Libraries Rock: Beer & Books

Jul 02, 2018
Written by cmcguire
When most people think of library summer reading programs, they think of activities for kids. Since adults comprise more than 80 percent of our patrons, it is logical for us to provide programs for the majority of our library’s users. Our goal is to provide speakers and events that Leavenworth residents may not otherwise have an opportunity to experience; particularly events that may cost too much or require travel to Kansas City.
We started our adult summer reading program with a Latin Jazz performance. A few weeks ago, we offered an escape room experience. This Sunday, July 8, we are hosting an Advanced Genealogy workshop. And on Thursday, July 12, we are going to rock it out of the park with Beer and Books: A Pairing Event, at Ten Penny Restaurant from 7 to 9 p.m. The event is free, but it is limited to 30 people (age 21 and older) and a ticket is required. We only have a few tickets left, so if you are interested, please stop by the Library right away.
I got this idea from another library in the small town of Beloit, Kan. The librarian who shared it thought it would be a fun and different approach to promote reading for adults, plus a way to collaborate with a local business that already has a liquor license. I thought that if a town of 3,800 people could successfully attract 25 patrons to their event, we could surely pull it off just as successfully.
We will be pairing five beers with five books from the following genres: Beach Reads, Biography and History, Crossover (Young Adult/Adult), Mystery and Thriller. Library staff will share a short synopsis of each book plus information on additional books to read in each category and a description of each beer.
Ironically, I am not a beer drinker. Some of the staff who are participating are, so I am relying on them as well as Ten Penny staff to help with that portion. The first time I ever tasted beer was at my maternal grandmother’s house. She liked to drink an occasional Schlitz or Hamm’s, neither of which were very good. She let me have a sip when I was about seven years old. I did not like it at all. The smell was enough to keep me away forever. Even at high school or college parties, peer pressure was not enough to get me to drink it.
My son and brother are both beer aficionados. Their tastes are much more sophisticated than my grandmother’s was. Occasionally I will try a sip of their beer, and I have to admit, some of them are rather good. Perhaps tasting a few more varieties at our pairing event will help me like it better. And if our participants want us to do this again, we might switch it up with something I do like – wine and books. Stay thirsty, my friends.