Eclipse 2017 Event

The solar eclipse viewing event at the Sciences Library was a huge success! Thanks to all who attended and many thanks to our partners, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Museum of Natural History.

In the end, we gave away over 1000 pairs of eclipse glasses! If you wish to recycle your glasses, you can bring them to the Museum of Natural History. Astronomers Without Borders will donate them to other countries for future eclipses.

Eclipse glasses

Hundreds of people visited our courtyard to watch the eclipse as a community. The clouds parted just enough to give everyone a great view of the peak of the eclipse at 1:12 PM, when 92% of the Sun was obscured by the moon.

Viewing the solar eclipse

Some also came inside to watch NASA’s live stream of the eclipse, following the path of totality across the country from Oregon to South Carolina.

NASA's live stream on the big screen at the Sciences Library

Have you caught eclipse fever? The next total eclipse will be July 2, 2019 and will be visible in South America. Your next chance to see a total solar eclipse in the United States will be April 8, 2024! I can’t wait!

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Tippie Learning Coaches at the Business Library

Tippie Learning Coaches

Tippie learning coaches will be present at the Pomerantz Business Library (now in S401) to provide students with homework assistance, exam preparation, and more.  Students enrolled in Principles of Microeconomics (ECON:1100), Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON:1200), and Statistics for Business (STAT:1030) can find help Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 5:00-7:00 pm.  No scheduling is required.

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Welcome to the Fall Semester!!

Welcome to the Fall 2017 Semester!!

It’s hard to believe that the new semester is here already! Let us help you on your way to academic success!

New this fall: Live chat and text messaging!!

Not in the library, but have a question? We now have both Live Chat and text messaging available! Live chat is available from the Lichtenberger Engineering Library homepage. If no one is available to personally help you, we have a Knowledgebase which just might have the answer for you! The answer isn’t there? Never fear – you can still ask your question and someone will get back to you as soon as possible! There are several options available: email, submit a question online or text us! We now have a text number! Be sure to add 319-250-2176 to your contacts!

We have Study Spaces!

In the main entrance area we have 27 ITC computers – 2 with stand-up desks; 2 scanners – including one with a high-speed, face-up book capture system; and 2 black & white printers. We have 2 study pods, too. Pod 1 has MediaScape (connect up to 6 laptops!) and a white board; Pod 2 is equipped with a group work table and a white board. Check here for reservation instructions and reservation information.

New group study tables!


Also on the main entrance floor we have 4 study carrels – each with a light and power outlet. We have 6 club chairs and 4 group tables, which can be moved together for larger groups!


Bean Bags in the lower level for quiet study!

Prefer a quiet study space? We’ve got that covered, too! Our lower level is a dedicated quiet space.  We have 34 study carrels (each with a light and power outlet), 4 wing-back chairs, 6 arm chairs, 4 comfy bean bags, and 4 gamer chairs! The 150,000+ books in our collection are also located on the lower level and cover subject matter from Aeronautics to Z-80 Programming!



We have a Creative Space! 

Collaboration tables & 3D scanning station in the Creative Space!

It has a a 3D scanning station (other 3D scanners available to check out from the Tool Library!), 2 quad-screen collaboration tables (each has the ability to project 4 laptop screens to the monitor!), 4 modeling stations with engineering software, 5 white boards, 2 high-top tables with stools, and a VR work station – an Oculus Rift and hand controllers are available to check out (2-hour loan time) from the Tool Library!

We have e-Resources!

We have access to over 3,000 e-resources and online subject guides covering information for all the engineering majors.  You can access IEEExplore, over 20,000 Standards, Patents, a citation guide, information on Engineering ethics, copyright and open access information. There is also a wide range of handbooks and digital publications, all available from our homepage.

Our journal subscriptions cover everything from Road & Travel, SWE, Make Magazine, to The Journal of Theoretical & Applied Mechanics.

There is also a wonderful collection of DVDs – we have Mythbusters, Junkyard Wars, How It’s Made, Extreme Engineering, and a host of other titles (150+) – all available by asking at the circulation desk.

We have a Tool Library!


Need a measuring tape? A hammer? How about a thermal imaging camera? A hot glue gun? Maybe a sports camcorder? We’ve got ’em! Or did you forget your laptop charger? Don’t worry we’ve got those, too! We have 172+ tools available to check out!


We have a YouTube channel!

Check out the overview of the library video – and the one about surviving college! We also have tutorials to help you learn about our resources and how to navigate your way through them!  You’ll want to subscribe to our channel – there will be lots more videos coming!

Explore our homepage – with links to new books, resources, our blog, and how to get help. You can search course reserves, databases and e-journals directly from our homepage, too. Then come explore the library! We are at 2001 Seamans Center – just off the Student Commons. Our hours are listed on our homepage – so stop in!

Head Librarian, Kari Kozak and Informatics Librarian, and Qianijn (Marina) Zhang, are both available for research consultations and all our staff are available to help you find the resources you need!

Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook  follow us on Twitter   and Pinterest

Come see all we have to offer – we look forward to seeing you soon!



Qianjin (Marina) Zhang, Engineering & Informatics Librarian

Kari Kozak, Head, Lichtenberger Engineering Library

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Longer Fall Hours Begin Monday, August 21

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The Hardin Library will move to longer hours beginning on Monday, August 21.

Complete hours

Monday-Thursday  7:30am-Midnight
 Friday  7:30am-8pm
Saturday  10am-6pm (CLOSED when home football game)
 Sunday  Noon-Midnight

A 24-hour study is available when the library is closed.  Apply for access at the Service Desk.

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The Solar Eclipse – What, Where & How!

NASA Photo. Total Eclipse Australia, Nov. 15, 2012


I’m guessing you have heard a lot about the “Eclipse of the Century,” lately. And, you’ve no doubt heard that you shouldn’t look directly at the eclipse. But what else do you know about  a total eclipse?

You might think that a total solar eclipse is a fairly rare event – after all, this one has been dubbed the “Eclipse of the Century.” However, a total solar eclipse occurs approximately every 18 months – or 2 total eclipses every three years. So, why is this one so special? The eclipse which will occur on August 21, 2017 at 1:12 p.m. (time for the most complete viewing in Iowa City, Iowa) is the 1st coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years! There will be total eclipses in 2019 and 2020 – but only visible below the equator. The next total eclipse which will cross the United States will occur on April 8, 2024.

Hawaii experienced a total solar eclipse in 1991, but the U.S. mainland hasn’t seen one since 1979. The Eclipse of the Century (i.e. August 21, 2017) will sweep from coast to coast! The path of totality (total darkness) will begin near Lincoln City, Oregon, crossing into Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and finally, South Carolina. Tiny slivers will pass over Montana and Iowa. Many references to the eclipse say it will pass over 12 states – “forgetting” to include Montana and Iowa! The total eclipse in Iowa will be seen on a farm in the extreme southwest corner! It is such a small corner and a such a short duration it often is ignored!

Graphic from “Total Solar Eclipses and How to Observe Them” by Martin Mobberley.


In Iowa City, the countdown to the Iowa version of the total eclipse begins at 11:47 a.m. The maximum will be reached as 1:12 p.m. and it will end at 2:36 p.m.  Iowa City and the surrounding area will actually see a partial solar eclipse – the percent of the totality will be 92.22%.

Did you know there are several types of solar eclipses? A partial eclipse is when the moon obscures only a portion of the sun. An annular eclipse is a total eclipse but one in which the moon is so close to the sun they appear to be nearly the same size and the edges of the sun can be seen. A total eclipse is when the moon totally blocks the sun.

So, what causes an eclipse? We know the moon passing in front of the sun blots out the sun – but how? The length of the new moon’s shadow is – on the average – 232,100 miles. The moon’s distance to the earth’s surface is – on the average – 234,900 miles. So, when the moon passes directly in front of the sun it appears smaller than the sun – which causes the bright ring of sunlight around the moon’s silhouette!

Now you have a very basic idea of what a solar eclipse is, how is the best and safest way to actually observe it?

Looking directly at the sun is never a good idea, but is definitely not safe during an eclipse. The solar radiation that reaches the earth is known to contribute to the accelerated aging of the outer layers of the eye and the development of cataracts. Light-sensitive rods and cone cells can be severely damaged by exposure to intense visible light. It is possible there could be a temporary or permanent loss of vision from retinal burns. The danger is increased because there are no pain receptors in the retina and the effect may not show up for several hours after exposure.

Using homemade filters or very dark sunglasses is not safe. Special “eclipse glasses” and handheld solar viewers are available. However, one should be sure that those glasses and viewers are from reputable vendors and are certified as safe for eclipse viewing. The American Astronomical Society; National Science Foundation have a website, Solar Eclipse Across America, which has information about how to safely view an eclipse and a list of reputable vendors where you  may purchase certified glasses, viewers, and filters. Interestingly, this website explains an alternative method of viewing the eclipse via a pinhole projection.

If you are interested in photography, you should know that taking photos of the eclipse without the proper equipment can damage your camera. Chapter 11 of Total Solar Eclipses deals with DSLRs and digital eclipse photography. Solar Eclipse Across America also has a page dedicated to shooting both still images and videos. Certified filters for telescopes, binoculars and camera lenses are also listed on the reputable vendor page.

For those of you in the Iowa City area, head to the University of Iowa Sciences Library eclipse page on their website – you’ll learn what is happening on campus, where and how you can see it, what to expect and more! If you aren’t able to get out and safely view the eclipse it will be possible to watch it online! For a list of websites which will stream live check out How to watch the total solar eclipse online – Astronomy magazine has a list of where and when the total eclipse will be live online – those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the path of the total eclipse will still be able to view it!

Want to check out what the eclipse will look like where you are? Time : Science has a simulation that shows the eclipse from any location in the United States!

How much do you know about solar eclipses? Check out this quiz from National Geographic!

Those who have experienced total eclipses say there is nothing like them and seeing one is an experience like no other. So, no matter where you are in the path of this eclipse – please be safe and ENJOY!!


Mobberley, Martin. 2007. Total solar eclipses and how to observe them. New York : Springer. Engineering Library QB541 .M63 2007

Levy, David H. 2010. David Levy’s guide to eclipses, transits, and occulations. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press. Engineering Library QB175 .L48 2010

Solar Eclipse – August 21, 2017. University of Iowa Sciences Library. Date accessed: August 8, 2017

Zeller, Michael. 2014-2017. Eclipse Basics.  Great American Eclipse.  Date accessed: August 8, 2017.

Eclipses and Transits. NASA  Date Accessed: August 8, 2017

Solar Eclipse Across America : Monday, August 21, 2017: Sun…Moon… You! 2017American Astronomical Society

Chou, B. Ralph, MSc, OD. Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses.  NASA, Heliophysics Science Division.  Date Accessed: August, 8, 2017

Kilen, Mike. May 16, 2017. A tiny farm field is the first Iowa spot in 63 years under a total solar eclipse. The Des Moines Register.

Bell, Terena. August 1, 2017. How to watch the total solar eclipse online : viewing options for astronomy fans outside totality. Astronomy Magazine.

Wilson, Chris, Aug. 7, 2017. See How the Solar Eclipse Will Look From Anywhere in the U.S.  Time : Science

Other Resources:

View the Solar Eclipse Safely. 2017. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Zeller, Michael. 2014-2017. Future Eclipses in the 21st Century. Great American Eclipse Date accessed: August 8, 2017.

Weitering, Hanneke, Staff Writer. June 23, 2017. The Best ISO-Certified Gear to See the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

August 21, 2017 – Great American Eclipse (Total Solar Eclipse).

Jao, Joe. Skywatching Columnist. April 25, 2017. Total Solar Eclipses: How Often Do They Occur (and Why?).

Eclipse 101 : Safety : Eclipse Eyeglass Safety : Don’t be Blindsided! NASA . Date accessed: July 31, 2017



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