The Library Foundation's cultural series featuring
author events, musical performances, film screenings, cooking demos & art exhibitions
at the Austin Central Library

Library Foundation members receive priority seating for atCentral events, as well as other benefits, including member receptions.

To become a Library Foundation member, click here.

Upcoming atCentral Events | 2023

AtCentral with Ty Hunter

Ty Hunter | Thursday, April 6th at 7PM | Austin Central Library - Special Event Center | Get tickets

Celebrity stylist Ty Hunter reads from and discusses his new book, Makeover from Within, with Matt Swinney, Director of Austin Fashion Week.

In this nuanced mix of memoir, photographs, motivational musings, and wisdom, legendary celebrity stylist Ty Hunter recounts both the trying times and brightest moments of his life. Faced with physical, mental, and emotional obstacles that range from a gunshot wound to caring for his sick parents to simply existing as a Black, gay man in America, Ty channeled his energy into surmounting the unconquerable, along the way developing a resilient spirit—one that begs to be shared with the world.

In overcoming his own hardships and blossoming in his career as a stylist, where he worked with superstars like Beyoncé and Billy Porter, Ty has developed a knack for inspiring self-confidence in others. Perfect for the unstoppable badass in your life, this book tells the story of a vibrant soul who defeated the odds and whose goal is to guide you to a brighter and more positive future.

This conversation will be moderated by Matt Swinney, Director of Austin Fashion Week, and it is presented in association with the Black Caucus Round Table of the Texas Library Association.

Copies of Makeover from Within: Lessons in Hardship, Acceptance, and Self Discovery will be available for purchase at the event. A book signing will follow the conversation.

This event will take place in the Special Events Center of the Austin Central Library. This event is free and open to the public, but reserving tickets on Eventbrite is strongly encouraged:

Past atCentral Events

atCentral with Lynne Twist

Lynne Twist | Tuesday, February 28th at 7PM

Author Lynne Twist reads from and discusses her new book, Living a Committed Life, with moderator Emily Ramshaw.

Mary Beth Rogers | Wednesday, September 28th at 7PM

Join the Library Foundation and the University of Texas Press at the Central Library for an evening with Mary Beth Rogers as she discusses her new book, Hope and Hard Truth: A Life in Texas Politics, with Evan Smith.

The One Ann Only: Wit and Wisdom from Texas Governor Ann Richards | Thursday, June 16th at 7PM

Join us at the Central Library for a sneak peak of The One Ann Only: Wit and Wisdom from Texas Governor Ann Richards. A panel featuring author Sarah Bird, photographer Ave Bonar, photojournalist and philanthropist Lynne Dobson, and Margaret Justus, founder of the Ann Richards Legacy Project, will discuss the life and legacy of the former Texas Governor.

The 1619 Project: Who Is Afraid of Black Books?
ZZ Packer and Danez Smith in Conversation with Jennifer M. Wilks | Thursday, June 2nd at 7PM

Join the Library Foundation and the PEN America Austin Chapter for the next atCentral program, a free speech-centered discussion featuring two contributors to The 1619 Project: acclaimed author ZZ Packer and award-winning poet Danez Smith. Moderated by Jennifer M. Wilks, associate professor of English and director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas, this conversation will reflect on the recent book bans and the power of literature to spur important cultural conversations.

Dan Chaon in conversation with Doug Dorst | Tuesday, May 31st at 7PM

Author Dan Chaon discusses Sleepwalk, his latest novel, a high speed and darkly comic road trip through a near future America with a big hearted mercenary. A darkly comic shaggy chase novel full of suspense and adventure, Sleepwalk evokes elements of Murakami and the Coen Brothers, Denis Johnson and Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, and the precarious potboilers of Chandler’s Philip Marlowe into a genre-bending page-turner all its own.

Geoff Dyer in conversation with Stephen Harrigan | Wednesday, May 11th at 7PM

Geoff Dyer, author of The Last Days of Roger Federer, discusses his new book with author Stephen Harrigan. In this ingeniously structured meditation, Geoff Dyer sets his own encounter with late middle age against the last days and last works of writers, painters, musicians, and sports stars. The Last Days of Roger Federer is a summation of Dyer’s passions, and the perfect introduction to his sly and joyous work.

Jonathan Van Ness | Saturday, April 16th at 7PM [CANCELED]

In this candid and curious essay collection, Jonathan takes a thoughtful, in-depth look at timely topics through the lens of his own personal experience—instances that have required him to learn, grow, and back handspring layout to a better understanding of the world around him. He dives deeply and widely—from a poignant reflection on grief and embracing body neutrality to an examination of the HIV safety net and white privilege—to share the ways in which he has learned to embrace change. These stories speak to doing the work to challenge internalized beliefs, finding compassion and confidence, and learning more about what makes us all so messy and gorgeous.

Sarah Bird | Thursday, April 14th at 7PM

Austin author Sarah Bird launches her new book, Last Dance on the Starlight Pier, a sweeping novel that brings to life the enthralling worlds of both dance marathons and the family-run empire of vice that was Galveston in the Thirties. Bird will read from Last Dance on the Starlight Pier and discuss the book and its themes.


Previous atCentral Events

Launched with the Central Library's opening on October 28, 2017, atCentral has featured an accomplished assortment of authors, musicians, artist, filmmakers, and foodies. Previous programs have featured:

Books & Authors

Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on a Tribe Called Quest)
Sarah Bird (Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, Last Dance on the Starlight Pier)
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Legacy)
Edward Carey (Little)
Brian Catling (The Cloven)
Dan Chaon (Sleepwalk)
Jack E. Davis (The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea)
Geoff Dyer (The Last Days of Roger Federer)
Ben Fountain (Beautiful Country Burn Again)
Vivien Goldman (Revenge of the She-Punks)
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
Stephen Harrigan (Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas)
Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room)
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
Bethany McLean (Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking & How It's Changing the World)
Bryan Mealer (The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil & One Family's Search for the American Dream)
Liane Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers)
ZZ Packer and Danez Smith (The 1619 Project)
Christopher Paolini (The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm)
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
Joe Nick Patoski (Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas)
Asher Price (Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact)
Mary Beth Rogers (Hope and Hard Truth: A Life in Texas Politics)
The One Ann Only: Wit and Wisdom from Texas Governor Ann Richards
Lynne Twist (Living a Committed Life)

Foodies & Chefs

Christina Lane (Dinner Just for Two)
Kate McDermott (Home Cooking)
Alon Shaya (Shaya)


Ex Libris
The Secret Life of Lance Letscher


Bill Callahan
Tameca Jones
Michael Fracasso


Edward Carey
Lance Letscher
Reckonnoiter (roving performances by paper chairs)
Mirror, Mirrored (contemporary collection inspired by fairy tales)

atCentral is made possible by the generous support of ...

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