One of the special things about the One Book, One Philadelphia programming season is the ability for the One Book program and the Free Library as a whole to get out in the community, start or continue important conversations, and forge lasting partnerships.
One of those partnerships is with the Franklin Institute, our friendly Benjamin Franklin Parkway neighbor and a true Philadelphia fixture! Last week, the Free Library teamed up with the Franklin Institute for an installment of their Night Skies in the Observatory event, the museum’s one-of-a-kind evening of astronomy activities hosted by Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. Night Skies is a monthly stargazing event connecting attendees to celestial objects in the night sky including stars, planets, and nebulae using telescopes in the Bloom Observatory or at "Ben’s Starlight Lounge" on the Institute’s fifth-floor rooftop observation deck. Other offerings include planetarium shows, a live presentation on astronomy or space science, hands-on astronomy activities, and continuous telescopic observing all evening, if the weather cooperates! The program is staffed with knowledgeable observers and free star maps are provided!
I was lucky enough to attend and to speak briefly prior to the planetarium shows about One Book and our 2017 selection, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in which the protagonist, Christopher, shares with us his love of science, astronomy, and physics throughout his journey. Derrick helped me with a fun trivia contest of astronomy questions, with winners receiving a copy of The Curious Incident! It was a special opportunity to bridge our selection with the Institute’s already thriving program, just another example of how One Book positions the Free Library in the community and allows these conversations to happen, often in places you may not expect them!
We’re headed down the homestretch of the 2017 season, but you can still take advantage of many fun opportunities that remain! Check out the schedule and plan to join us for an event (or two!) before we conclude, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Grand Finale event on March 23 at the Parkway Central Library – we’ll be teaming up with First Person Arts and, in keeping with themes, the evening will include a storyteller who is also an astronomer!