From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The public library systems in St. Louis, St. Louis County, University City and Kirkwood are trying something new — lending 17 Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch telescopes to any interested cardholder 18 years or older. The telescopes have been on constant loan since the program started in mid-November, with about 190 people on the waiting list as of this week.
The program began after Jim Small, president of the St. Louis Astronomical Society, attended a conference and met Marc Stowbridge of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. Stowbridge was walking by with a telescope with a bag of supplies attached, and explained that libraries were checking out the telescopes. More than 100 libraries there participate in the program.
The St. Louis group had about $1,000 left over from a conference it hosted in June and decided to use the money to buy three telescopes to start a program here. Library leaders required little persuasion.
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