Free Eclipse Glasses

In 2017, an estimated 500 million people will be able to observe the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, in partial or total form. The last time most Americans experienced a total solar eclipse was 1991.

The library is excited to offer free eclipse glasses in anticipation of the August 21st total solar eclipse! Glasses are available at the Second Floor Reference Desk. Quantities are limited, and will be given out to library patrons on a first-come-first-serve basis, with a limit of one pair per person. A person must be present to receive a pair of eclipse glasses.

You can see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, anywhere in North America. To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun, you must be in the path of totality. The path of totality is a thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, which will cross the U.S. from West to East.

While the eclipse will be partially visible in Council Bluffs, we are not in the path of totality. Below are maps of Iowa and Kansas showing towns in the path of totality. You can visit NASA’s eclipse website to learn more about how and where to safely view the eclipse.

Pick up a pair of glasses, and plan to view the eclipse on August 21st. The next eclipse will not be visible in North America until again until the year 2024!

Warning: Looking directly at the sun is unsafe. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.