I love a good unique collection. It gets public libraries thinking outside of the box of typical services we provide. What I like to say is “Find a hole and fill it!”. Some suburban libraries outside of Chicago are seeing success in lending telescopes so their patrons can experience the cosmos.
As someone who loves spending time looking through a telescope with her family, I can see how this would be a very popular program. In fact, my husband and I are members of the Austin Astronomical Society who has a lending program. Why not have this program through a public library? Clearly there are technical aspects about taking care of the scopes that an expert will have, but libraries could partner with organizations like the Austin Astronomical Society to help run the program. It would be more visible through the public library since people are already coming there to borrow things. I also love a good community partner. See how that works out? 🙂