The Telescope Library: What's Next for 2018

In 2017, we have started to transform our Telescope Library to increase the value we deliver to our group. This is a good time to look back and appreciate the changes we've made, and the challenges we faced in the past year:

  1. Recruiting volunteers has made greater borrowing volume and high quality service a reality, and we will continue to improve in 2018. We also continue to look for people with talent and skills to help maintain and improve our collection. If you like to work with telescopes, we have a place for you!
  2. We are modernizing our collection and responding to your demands, by donations and planned acquisitions of newer gear, and retirement of older, less or non-borrowed items.
  3. We experimented with multiple-month loans, and customized orders. We will apply these ideas and lessons learned in 2018; expect to see more of this.
  4. Introducing web-based reservations has changed how telescopes are borrowed, improving planning for everyone. Most of our borrowing is now done by reservation, but you can still borrow a telescope on-the-spot, at any meeting, year-round. We already have reservation as much as 6 months in advance for 2018.
  5. We have provided special support and consideration for our Outreach efforts, all year.
  6. We supported numerous observers with equipment used during the solar eclipse in August.
  7. In partnership with many borrowers, we removed our collection from OMSI during the work done on the Planetarium. Thanks to all who helped!

We handled over 300 loans this past year, to over 80 people. We have more telescopes to loan than we did at this time last year, and we will be offering more variety, imaging capability, and more easily handled telescopes in 2018. Expect better services, more flexibility, and more choice as 2018 goes on!