Dayton Metro Library is throwing a party for grown-ups inspired by popular literature to kick off grand opening

A Novel Night celebrates the new Southeast Branch Library

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Metro Library sure knows how to throw a party.

The merger of the East and Belmont library locations into a beautiful new Southeast Branch Library will have a special sneak peek celebration prior to the official grand opening and it promises to be deliciously satisfying.

To celebrate the grand opening of the new Southeast Branch Library, 21 Watervliet Ave., Dayton Metro Library is hosting A Novel Night, Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

A Novel Night will connect popular books with exciting activities, delicious drinks and tempting tastes, according to the Dayton Metro Library (DML) Foundation.

"The merger of two smaller branches into a new, expansive location is a great opportunity to showcase some of the wonderful assets of the new libraries and provide the unexpected opportunity for people all across the region to enjoy an adults-only party inside the library. The theme of the event, A NOVEL NIGHT, came from remaining true to the mission of the library as a destination for literacy and learning, but we're also using the themes and stories from popular books to inspire the action and entertainment," said Diane Farrell, Director External Relations and Development. "Moving from room to room, guests will find surprising experiences, delicious treats, and hidden gems around every corner — all inspired by popular books – and most brought to life by local members of the Belmont, Twin Towers, and Southeast Dayton neighborhoods."

Hand crafted cocktails, food, music and entertainment — inspired by popular literature — will make for a classical evening.

“Guests at A Novel Night will get to see and explore their fabulous new library, but they’ll really be wowed by the variety of activities and experiences we have planned,” Megan Cooper, the development manager, said in a release. “Surprises among the stacks include live music, a block party atmosphere with a DJ and dancing, hand-crafted cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, even professional wrestlers and a tarot card reader.”

Tickets include small bites from local restaurants and drinks including beer, wine, a specialty cocktail, water, coffee, sodas.

The menu includes food from the following restaurants:

• Belmont Catering: Stuffed mushrooms, chicken skewers and their famous shredded potato salad

• Fatback's BBQ: Pulled pork, corn bread and popular sides

• Partial to Pie: "Pie fries" — strips of pie crust to be dunked in fruit filling

• Esther Price: Assorted chocolates

• Passed bites spotlighting Southeast Dayton's ethnic community, such as The Vistro

• Stan the Donut Man: with dozens of tasty treats

Food from Smales Pretzels and Donatos Pizza and drinks from Red Carpet Tavern will be on hand as well as Belmont's Smart Guy in a Tie offering the signature drink.

>> PHOTOS: Were you spotted at the new downtown Dayton Metro Library’s Main Event?

"A Novel Night is not just about the library, but it's about the library in the community. With that in mind, entertainers, silent auction packages, and food are from the local neighborhoods," said Farrell. "It's great opportunity for people from all across the county to visit the newest branch to get a fun look at the library, as well as experience some of the amazing assets of the southeast Dayton community — which is undergoing quite the renaissance!"

Farrell says to expect the unexpected at this event with entertainment and activities that are as eclectic as the inspiration books which guided the planning of the event. Celebrating Dayton’s rich cultural heritage, Dayton Metro Library will unveil an interactive display in the Opportunity Space called "Trace Your Roots" featuring those who make up our diverse community, and allowing each visitor to trace their family’s path to America with multiple activity stations.

"Guests will find an interactive community art project, acrobatic hoop performers, a Grammy nominated guitarist and a Tarot Card reader. Keep exploring the library to discover music from a DJ that moves professional dancers, video gaming, a make-and-take art project, and an impressive silent auction. The diversity of the entertainment is highlighted by the premier of a special interactive exhibit — "Trace Your Roots" — and a demonstration from professional wrestlers," said Farrell. "This library is an integral part of the neighborhood we serve, and it's been a joy to work with so many local entertainers and restaurants. The evening is a celebration of the new library, but it's also a great acknowledgement of the diverse tastes and talents in the community. We know that all visitors will love getting the first look at this new library and being wowed by the eclectic entertainment and delicious bites."


Guests will be invited to create art, some of which they can take home, but some which will be permanently displayed at the library. They can bid on book-themed silent auction items, including original works by the library’s ReImagining Works artists. A new interactive exhibit, “Trace Your Roots,” will encourage guests to explore their own family history and learn about Dayton’s diverse community.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Tickets for A Novel Night are $50 each and include all the activities, entertainment, and refreshments. Purchase tickets at All proceeds benefit The Dayton Metro Library Foundation.

Southeast Branch Grand Opening 

A free, public grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Southeast Branch Library takes place Saturday, August 10, 1-4 p.m. Regular operating hours begin Monday, Aug. 12, 9:30 a.m.

“The new Southeast Branch Library will be a landmark for the residents of southeast Dayton,” said Tim Kambitsch, Executive Director. “With new and expanded services and more than twice the space, it will more than replace the aging facilities that housed the two smaller branches.”

Features of the Southeast Branch Library include:

• Flexible Community Rooms (accessible before and after regular operating hours), equipped with professional grade sound systems and ceiling-mounted projectors.

• Three 4-person Quads, two 6-person Group Study Rooms, and two 2-person Tutor Rooms

• A large Opportunity Space that can serve as a training room, gallery, maker space and more, available for partnerships of varying lengths

• A Technology Lab

• Dedicated areas for adults, teens and a Sycamore-themed Children’s Area

• A Quiet Reading Room with cozy fireplace

• Mobile audio equipment and editing software

• Laptop and Macintosh systems lending (in-Library only)

• Numerous public computers and industrial grade WiFi

• PS4 and Nintendo Switch gaming systems for teens and tweens

• An outdoor patio

• Abundant parking

• Five original art installations by area artists

How to go 

What: A Novel Night, presented by Levin Porter Architects, benefiting the Dayton Metro Library Foundation

Where: The new Southeast Branch Library, 21 Watervliet Ave. Dayton

When: 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, August 7

Cost: $50 (all inclusive); the library is planning for 400 attendees and encourage getting tickets soon

Dress: Business casual

More information:

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