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For the Memphis Public Library's upcoming major fund-raiser, "Libration," take your pick — or go for all three in the series of events. Best-selling writer and native Memphian Hampton Sides — author of Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, and Hellhound on His Trail (Sides' book on the James Earl Ray manhunt) — is.

On Thursday evening, the library is hosting a cocktail-style garden party at a private home, where guests can meet with Sides and enjoy the food of Chef Felicia Willett. (Tickets are $300 each.) The fun continues the next night at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar), where partygoers — encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters — can dance, dine, and bid at a silent auction. (Advance tickets are $75 or, for the VIP treatment, $125, or for those attending Thursday night's event, it's free.) On Saturday at the library: It's free for all — a talk by Sides (pictured above) on his forthcoming book, a book signing, and an audience Q&A with the author.

That's a lot going on. The library has a lot going on. And all proceeds from "Libration" benefit all Memphians. Among the benefits, according to Diane Jalfon, executive director of the Memphis Library Foundation: early-literacy computer stations in the children's areas of more than a dozen branch libraries; a new, state-of-the-art JobLINC bus to assist people with resume writing, job searches, and interview coaching; and the purchase of additional e-books for library cardholders and e-readers for the library's outreach programs. Again according to Jalfon:

"Because the city of Memphis budget does not fully cover the cost of enhancements needed to maintain a world-class library system, the Memphis Library Foundation provides valuable funds for emerging technology, teen programs, and much more. The foundation is committed to enriching the Memphis Public Library & Information Center."

Libration, Thursday-Saturday, April 25th-27th. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 415-2844 or go to memphislibraryfoundation.org.

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