Book Lovers Party in the Stacks

The Toronto Public Library Foundation’s annual fundraising event may be called the Book Lover’s Ball, but today’s library boasts way more than just books.

The Toronto Reference Library (TRL) is headquarters for the city’s nearly 100 branches. Not only can you find books and other media in the expansive five-story space (over 400,000 sq. feet), the TRL offers a Digital Innovation Hub. Kids and adults have access to design classes, 3D printers, 3D scanners and a variety of design software (printing fees apply). Starting your own business? Their business plan series and other small business seminars can get you started. Ready to self-publish your own book? Thanks to Asquith Press you can print a high-quality paperback (fees apply). But in fact, today’s library offers countless services – most of them free – for every walk of life.

In case you missed it, the library is cool, man. (Perhaps why 72% of our city’s residents use it.) How do you make it even cooler? Add cocktails, dinner and a DJ, and forego the “shushing” for a night.

The Book Lover’s Ball has raised over $3.6 million since it started in 2006. In its 10th year the event became an historic opportunity to “Party in the Stacks” of the Toronto Reference Library. Dinner guests mingled amidst the bookshelves over fare from renowned chef Jamie Kennedy. The After Dark after party brought the literary scene to life with Celebrity Author Speed Scrabble, a Prose Store, dancing, desserts served by “librarians” on book return carts and other literary-inspired activities.

The Book Lover’s Ball happens only once a year, but guess what? The library is almost always open. Now, where did I put my library card?

Photos by George Pimentel, mostly.

Whatcha Reading? The Book Lover’s Ball

On February 11th I stopped by the 6th annual Book Lover’s Ball in support of Toronto Public Library and its 99 branches. Each year this is a dazzling display of food (with hors d’hoeuvres care of Chef Marc Thuet), silent auction items and a novel-inspired fashion show to raise money to support the library’s collections and services. While this year’s runway show appeared to be a smaller affair than the one in 2010, it’s always a fun integration of art, where literature meets fashion. 

Six designers paired items from their collection with Town Shoes, Anzie jewelery and novel inspirations including Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, Artist Arthur’s Mystify, Judy Fong Bates’ Midnight in the Dragon Cafe, Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s Secret Daughter, Jeffrey Deaver’s 007 novel Carte Blanche and Camilla Lackberg’s The Ice Princess.

Nadya Toto
Samuel Song
BOSS by Hugo Boss
Romona Keveza