GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An annual gala for the Kent District Library has gotten so popular it’s been moved to the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.
The 9th Annual Literary Libations Gala will take place Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the hotel on Louis Street near Campau Avenue. This is the first year the gala — which will include author presentations and an auction — will be held at the JW Marriot.
Josh Mosey, the digital marketing strategist for the library, said the gala will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Talking Book and Braille Center. The KDL program serves people in Kent, Montcalm and Ionia counties. Some of the money raised at the event will help support the center, Mosey said.
Mosey said the gala has gained popularity as a lot of people want to help support the library.
“This is a great time for people to be able to support the library,” he said. “Libraries have come under some stress and scrutiny lately. And this is a great opportunity to show the real value to the community that exists. We’re more than just books and we offer all kinds of services to all kinds of people.”
He said use of its digital services, like audio books, ebooks and free streaming service Kanopy have “skyrocketed in recent years.” The library also serves the community by helping connect people to important resources.
“A lot of people have an antiquated idea of what the library is. They think of it as a repository for books, but the library can offer so much more to the community,” Mosey said.
This year’s gala will feature four authors. Christian fiction writer Susie Finkbeiner, an author from West Michigan who has partnered with KDL for events before, will be speaking, along with former Detroit Tigers player and autobiography writer Willie Horton, a “baseball legend,” Mosey said.
So will Stephen Graham Jones, a horror writer who some have called the “next Stephen King,” Mosey said. After another author had to cancel, KDL added author Thao Tai, whose debut novel “Banyan Moon” was featured on the Today Show.
“We have the most diverse mix of authors by genre and interest I think that we’ve ever had … here at the gala,” Mosey said.
An auctioneer will be auctioning off several items, like diamond packages, family getaways and a birthday party with the KDL Bookmobile, Mosey said.
The venue can hold around 500 people, and Mosey said more than 400 people have already bought tickets. For more information and to buy tickets, go to kdl.org.