events

Register at under the “Programs” tab.

Jewels of the Night Sky — June 23 at Kremmling Library, June 30 at Granby Library, July 7 at Hot Sulphur Springs Library, July 21 at Juniper Library and July 28 at Fraser Valley Library. All programs begin at 8 p.m.

Tales of a Comet Tails — The program will be June 30 at 10 a.m. at Granby Library, noon at Juniper Library and 2:30 p.m. at Hot Sulphur Springs Library; and July 1 at 10 a.m. at Fraser Valley Library and 2 p.m. at Kremmling Library.

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