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NYC libraries to give away eclipse-viewing glasses

Solar Eclipse glasses at the Suntree Viera Library Childens Department.
Solar Eclipse glasses at the Suntree Viera Library Childens Department.

New Yorkers will be able to snag a free pair of eclipse viewing glasses at any New York City library branch on a first-come, first-served basis, officials announced Thursday.

While the April 8 total solar eclipse’s zone of totality starts about 250 miles north of the city, the astronomical event will be partially visible from the boroughs, with a magnitude of about 91%.

The city’s 217 Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and New York Public Library branches will distribute the crucial eyewear beginning on Friday, according to the NYPL.

New Yorkers can snag the much-needed eyewear at any city library starting Friday. TIM SHORTT/ FLORIDA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK
New Yorkers can snag the much-needed eyewear at any city library starting Friday. TIM SHORTT/ FLORIDA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

The giveaway is a partnership between the libraries and the National Esports Association, who launched a “Look Up!” safety campaign surrounding the event.

New Yorkers heading upstate to watch the moon black out the sun can also snag a free pair of “I Love NY” eclipse glasses at rest stops along the Thruway and at Moynihan Train Station or buy them online.

Staring at the eclipse for even a few seconds without eye protection can lead to serious and permanent vision damage, experts say.

New York Public Library branches will distribute the crucial eyewear beginning on Friday. MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK
New York Public Library branches will distribute the crucial eyewear beginning on Friday. MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

The next time a total solar eclipse will be visible from the state is in 2079, when all five boroughs will be in the totality zone, according to NASA.