GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re looking for special eye protecting glasses to watch Monday’s total solar eclipse, good luck.
From the big box stores to mom and pop shops, 24 Hour News 8’s search for the specialty glasses tuned up the same answer: sold out.
But we didn’t give up. Finally, we found a stash tucked away at, of all places, the Grand Rapids Public Library.
“These are all the glasses we have to hand out here at the main library here on Saturday,” said library marketing and communications manager Kristen Krueger-Corrado, who pulled out a small box of eclipse glasses from a storage area.
It makes sense. After all, libraries are all about learning.
The hype over this rare phenomenon has already caused books and other material about the eclipse to fly off library shelves. So the Grand Rapids Public Library secured 1,600 pair of the glasses, mostly from NASA.>>Eclipse coverage on woodtv.com: Eclipse forecast on Bill’s Blog | What you need to know | Where to watch it
They’re free, but they’re only for the kids.
“We are anticipating a line before we open. And we anticipate them to be gone within 15 minutes,” said Krueger-Corrado,
The glasses will be available Saturday morning on a first come, first serve basis at the city’s eight branches. The main branch downtown opens at 9 a.m.; the neighborhood branches open at 10 a.m.
If you go, be patient. Each branch only has a few hundred pairs of eclipse glasses.
“They are extremely limited quantities… so please don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a pair,” said Krueger-Corrado.
We checked with other libraries throughout West Michigan. Most are out.
Others like the Kent District Library has a limited supply, but only if you participate in special programs at specific branches, including the following:
- Saturday, Aug. 19: KDL Lab Experience: Space Science at the East Grand Rapids branch
- Monday, Aug. 21: Solar Eclipse Party at the East Grand Rapids branch
- Monday, Aug. 21: Solar Eclipse Party at the Alto branch