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Ashley Atkinson
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Embracing the Dark

Embracing the Dark

FCPL Introduces Light Pollution Monitoring Kits to its Library of Things

By Dianne Coan, Technical Operations Division Director

While perhaps not as rare or exciting as a total eclipse, there was another occurrence worth celebrating in early April 2024. The first week of the month also marked the launch of the latest “thing” in Fairfax County Public Library’s Library of Things collection: a light pollution monitoring kit.

Also called a dark skies kit, it was developed through a working partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority and serves as a citizen science initiative. Residents are encouraged to participate in the preservation of our night skies by contributing valuable data through this innovative program. The kit provides the tools needed to measure and monitor light levels in the community, such as a sky quality meter, planispheres for locating constellations, a red-light flashlight and instructions. The kit is English-Spanish bilingual with the instructions and the planispheres offered in both languages. They can be picked up (or placed on hold for pickup) at any of our 22 locations.

Learn more about these kits and find additional resources at

Fairfax Virtual Assistant