40 libraries to host “Visions of the Universe” traveling exhibit

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications, PPO




For Immediate Release

November 25, 2008

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office announced that 40 public libraries will host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided major funding for the exhibit. All libraries on the tour will receive $500 programming support stipends, $250 collection development stipends and additional materials to support library programming. The exhibit will travel to the selected libraries from January 2009 through April 2010.

The International Astronomical Union proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy as an opportunity to create awareness of astronomy’s contributions to society and culture, stimulate young people’s interest in astronomy and science, portray astronomy as a

global peaceful endeavor and nourish a scientific outlook in society. “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery” focuses on astronomy through the ages—from Galileo’s initial findings to the latest results of the Hubble Space Telescope. The exhibit vividly illustrates 400 years of growth in our knowledge of not just planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies, but also the size and scale of the universe in both space and time. For more information about “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” visit

The libraries selected to host the “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Space Exploration” exhibit (in alphabetical order by state) are:

  1. Mobile Public Library, Ben May Main Library, Mobile, Ala.
  2. Craighead Jonesboro Public Library, Jonesboro, Ark.
  3. Boone County Library, Harrison, Ark.
  4. Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Ariz.
  5. Ontario City Library, Ontario, Calif.
  6. Garfield County Library District, Rifle, Colo.
  7. Ridgefield Library Association, Ridgefield, Conn.
  8. Northwest Regional Library, Cape Coral, Fla.
  9. Wayne County Public Library, Jesup, Ga.
  10. Hickam Base Library, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
  11. Stewart Library, Grinnell, Iowa
  12. Oelwein Public Library, Oelwein, Iowa
  13. Chillicothe Public Library District, Chillicothe, Ill.
  14. Bloomington Public Library, Bloomington, Ill.
  15. Bartholomew County Public Library, Columbus, Ind.
  16. Marion County Public Library, Marion, Ind.
  17. Independence Public Library, Independence, Kan.
  18. Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, Kan.
  19. Grant County Public Library, Williamstown, Ky.
  20. Terrebone Parish Library, Houma, La.
  21. Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, Alpena, Mich.
  22. Southfield Public Library, Southfield, Mich.
  23. Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
  24. Washington Public Library, Washington, Mo.
  25. Morton-James Public Library, Nebraska City, Neb.
  26. Snyder Public Library, Snyder, Neb.
  27. Keene Public Library, Keene, N.H.
  28. East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, N.Y.
  29. Cuyahoga County Public Library—Parma South Branch, Parma, Ohio
  30. Cottage Grove Public Library, Cottage Grove, Ore.
  31. Florence County Library System, Florence, S.C.
  32. Blanco County South Library District, Blanco, Texas
  33. Waco-McLennan County Library, Waco, Texas
  34. Weber County Library System, Ogden, Utah
  35. Roanoke Public Library, Roanoke, Va.
  36. Williamsburg Regional Library, Williamsburg, Va.
  37. Varnum Memorial Library, Jeffersonville, Vt.
  38. Libraries of Stevens County, Loon Lake, Wash.
  39. Oconto Falls Community Library, Oconto Falls, Wis.
  40. Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library, Sheridan, Wyo.

The Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach (OPO) is a world leader in astronomy presentation through news media Web sites, planetarium shows, museum exhibits, curriculum support materials, professional development and other educational resources. Among the award-winning Web sites created by the OPO are “Hubblesite”:
http://hubblesite.org/ and “Amazing Space”:

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (
www.ala.org/ccf). More than 10,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office.

For more information about “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” visit