Hard to believe, but it's been five years since the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library opened its fine doors in an impressive new building at 3030 Poplar. To celebrate the anniversary, the Foundation for the Library is hosting a gala fund-raiser, called "After Hours," on the evening of November 4th. Complementary wine and beer tastings will be provided by Arthur's Wine and Liquor and Boscos Squared, and Another Roadside Attraction will be catering an elegant meal. The University of Memphis Jazz Singers are set to perform.
As guest speaker, the library has invited Newsweek senior editor, NBC News commentator, and author Jonathan Alter, who will be doing triple duty: addressing the crowd, opening the floor to questions, and signing his latest book, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (Simon & Schuster).
"Yes, we're going to make good use of Alter's appearance," says Lillian Johnson, public-relations supervisor for the Memphis Public Library & Information Center. "But it's for a good cause. All proceeds are going toward library acquisitions and development.
"Some people already take it for granted that we're here," Johnson says of the Central Library's instant popularity with the public. "Others think, Wow, has it been five years?
"The Central Library has become a destination ... a place for people throughout the city to hang out. Visitors from out of town comment on our building and the breadth of what we offer. Whatever the response, it's always positive. We're proud of our library system. The 'After Hours' gala is going to be a great evening!"
Helping to sponsor the event are Arthur's, Boscos Squared, Comcast, and the Memphis Flyer. Tickets are $100 per person; $700 for a table of eight. For more information and reservations, call 415-2834.
Foundation for the Library's "After Hours" Gala, the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar, Saturday, November 4th, 7-11 p.m.