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King Library celebrates first total solar eclipse in over 200 years

The total eclipse celebration at King Library had crafts, kittens and a special telescope to view the once in a lifetime event with.
The total eclipse celebration at King Library had crafts, kittens and a special telescope to view the once in a lifetime event with.

The last total solar eclipse in Ohio took place in 1806, making the April 8 eclipse a once-in-a-lifetime historic event. Oxford was filled with a variety of festivities for the occasion, including a celebration just outside of King Library.

The library had special telescopes, kittens, button-making and more for people to enjoy as they awaited totality.

Students, community members and travelers gathered around King Library with blankets and chairs to watch the eclipse with friends and family, while taking advantage of the library's unique activities.

Roger Justus, a data services librarian at Miami, helped create this event in partnership with the astronomy and physics clubs.

“We’ve got snacks and little informational posters and Makerspace has come down to make buttons and things like that,” Justus said. “And then we’re also going to have telescopes and cameras when the event happens for people looking.”

On top of the fun activities, a major goal of the library was to educate people on the event. Many informational posters were on display to help viewers enjoy the eclipse and stay safe while doing so.

“This is the major event for the eclipse from the library,” Justus said. “We’re trying to work with some partner groups on campus and get awareness about the eclipse and share information.”

Photo by Stella Powers | The Miami Student
Community members and visitors set up camp outside of King Library to watch the total eclipse

Gwendolyn Rhorer, a sophomore individualized studies and women, gender and sexuality studies double major, stopped by King Library to participate in the eclipse festivities.

“There are baby kittens,” Rhorer said. “That is so cool. They’re making buttons ... I’m gonna make a button … [They have] free eclipse glasses … I love taking care of my eyes so I don’t go blind.”

So far, Rhorer’s favorite part had been the kittens, but she anticipated that she would like totality more. She planned on reading her book until it got closer to 3:08 p.m., when she would start watching the eclipse.

Ciara Hall, a sophomore games and simulation major, also enjoyed the kittens, but was excited to see her first total eclipse.

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“I’m excited because I’ve never seen it before, and I know that I’ll never get the chance to see it again,” Hall said. “I’ve experienced eclipses in the past but they weren’t total eclipses.”

Jayme Duva flew from Maryland to experience the eclipse in Oxford, where her friend from graduate school works as a librarian. Duva utilized the library’s offerings by making buttons, looking through the telescopes and seeing the kittens.

“[It has been fun] being around all the people who are excited for the eclipse,” Duva said. “I’m hoping for good cloud coverage so we can see the total eclipse from here.”