Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bring on the belly dancers . . .

. . . and save a branch library!

The Evanston Public Library Friends, one of my favorite organizations, is sponsoring a silent auction on the Internet starting today and running through May 30.

The auction is to raise money to keep alive the city's two branch libraries and provide other vital services. The city council wants to close them to balance the budget, but a large group of concerned citizens has banded together in a grassroots effort to demonstrate that the people of Evanston value the town's intellectual heritage.

More than $80,000 of the required $200,000 has been raised so far, and the auction will push the effort a great deal closer to the goal.

You don't have to live in Evanston to bid on the goodies, some of which includes rare volumes, autographed books by Evanston authors from Joseph Epstein to Scott Turow (and including me), meals at local restaurants (and a dinner with Audrey Niffenegger), art of all kinds including spectacularly illustrated garden watering cans, and sports and entertainment tickets.

There are also "unique experiences" such as a belly-dancing party in your own home that includes three dancers and instruction in the art. Malik Turley (right), founder of the Hip Circle Studio, donated the party to the auction.

Bid. You are bound to win something useful (tax deductible as well) and gain a large measure of the satisfaction that goes with helping save something priceless -- and irreplaceable.

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