In the past year, our Telescope Library has been re-organized, and we now give each eligible member the ability to reserve any of our telescope packages on-line. You can do this from the RCA website, and a little later, we'll tell you how to get there.
But perhaps it's best to start at the beginning. Our Interest and involvement with observing and telescopes goes though stages:
- You’re very new to observing and you need to choose your first telescope. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a telescope or two out for a “test drive” before buying or building one?
- You’re more advanced; you've outgrown your first telescope. You feel the need for something larger, perhaps more suited to your interests. It's time to try out some of these ideas, with a couple of different instruments.
- You’re an established observer; now you’re interested in something special, like solar observing, or seeing something really new and different among brighter objects.
- You have almost everything, except for a nice pair of binoculars, and you might not like them very much. Try a pair for a month, free!
- You’re an advanced observer, and you're taking on some very specific observations. Maybe you need to talk to some equipment experts, and see what equipment RCA has that can serve your needs.
- You’re an RCA volunteer, planning an event, and you need telescopes for a star party, or for outreach; some of your volunteers don’t have what is required.
Here's a badly-kept secret: one or more of the above applies to all of us, at some time or another. This is why we operate a Telescope Library, making a diverse collection of instruments and equipment available to you at no cost.
You can now reserve any observer’s package on-line, via our website. On any page of our site, go to the top, and move your mouse to the word “Membership”; a menu will appear, and on the sixth line, you’ll see “Telescope Library”. Move your mouse there, and click.
The Telescope Library page goes into many of the details of library operation, and we encourage you to read this information. After the text, we show you all of the available packages, thumbnail form, like many e-commerce websites. Click on the photo, and you get a summary page for that package, including a photo, listing everything that you would borrow as part of that package. Below the photo, there's a checkbox which will start the process of reserving the package for you. If you decide that the package is not what you would like, close that window (or tab), and keep looking.
Are you looking for something and don’t find it? Do you have questions? We have additional equipment, beyond the observers packages, for special needs. Please contact us, by e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to respond to your questions and special requirements. We look forward to helping you!