A total eclipse of the sun is coming this summer, and Rockford area libraries are giving us a chance to check it out.

That's because over two million free eclipse glasses are going out to US libraries across the country.

The total solar eclipse will fly over the US on August 21. According to space.com, "The so-called Great American Eclipse will pass over the U.S. along a stretch of land from Oregon to South Carolina."

Looking at the sun during a solar eclipse can "cause serious eye damage" which is why special "solar-viewing glasses" are required to catch a glimpse at the eclipse.

Over 2,000 libraries in the US participated in the sign up to receive special eclipse viewing glasses, Byron, Belvidere and South Beloit are among local Rockford area libraries to receive a batch.

The STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) has developed this map as an addition to its Eclipse Resource Center. Credit: NASA@ My Library initiative and the Moore Foundation

A brief conversation with Jeannine Hedges at the Byron Public Library District revealed, they have 1,000 glasses on hand and the current plan is to dole them out after the 4th of July holiday.

For more information or if you want a pair of free eclipse glasses contact:

  • Jeannine Hedges at Byron Public Library District at 815.234.5107
  • Stephanie Nissen at Ida Public Library in Belvidere at 815.544.3838
  • Doreen Dalman at South Beloit Public Library at 815.389.2495

In addition to the glasses you'll receive a booklet with times, locations and safety precautions says space.com.

StarNet is calling the upcoming total eclipse, "the celestial event of the century." If you hate missing out on things everyone is talking about, you should probably line up a pair of those glasses quickly.

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Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and like his page on Facebook.