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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

A Night at the Library Fundraiser in Tulare

Aug 25, 2017 11:00AM ● By Jordan Venema

Between the Pages

September 2017
Story by Jordan Venema
Photos courtesy of Tulare Public Library

People enjoy reading books for different reasons, from education to entertainment. But whatever the reason, there’s no denying that a good book can take a reader to another world. That’s what good books do, and that’s what Tulare Public Library deals in. In a sense, then, librarians are purveyors of out-of-this-world experiences, but for one night in September at least, they’re hoping not to transport readers to another world but to Tulare Public Library, where they will bring books to life.

On September 25, Tulare Public Library will host its seventh annual A Night at the Library, a fundraiser for purposes like offsetting the cost of books.

Sandi Miller and Jill Worley are two volunteers coordinating this year’s event, and they believe this year will be one not to miss.

“Volunteers sponsor and highlight a book,” explains Miller, “and they decorate the area to reflect the book itself. Each year they choose different books. Last year they had ‘Jungle Book’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Interview with a Vampire.’” 

This year’s A Night at the Library will feature “Ragtime,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Dream Carver,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Shogun” and local author and historian Terry L. Ommen’s “Wild Tulare County: Outlaws, Rogues, and Rebels.”

“Ommen will be there to autograph the book and answer questions, and that’s always really special,” says Miller.

Attendees can expect samurais from Japan, bank robbers from the Wild West, or maybe even masked opera singers, because this isn’t just about highlighting different books, but also bringing them to life. 

Readings will be scattered all throughout the library, says Miller, “and food synonymous with the book,” not to mention wine and beer. But the most important takeaway, she says: “You don’t go away hungry. It’s unlimited.” 

“Last year, for ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ they prepared a stew and shepherds pie, things that were reflective of meals highlighted in the book,” explains Worley. One of this year’s books, ‘Dream Carver,’ is set in Ireland during the Irish potato famine. “We won’t be serving potatoes,” says Worley, “but there will be food that speaks of Ireland and that time of history.” 

Presenters of the books also will dress in costume and decorate the library according to the themes of their books. And of course, says Miller, “people are welcome to come and dress in costume of the books that really interest them. The people that take on these books have such imagination that it’s really fun to see what they do come up with.”

“Last year, for ‘Interview with a Vampire,’ we had this lady dress up in an exotic long dress, and like she had her neck bit. This particular woman buys her costumes online so it’s always fun to look forward to what she’s going to wear and for which book.”

As well as food and decorations, the library will also include live music, making this more than just books come to life, but also a little bit of Broadway, as well. 

“This year, we’re going to have music playing throughout the event provided by the Tulare community band, which is always kind of fun,” says Worley. “The music will certainly be inspired by the books, but the band, they do what they want.”

They will also have a candy shop and a silent auction with items donated by sponsors, organizations and members. “It’s all about raising money for the library,” says Miller.

Since “A Night at the Library” will serve alcohol, it is a 21-and-over event. Still, says Worley, “it’s a nice opportunity to meet and greet people, and become even more involved with the library and know what’s going on.” 

Tickets cost $50 and include food, wine, beer and champagne. Past years have seen as many as 250 guests, raising around $20,000 for the library – which hopefully translates to more nights at the library, and even more books.

A Night at the Library • September 25, 5:30 – 8:30pm

Tulare Public Library • 475 N. M St., Tulare • (559) 685-4518