Two Lancastrians walk into a bar, copies of Kafka on the Shore cradled beneath their arms…
No, this is not the beginning of an uncomfortable joke. This could be you, on your way to Books On Tap, the latest program geared towards twenty-to-thirty-somethings from the Lancaster Public Library.
The free series started in November, with a discussion of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere at The Federal Taphouse on the corner of Queen St. and Chestnut St. “At our first meetup we talked about the book… and covered some typical book discussion questions,” said Adult Services Librarian Hannah Miller, “…but we also talked about books in general, Lancaster, and cool PA breweries.”
Simply put, Books On Tap is a book club at a bar. “We wanted to take a more traditional library book club and bring it out to people who may not be drawn to sitting quietly around a table at the library,” said Miller, “I had heard about the idea and thought it would fit in perfectly in Lancaster, where there is such a lively and unique bar scene.” Couple that with the fact that Lancaster has multiple independent bookstores, writing organizations, and reading series, and you’ve got the perfect pairing.
Library programs and events for the twenty-to-thirty-something crowd is becoming increasingly popular. In order to reach out to this age group, the Lancaster Public Library offers monthly film screenings (Date Night at the Library and foreign films), a SyFan (science fiction) club, and is working on some craft programs. In the past year, the library has presented science and technology programs for adults, including a session on building rockets and another about electricity. The library recently purchased a telescope using grant money, and hopes to offer stargazing programs in 2015.
“Specifically, as a 20/30 something, it can be harder to continue your personal education,” said Miller, “…the library can help foster that.” It’s also a great place to meet people and become involved with your community, particularly when librarians like Miller are willing to engage in conversations around books, literacy, and reading beyond the walls of the library building itself.
Books On Tap is free to attend and open to anyone 21 years or older. The group meets at 8pm the second Wednesday of every month. The next event is at The Federal Taphouse on Wednesday, December 10th and will feature a discussion of When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Other upcoming titles include The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1/14), Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2/11), Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell (3/11), and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (4/8). For the complete schedule, call the Lancaster Public Library at 717.239.2105, stop by the library, or check out www.lpl-booksontap.eventbrite.com.
How will you know you’re in the right place? “We’ll be the ones sitting around with books out at a bar,” said Miller.
Cheers to that.