First I went to an event sponsored by a new librarian organization in Chi-town. I drove 90 minutes to Lincoln Square for the first ever Chicago Deskset event!
It was a g o r g e o u s Chicago spring day and I found parking right on the block (SCORE). The front of the pub was rather quiet and chill, Sat afternoon and all but I went in the back room and it was JAM PACKED with librarians and book lovers.
Luckily I saw some people I knew to chat with, met some people they knew, went to the bar for a beer (it was a Belgian Abbey Ale in a custom glass and I really wish I had taken a picture of it, but this guy I was talking to was making me laugh so I didn't want to fish out my camera), hung out with more people.
The Deskset had some door prizes, including a gift certificate to the Unabridged Bookstore in Lakeview, and a book and pin set from IFA, so they made some announcements and thanked everyone for coming. Everyone who donated a book got a raffle ticket. One of the winners was the number after mine -- rats! The Deskset reports that over 100 people attended and they collected 350 books, which will be donated to Chicago-area juvenile detention centers.
As I was hanging out outside, trying to get a signal on my phone (The Grafton's historic tin roof does not play nice with cell phones) a group of people walking out paused and asked me "So, is this a book club meeting?!!?" To which I replied that this was the kickoff event for the new Chicago Deskset, and it was a book drive for incarcerated youth, and they were welcome to get involved in the next one, just google Chicago Deskset.
ahhhhhh they said. Wow, really??? These are all librarians??? They all seemed impressed. When I returned to my table and shared the conversation, we all kind of laughed and one of us said dryly, that sure sounds more impressive than we just wanted to clean off our bookshelves and drink some beer.
After beer and books, the day's fun was not over. I was off to meet my pal Amelia and search for 5 letterboxes hidden in and around THE ALLEY, a Chicago institution. I love the store and this area, but parking is a real bear so I don't get down here as often as I used to. Still the creativity and vibrancy of the area is a big draw.
All in all a fantastic day in the best city in the world.
Photo 1: Chicago Deskset sign at Grafton Pub. Chicago, IL. Taken by me. April 2010.
Photo 2: The Alley. Chicago, IL. Taken by me. April 2010.