Summertime is in full bloom and, for many, interests have turned toward spending time in the sunshine this season, soaking up some Vitamin D, and creating joyful memories to be preserved and fondly missed in the wintertime. Me, though? I’ve always been a lover of the slow-arriving evening twilights and the charming chorus of peepers having raucous conversations long after the sun has set. The delight of nature is an obvious highlight of summer nights spent around a campfire or on a back porch, but there’s something else we humans can’t deny as equally bewitching: the sprawling, inspiring night sky. Sitting underneath the ribbons of stars above us, how could our thoughts not turn toward space?

Outer space is, in a word, awesome. Here at Crawfordsville District Public Library, we’re celebrating just how cool space is with our summer reading program and displays running on the second floor featuring titles about our relationship with the cosmos and the stories we tell about it. If STEM subjects fill you with dread, don’t worry. Space can be enjoyed even by those who don’t necessarily enjoy “traditional” science, and we’re highlighting books, movies, and tv shows which explore how mind-blowing space really is.

You’ll want to stop by our Outer Space display before July 1st to check out one of our many large, full-colored titles which explore the astonishing photographs being captured by telescopes nowadays, like “Expanding Universe: Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope.” (520 Exp) If you’re a history reader or map lover, I highly recommend flipping through the title “Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time” by Michael Benson (523.1022 Ben) which documents the procession of humanity’s discovery of the universe told through the evolution of maps and illustrations made by ancient and modern cultures. Fans of popular science will definitely want to check out “Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void” by Mary Roach (571.0919 Roa), along with “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson (523.01 Tys) and “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming” by Mike Brown (523.49 Bro). Future stargazers and night sky romantics can hone their skills with “Stargazing for Dummies” (520 Owe), “What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky” (523.8 Ose), and National Geographic’s “Backyard Guide to the Night Sky” (520 Faz).

We couldn’t talk about space without acknowledging one of the most interesting and mysterious related topics — aliens — which is why you can catch a display featuring titles about extraterrestrials, UFOs, and other mysteries starting June 15th. Newcomers to the subject may be familiar with the History Channel tv cult hit, “Ancient Aliens,” which will be available for checkout soon at CDPL; as you wait for the first two seasons to arrive you can explore the book which inspired the show, “Chariot of the Gods” by Erich von Däniken (001.94 Dan). You can also learn more about close encounters with first-person accounts like “Encounter in Rendlesham Forest: The Inside Story of the World’s Best-Documented UFO Incident” (001.942 Pop) or investigative titles like “Files from the Edge: A Paranormal Investigator’s Explorations into High Strangeness” (130 Imb).

If you haven’t dropped by the library in a while, now’s the perfect time to stop back in. You can still register for our adult summer reading program and win prizes, be dazzled by our outer space decorations, and catch awesome upcoming programs like our Touch-a-Truck night on June 20th at 6pm or our brand new Walking Wednesdays Book Club which meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 6:30pm for a casual walk-and-talk about books outdoors (with no assigned reading). Hope to see you soon.

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