There are two ways I would like to help your library obtain a new telescope and assist in assembling the instrument, demonstrating how to use it, and instruct on proper care and maintenance.
- One method is for the library to apply for a grant. The Institute of Museum and Library Services offers grants to public libraries, state and local government libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions. Their web site is at http://www.imls.gov/ if you'd like to check it out. Also, the ALA gives grants and most state library's web sites may have information on grant opportunities as well. The grant amount would be $1,500 total for my fee to cover the cost of a brand new telescope (an 8-inch reflector), assemble it, teach how to use and maintain it, give you a book I wrote on the subject, and do an astronomy program for your patrons followed by an outdoor viewing of celestial objects in the night sky using the new telescope, such as the rings of Saturn, craters on the Moon, etc., weather permitting. See Look Up To the Stars to book a program with Kevin.
- Another option is to build a telescope as a project for interested patrons and students. It would require the use of some table saws and other hand tools over a couple of months time. I would supply a book I authored giving step-by-step instructions, supervise remotely via email or phone to provide assistance and answers to questions, and do an astronomy program for them and other patrons followed by an outdoor viewing of celestial objects in the night sky using the newly built telescope. This would require a grant in the amount of $3,500 to include my fee and all materials/supplies used in building the telescope.
In addition, you will have me as an ongoing resource for assistance with your new telescope and astronomy in general.