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Inviting. Informing. Transforming. » About » Library News » Stark Library Hosts Out of this World Event with Astronaut Mike Massimino

Stark Library Hosts Out of this World Event with Astronaut Mike Massimino

March 12, 2019 (Canton, Ohio) – Stark Library invites you to join us for the next exciting installment of the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series with bestselling author and astronaut Mike Massimino. He will visit the Canton Palace Theater on April 2nd at 6:30 p.m. to discuss his book, his journey to outer space, what it’s like seeing Earth from above and take audience questions.

Even before Mike Massimino watched the moon landing as a child, he knew he wanted to be an astronaut. His book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, shares his disappointments and triumphs during his attempts to gain admission into NASA, his first spacewalks, the loss of his fellow astronauts in the Columbia disaster, his decision not to return to space, and his support of future space travel ventures.

In 2017 Massimino received the Christopher Award, the Columbia University Community Impact Outstanding Community Service Award, and the Communications Award of the National Space Club. As a “down to earth” guy, he’s a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia and an advisor at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. And now he’s a New York Times bestselling author.

Massimino shares the important role of the Library on his journey. “I was six years old when I watched Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon. The next day I asked my mom to take me to the Franklin Square Public Library around the corner from my house to take out every book I could find on spaceflight Libraries have always been places for me to go to explore, study, and learn. They opened the world to me and provided the foundation for me to fulfill my dream of becoming an astronaut and flying in space.”

“Mike has an inspirational story of perseverance. Despite numerous setbacks and rejections on his journey, he went on to serve as an astronaut for 20 years, logging more than 570 hours in space! We’re thrilled to have Mike join the Speaking of Books Series,” said Marianna DiGiacomo, Community Services Director.

The Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series brings acclaimed writers to Stark County who inspire lively discussion and community conversation while exemplifying literary excellence. It is named for Dr. Audrey Lavin, a local “celebrity” author, a globe-trotting academic, a champion of writers, and a tireless supporter of the Library. The 2018-2019 season included four special evenings at the Canton Palace Theatre with authors Bernie Sanders, Ruth Reichel, and Imbolo Mbue.

Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Reserve your free seats for this event at StarkLibrary.org/SpeakingOfBooks.

Stay tuned for the 2019-2020 season to be announced.



One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, the Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 9,000 programs for 166,000 attendees and provides 220,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2017, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.

Today, as it reimagines itself as The SmartStore, where everything is free®, the Library is emerging as a national thought-leader with innovations such as its “no overdue fines” policy, the BikeSmart bike sharing network, passport services and the StartSmart School Partnership.

For locations, hours or more information visit StarkLibrary.org or call 330.452.0665.


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