On August 17, 2017, the TADL Main Library received a highly-anticipated shipment of 800 solar eclipse shades. Upon opening the boxes, a brief inspection of the shades led TADL staff to question the safety of these items.
Specifically, they do not include the printed international safety standard (ISO) number “12312-2:2015” nor do they include the manufacturer name and contact information. Furthermore, the presence of a printed “Disclaimer” statement, combined with the absence of the aforementioned safety markings, raised further suspicion about the authenticity and protection of these sun-viewing devices.
The Traverse Area District Library Board of Trustees, Administration and Staff have a responsibility to provide the public with safe and trusted sources of information, resources and services. Maintaining the library’s reputation for integrity in serving the public is essential to the role of TADL in Grand Traverse County.
We do not have faith in the safety of the solar eclipse shades received on August 17. Therefore, based on the information available at this time and an abundance of caution, Gail Parsons, TADL Director, has determined that they will not be distributed. TADL will not be receiving more solar eclipse shades to distribute.
It is always difficult to disappoint our patrons and neighbors, especially those that were eagerly hoping to obtain solar eclipse shades at the library. However, it is more important that no harm come from distributing a potentially unsafe item that could cause long-term vision damage from exposure to UV and IR rays.
During the past two weeks more than 2,000 solar eclipse shades were distributed by the six TADL network libraries. All solar eclipse glasses distributed by a TADL location prior to August 17 and bearing the ISO 12312-2 safety marking or manufactured by Rainbow Symphony, Inc. are safe and authentic. If you have any doubts about the safety of solar eclipse shades received at the library, please visit a service desk to verify that the item is safe for solar viewing.