On Monday, August 21, 2017, an eclipse of the sun will cross North America. The New York metro area, including Long Island, will be experiencing a partial eclipse from 1:23pm to 4:00pm. The midpoint and time of greatest coverage will be at 2:45pm. At this point, the sun will be 71% covered. The Library is holding an eclipse viewing event in Kennedy Plaza that afternoon from 2:00 to 3:30. Information packets, kids' activities, and a very limited number of "eclipse glasses" will be available.

NASA TV will be streaming the eclipse live as it crosses the continent. has an eclipse simulator Enter a location to see how the eclipse will look there

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, which must be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard and not scratched or marred. It is not safe to look directly at the sun with ordinary sunglasses, no matter how dark; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.

What happens to your eyes if you look directly at the eclipse without proper filters? (Newsweek)

Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters and Viewers

A convenient method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed Sun is pinhole projection. Simply pass sunlight through a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and project an image of the sun onto a nearby surface, such as another card, a wall, or the ground. No special equipment needed! Cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other. Then, with your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground. During the partial phases of the solar eclipse, these images will reveal the sun’s crescent shape. A colander or spaghetti strainer will also work; every hole will project a crescent. Or look at the shadows of leaves on the ground. The tiny spaces between the leaves will act as pinhole projectors, dappling the ground with images of the crescent sun.

If you want to make your own pinhole viewer, these pages have instructions:
American Astronomical Society
Exploratorium video

For more information:
NASA’s Eclipse information site
NASA’s Safety Tips
NASA’s Eclipse FAQ
American Astronomical Society eclipse information site
Eclipse FAQs collected by AAS
How to View an Eclipse Safely (AAS)
Newsday article July 31, 2017: How to watch the eclipse on Long Island