Check Out the Telescopes at Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory

City News Service

RANCHO MIRAGE (CNS) – Residents can check out telescopes — much like
they would a book — starting today at the Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory.

Joining more than 400 other libraries nationwide, Rancho Mirage is the
first library in Riverside County to offer portable, user-friendly
telescopes to patrons through the Library Telescope Program. With more than 30
telescopes available, some will be allocated to local educators to share with
their students.

The Orion Starblast 4.5” Astro Reflector tabletop telescopes are
available at the Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory, with a gear bag that
includes a red light flashlight, a constellation guide, a simplified telescope
user manual and spare batteries.

To check out the 13-pound telescopes, patrons must be 18 or older with
a library card and review the telescope loan policy. Once ready to check
one out, the library clerk will give a brief overview of telescope’s components
and demonstrate how to carry it correctly.

But be careful not to damage it. Replacement costs for a telescope
total $450, which includes items like the telescope, eyepiece, case/equipment
bag, red flashlight, constellation guide and modification hardware. Costs will
be charged to the patron’s account if items are damaged, lost, stolen or not
returned in seven days after the seven-day check-out period.

The program was made possible through a grant by the Smaby Family
Foundation.

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