Partnerships can come in the most unique of ways. It is a known fact that I, as most librarians can be, am a tremendous supporter of literature, art and music. But perhaps a little-known fact is that I spent many years bartending in music venues as I worked my way through school.
The heavy lifting and labors of my long lost 20-something years are still skills used today as multitasking, problem solving and graciousness are hallmarks of good management and service in libraries. I will be able to use some of those skills as I “celebrity bartend” at the new Law Office Pub and Music Hall in Yorkville for a special night from 7 to 10 p.m. April 20. I hope you will join us for a night of Toast for Tunes: A Musical Fundraiser, with proceeds benefitting the collections of the Sugar Grove Public Library.
I stopped by The Law Office one night to hear some wonderful jazz and blues and had a conversation with Robert Gryder, the friendly bar manager. He has deep roots in the area, as well as a special place in his heart for libraries. His mother spent years serving as a trustee at both the Yorkville and Plano public libraries; library love and community service seems to run in his blood.
The new Law Office Pub and Music Hall is owned by Boyd Ingemumson, and his family used to have their family legal practice in this historic building. After the practice was moved, the building was renovated to be a music venue and opened in May 2015. The venue focuses on local music, independent and unique acts, as well as special nights of open jam sessions that have become favorites of local musicians.
Recent acts have included Aaron Kelley, Lindsey Ward (brilliant violin and looping), Noah Gabriel and Jake Mack, all performing in the rich tradition of creativity in the Fox Valley region and Kane County. In the course of our evening conversation, Robert and I discovered a shared love of partnership and collaboration, and cooked up a way to do something fun that might be of benefit to our community.
Any tips or donations I personally receive (though hardworking staff will NOT be stiffed this evening!) will go to buy local music CDs to add to our library collection. As Robert and I sat talking, the bells went off in my head and I realized that we have the latest Kanye, classical production or Adele ... but we are sorely lacking on local music. And how important is it to carry these items as we contribute to the cultural economy in our region?
Any funds raised, or CDs donated by local musicians, will be placed in our collection to infuse our holdings with our own local flavors. As we share resources in our catalog with a host of other libraries, this new collection will likely become vital.
I hope that community members will stop by and visit that night and enjoy some fantastic music, a craft beer brewed anywhere from Illinois to Colorado, and support the Sugar Grove Public Library. I’ll do my best to keep up behind the bar, or at least not break anything, and I promise a friendly smile. It will be a full night of music and fun, with no cover charge.
The Law Office Pub and Music Hall is located at 226 S. Pub St. in Yorkville, and you may also RSVP for the event on the library’s Facebook page.
Shannon Halikias is the director of the Sugar Grove Public Library, a professor at College of DuPage, leads a local writing group and is an active outdoors lover with two rowdy boys. You can reach her at email@example.com. Feedback on this column can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.