For all the ways the Evanston Public Library works to create a presence in the community, its partnership with Temperance Brewery is among the most creative. It has become an avenue to stretch the meaning of “enhancing the many forms of literacy” that is a pillar of the Library’s mission.
Sometimes that gets very literal, such as next week, Sept. 17, when the Library will be featured during Temperance’s Trikonasana series that combines beer with yoga and a cause. Jenny Arrington of Rebel Human brings her “Rebel Human Way” class to the brewery, and attendees get a deep dive into the breadth of what the Library does for Evanston residents and neighbors. Participants start with a full yoga session back in the brewery, then gather to learn about the featured local non-profit while sipping on a local beer.
“Temperance Trikonasana is one of my favorite events in Evanston,” says Library Chief Development Officer Wynn Shawver. “It’s the perfect way to unwind, get centered and be present to consider how we participate in our community. It’s a great way to get to know other civic minded folks and show your library love.”
This is the third annual yoga event for the Library at Temperance, the first held post-pandemic. Participants arrive, register and then find a spot for their mat (bring your own). Another reward is learning about the beer brewing process with Temperance owner Josh Gilbert.
But if yoga isn’t your thing, another four-letter word gets thrown about the brewery: Lego. Adult Lego night at Temperance is a COVID-driven program inspired by the Library’s Lego Club for children.
“During club, the grown-ups often lingered and looked longingly at the table of Legos,” says Branch Assistant Robin Sindelar. “One session, we had an extra set and invited them to join in. And they did enthusiastically.
“It gave us the idea to do a program for adults – at a bar,” she adds.
Sindelar followed her colleague Kennedy Joseph, the STEM Experiences library assistant, straight to Temperance on a beautiful September day with their Library ID badges on. They currently run the event once a month with anywhere from 30 to 40 attendees.
“It’s not about the Legos,” Sindelar says. “It has been amazing because – as we try to come out of this pandemic – people who come are both excited and nervous about going to a social event again.”
She says attendees like the opportunity to meet new people in a time-limited, non-judgmental activity. Attendees have brought their children, and there’s a couple that makes it a date night.
“It adds to our role at the Library as a community connector,” Sindelar says. “And a brewery is an interesting place for that to happen as an extension of the library as a meeting place.”
That same spirit is brought to Sip and Paint, a program where adults get artistic. Children painted Monarch butterflies to represent the migration between the U.S. and Mexico. During the Sip and Paint, adults get to put the finishing touches on them.
As with the yoga and the Sip and Paint, Joseph and Robin discuss other library programming at the front end of the Lego events.
“While the Lego group is tech-savvy, we are still introducing them to digital media resources like Kanopy or Libby,” Sindelar says. “We’ve even made library cards at the event.”
The Sept. 17 event comes on the heels of the Library’s Summer Giving Campaign. While it achieved the goal of $50,000, it is a small percentage of the $400,000 needed to make the budget whole. The annual Reimagine campaign runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
Book your ticket for Temperance Trikonasana on Sept. 17 at temperance.beer/yoga.
Register for the Sept. 21 Lego night at Temperance.