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What's 'libation?' Find out at the library

Tom Hanson presents "Preparing Local Food" in the Library's employee lunchroom. (Photo submitted)1 / 4
David Devere of the leads a wine-tasting class in the reference department. (Photo submitted)2 / 4
Deborah Adele presents a class exploring the differences between Western and Eastern thought. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)3 / 4
Baskets of books paired with an appropriate drinks were offered for bidding during the silent auction. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)4 / 4

Knowledge and libations flowed at the Duluth Public Library last Saturday evening. A silent auction item — a basket containing a book about Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs, paired with a six-pack of Angry Orchard beer — let attendees of "Learning and Libations at the Library" know this wasn't any ordinary fundraiser. The basket was one of numerous cleverly paired book-and-drink duos at the event.

"Libation" is defined as an intoxicating beverage or the act of pouring or drinking as part as a religious or ceremonial ritual. Wine-tasting was complemented by hors d'oeuvres, champagne and sparkling cider.

The classes were the most unique aspect of the night. Subject matter ran the gamut from history to food to gardening techniques. Some of the classes included preparing local food by Tom Hanson of the Duluth Grill, "Cool New Plane" by Rick Hollander of Cirrus Aircraft Company and Duluth's Old City Hall by Tony Dierckins.

Patra Sevastiades of the Duluth Library Foundation said the fundraiser appealed to people who were information junkies. "People who like ideas are fun to be around," she said. "It really seemed to work ... It's (information) what the library does best."

More than 125 people attended.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at