The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Akasha Spino-Bybee

Community reads "The End of Night" to bring light to the discussions on darkness


A recent reading program at the Goldendale Library wants to keep people out of the dark.

“The program is called, ‘Community Reads’ and it is based upon a National Endowment for the Arts program called ‘The Big Read,’” says Cory Eberhart, a Friend of the Goldendale Library. “It is comprised of many people reading the same book at the same time, which makes a basis for discussion and it’s a way of getting folks all on the same page about an issue or a subject.” The topic the Goldendale Library had chosen for Goldendale to discuss as a community is the issue on artificial light and its pollution of the night’s natural sky.

“This is such a timely discussion,” says Naomi Fisher, Goldendale Librarian. “With many people in town talking about the night skies and the Observatory, I thought it would be important to provide a neutral venue to explore these issues and learn more about them.”

“The book that the library chose to read as a community in part of discussing this subject, is The End of Night: Searching for Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard,” says Eberhart. “The book is based on the author’s search for the clearest view of the night’s sky, which for the majority of human history is all that human’s saw.”

“I think this is a good time for us to have this discussion as Bob Yoesle and Earlene Sullivan, Friends of the Observatory, have introduced the Dark Skies ordinance (established by the International Dark Skies Association) to city council at their last meeting,” says Eberhart. “I think that as people are reading more about this subject and developing an understanding and appreciation for it, that this may influence our community to get on board with a Dark Skies ordinance.”

When asked about the Friends of the Observatory and their current push for better lighting and a revision to the city and county, Fisher responded, “The library’s mission centers around providing information for learning. The library encourages discussion, but does not advocate for or against any political issue or candidate. At our programs, we provide a non-threatening and non-judgmental setting for people to air their views and hopefully to learn something new.”


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