Through May 7, 2014, the New York Public Library is offering its busy patrons a unique opportunity to listen to famous authors give a twenty minute reading of their work, followed by a ten minute question and answer session. The events will be located under the center arch in historic Astor Hall and the series is named Books at Noon. Some of the recognized authors in attendance have been Paul Auster, P.J. O’Rourke, and Michael Cunningham. The upcoming catalog includes:
- April 9 -A.E. Hotchner, author of OJ in the Morning (pub. St. Martins), GT at Night: Spirited Dispatches on Aging with Joie de Vivre (pub. St. Martins)
- April 16 -Joyce Carol Oates, author of Catharge (pub. Ecco)
- April 23 -Francine Prose, author of Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 (Pub. Harper Collins)
- April 30 – Richard Ravitch, author of So Much To Do (pub. Foreign Affairs)
- May 7 – Eve Ensler, author of In the Body of the World (pub. Picador)
While the series does not include, or allow, food to be consumed at Astor Hall, it has basically been fashioned for the public to come in on their lunch hour. The library feels this may help to connect with some patrons who are unable to attend series that are accessible only at night.
While it may be unfeasible to get Eve Ensler to come to your local library, this is still a great initiative to kickstart similar programs. Most regions have local authors from their city or the surrounding areas who could participate. Another great suggestion would be to expand to local artists who could lecture on their craft. Reach out to local organizations and offer up the meeting rooms, lobbies, and even front lawns to give presentations and demonstrations for the public. Library Lunch Hour also presents a great opportunity to get the public involved by allowing them to vote for what authors and artists, etc they want to see give presentations. More info athttp://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/new-york-public-library-to-offer-lunch-hour-readings/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.