Upcoming events

Stories 2024

Stories, featuring Pultizer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen

Thursday, November 7, 2024 | 7-10 p.m.
Special Events Center @ Central Library
Drinks | Dinner | Dessert & DJ on the Rooftop


Viet Thanh Nguyen’s writing is bold, elegant, and fiercely honest. His remarkable debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize, was a Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award. The critically acclaimed television adaptation of The Sympathizer is currently airing on MAX as a limited series. Other books by Viet include The Refugees, The Committed and A Man of Two Faces. He is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" grant.


Save the Books Social

Save the Books Social

A statewide social network for teens who want to defend their freedom to read, Save the Books Social hosts monthly virtual meetups where teens can meet authors and advocates, learn how to advocate against local book bans, and connect with other teens defending the freedom to read.

All teens age 13 to 18 are welcome!



In Conversation: May Cobb & Gabino Iglesias

7 p.m. July 9 | Austin Central Library

Free | Reserve your seat here

Co-sponsored by The Library Foundation & Texas Book Festival, In Conversation pairs writers for intimate, unmoderated discussions of their work. May Cobb (The Hollywood Assistant) and Gabino Iglesias (House of Bone and Rain) each tell gripping stories of deception, danger, and suspense in their 2024 novels.

Peter Breslow

atCentral: Peter Breslow in conversation with John Burnett

7 p.m. June 20 | Austin Central Library

Free | Reserve your seat here

For decades, Peter Breslow roamed the planet as a senior producer for NPR's All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, reporting on conflicts from Somalia to Afghanistan to Iraq to Kosovo, and traveling from Mt. Everest to the Amazon to the South Pole.

Packed with absurd hijinks, hilarious missteps and breathtaking close calls, Outtakes: Stumbling Around the World for NPR is a must read for NPR fans, journalists of all ages and people interested in enthralling audio storytelling.

John Burnett is a former Austin-based NPR National Correspondent. During that time, he's covered wars, hurricanes, religion and most recently a divided America.



atCentral: "Juneteenth Rodeo" book conversation & signing with Sarah Bird

7 p.m. June 6 | Austin Central Library

Free | Reserve your seat here

Sarah Bird's photos from the 1970s offer a rare portrait of the jubilant and now all-but-vanished world of small-town Black rodeos.

She will be joined in conversation with historian Michael Hurd, former director of Prairie View A&M University’s Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture.

A signing will follow. Books available for purchase from BookPeople.

Sarah Bird is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and essay collections. She is a winner of the Meryl Streep screenwriting competition, a Texas Institute of Letters Lifetime Achievement winner, an ALEX award winner, a member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame and the hologram greeter for the Austin Central Library.



Kids Block Party

Kids Block Party

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 1 | Austin Central Library

FREE | For children 0-12 and their families!

Join us  for the Austin Public Library’s annual Kids Block Party, the festival celebrating children, literacy, and learning through play. There will have six fun blocks filled with activities:

• Music and Dance
• Author Events
• Big Body Play
• Kids Craft Crawl
• Technology Play
• Family Resource Fair

Event highlights include appearances or performances by:

Chris Barton, author of more than 20 published books for young readers.

Miguel Antony Briones, author of "Macho No Machismo"

More information and updates here



Greater Austin Book Festival

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 | Austin Central Library
FREE | Learn more

Join us for the inaugural Greater Austin Book Festival! All ages welcome.

Meet the 80+ participating authors, get your books signed, shop with local booksellers, explore the Central Library, and enjoy a full day of panels, workshops, and programs.  Authors, illustrators, and readers from Hays, Williamson, and Travis counties.



atCentral: Terry Allen & Brendan Greaves

6 p.m. April 24 | Austin Central Library

Tickets are free. Sold out

The Library Foundation welcomes Brendan Greaves, author of “Truckload of Art,” the definitive, deep-dive, authorized, and first-ever biography of Terry Allen, the Lubbock born internationally acclaimed visual artist and iconoclastic musician whose work bridges the disparate worlds of contemporary art and music.

Greaves will read from his book, then Texas Monthly senior editor Mike Hall will moderate a discussion with Allen and Greaves, followed by Allen's performance of a set of songs along with Jo Harvey Allen, Bukka Allen, and Richard Bowde.

A book signing will follow. Books will be available for purchase from BookPeople.


atCentral: Caroline Paul and Virginia Rose

6:30 p.m. March 26 | Austin Central Library

Join New York Time best-selling author Caroline Paul  along with birder and Austin disability advocate Virginia Rose in  as they discuss how women can keep adventuring into old age.

Rose is one of several inspiring women Paul interviewed for her latest book, “Tough Broad: From Boogie Boarding to Wing Walking, How Outdoor Adventure Improves Our Lives as We Age” 

An exploration into the science and psychology of the outdoors and our place in it as we age, “Tough Broad” is Paul’s quest to understand not just how to live a dynamic life in a changing body, but why we must. She dives deep into the current research on aging, and highlights the results with stories of women like Rose.

atCentral: Rafael Frumkin & Kiana Fitzgerald

6:30 p.m. February 21 | Austin Central Library

From the author of "Confidence" and "The Comedown" comes a wildly imaginative story collection about queerness, neurodivergence, sexuality, and self-discovery.
Welcome author Rafael Frumkin, whose latest book is a deliciously entertaining collection of five genre-defying stories that range from downright hilarious to brilliantly unhinged. Taken together, they celebrate a wide variety of human experience. Frumkin will be in conversation with Austin cultural critic Kiana Fitzgerald, author of "Ode to Hip Hop."
Following the book talk, Austin drag king and gender diverse troupe Boyz of Austin will offer performance readings of Frumkin's stories. The show is for adults only.

atCentral: Andrey Kurkov

6:30 p.m. Dec. 27
Austin Central Library 

Free and open to the public 

Known as Ukraine’s most famous living writer, Andrey Kurkov will discuss “Diary of an Invasion,” a collection of his writings and broadcasts from Kyiv since the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Kurkov will be interviewed by Eurasia analyst Matthew Orr, and introduced by Mary Neuburger, Director of the Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies at University of Texas.


Mayor's Book Club

Mayor's Book Club: "Mr. Texas" by Lawrence Wright.

7 p.m. Nov. 27
Austin Central Library 

Free and open to the public. 

Join us to celebrate the Mayor's Book Club 2023 selection "Mr. Texas” by Pulitzer Prize-winning Austin author Lawrence Wright. Austin Mayor Kirk Watson will introduce Wright for an author talk moderated by Emily Ramshaw, CEO and co-founder of the news site, The 19th. A book signing will follow.

Pulitzer on the Road: American Stories Then & Now, Hernan Diaz & Eli Saslow

6:30 p.m. Nov. 16
Austin Central Library Gallery

Free and open to the public. 

The Pulitzer Prizes, in collaboration with The Library Foundation and PEN Across America presents author Hernan Diaz and journalist Eli Saslow. The pair will discuss the craft of storytelling in different genres through their Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism and historical fiction. The conversation will be moderated by Marjorie Miller, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

Diaz and Saslow will explore the crucial aspect of truth in journalism as well as historical fiction; American loneliness and omnipotence; whose narratives get told and prioritized, and how they bring their “characters” to life on the page.

Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas, "The Truth Is I Love You," (2015). Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery and Pace Gallery. © Hank Willis Thomas. Photo by James Ewing, courtesy Public Art Fund, New York.

Hank Willis Thomas: Artist's talk and sculpture unveiling

7 p.m. Nov. 15 — unveiling
7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 — artist talk
Austin Central Library Gallery

Both events are free and open to the public. 

Join us as we celebrate the unveiling of "The Truth Is I Love You," a sculpture by celebrated artist Hank Willis Thomas that will be on permanent display outside the Austin Central Library. After the unveiling, Thomas will be joined in conversation with art historian Cherise Smith, Executive Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies and Chair of the UT African and African Diaspora Studies Department .

“The Truth Is I Love You” (2015) has branches sprouting cartoon speech bubbles that spell out the words of its title. It will occupy a prominent space outside the downtown library’s east entrance overlooking Shoal Creek.

Thomas is known for his thought-provoking art that address race, representation, and consumer culture.

Celeste Ng

Stories: Literary gala with novelist Celeste Ng

6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 2
Austin Central Library

Celeste Ng is a celebrated author known for her best-selling novels, including "Everything I Never Told You" (2014) and "Little Fires Everywhere" (2017), which was adapted as a limited series on Hulu, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Literary page-turners, Ng's novels delve into the intricacies of family dynamics, suburban life, and the complex issues of race in America.

Recognized as "a singular force of literary activism," Ng passionately supports the endeavors of fellow writers and is a vocal advocate for social justice causes. She popularized the impactful social media campaign, #SmallActs, which serves as an inspiration for rallying support for marginalized communities. In 2020, she collaborated with the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books to establish grants aimed at empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds pursuing careers in publishing.


atCentral: "A Curious Mix of People: The Underground Scene of '90s Austin"

7 p.m. Oct. 21
Austin Central Library

Celebrate the launch of the first book about Austin's underground music scene in the '90s with a discussion and signing with authors Greg Beets and Richard Whymark. Co-hosted with UT Press.

UT Press: "A Curious Mix of People: The Underground Scene of '90s Austin"

APL After Dark: Creature Feature

7 to 10 p.m. October 13
Austin Central Library

Our popular adults-only night of fun at the Austin Central Library. Drinks, games, music and more. Join us to explore the world of Creature Features, a genre of classic horror films that feature every manner of creepy crawler, oversized reptiles, and monsters from swaps, black lagoons, haunted seas, and space. Explore the magic of making movies with the Innovation Lab, creating horror movie sound effects. Spice up your Halloween costume by making scars, wounds, and SFX makeup with our librarians. Learn about reptiles and arachnids with Austin Reptile Shows, and poisonous plants with librarians.

Banned Camp Presents: The Magic Power of Reading

10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 7
BookPeople, 604 N. Lamar Blvd.


We are proud to partner with PEN America Austin, Children's Defense Fund of Texas, Austin Public Library and BookPeople to celebrate Banned Books Week and by demonstrating the magical power of reading.

With legislature like Texas House Bill 900 threatening students’ access to books, PEN Austin is inviting local writers, readers, and free expression advocates to honor the magic of their unique stories.

This day of celebration for the magical power of reading will have two sections that will allow Austin residents to reflect on how integral books are to our identity and our ability to express ourselves. Staff from the CDF and APL will be on hand to supply writers, readers, and free expression advocates of all ages with the materials and knowledge to produce their own zine and bookmarks via a production workshop. Magician Nicole Cardoza will demonstrate the transformative power of words with a magic show. Lastly, the PEN America Freedom to Read team will present research findings about the book ban crisis and its effects on Texas students, schools, libraries, and booksellers. PEN America will be joined by local coalition leaders who are pushing back against book bans in defense of the freedom to read. Leaders like Carolyn Foote of FReadom Fighters will talk about ways to get involved locally in your own schools and communities.

In Conversation: Terrance Hayes and Roger Reeves

7 p.m. August 2
Austin Central Library Gallery

The Library Foundation and Texas Book Festival continue the author series In Conversation, with MacArthur Foundation Fellow Terrance Hayes and Griffin Poetry Prize winner Roger Reeves.

In Conversation pairs writers for intimate, unmoderated discussions of their work. Both Hayes and Reeves have new essay collections.

Canonized, overlooked, and forgotten African American poets star in Hayes's “Watch Your Language,” a fascinating collection of graphic reviews and illustrated micro-essays addressing the last century of American poetry. And in his debut work of nonfiction “Dark Days: Fugitive Essays,” the Austin-based Reeves finds new meaning in silence, protest, fugitivity, freedom, and ecstasy.


In Conversation: Katie Gutierrez and Rubén Degollado

7 p.m. June 21
Austin Public Library - Central Library

The Library Foundation and Texas Book Festival launch a new author series! In Conversation pairs writers for intimate discussions of their work. The inaugural event features Katie Gutierrez and Rubén Degollado whose novels explore families encountering folkloric curses, secret double lives, and the generational passage of time.

Gutierrez's debut literary novel, “More Than You'll Ever Know,” follows a woman caught leading a double life after one husband murders the other, and the true-crime writer who becomes obsessed with telling her story. Degollado's debut, “The Family Izquierdo,”  weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

APL After Dark: Summer Camp

7 to 10 p.m. June 30
Austin Public Library - Central Library

Your favorite after-hours event at Austin Central Library is back! APL After Dark is an adults-only (21+) evening in the Austin Central Library that explores a fun theme. Come out for entertainment, games, storytelling, music, drinks & more — inside your favorite library!

This June, come for an evening where we celebrate all things Summer Camp. Explore the outdoors and learn about local wildlife with activities from our local favorites, the Parks and Recreation Department and their rangers. Learn about the conservation, care, and history of Texas bats from Austin Bat Refuge, who will bring in live bats for attendees to meet. Create campfire songs with South Austin Ukulele and their incredible instructors. Enjoy crafts, games, light snacks, and cocktails!



Kids Block Party

Kids Block Party

Saturday, April 29th
Austin Public Library - Central Library

The Kids Block Party is the Austin Public Library's annual celebration of learning through play. Kids of all ages are invited to the Central Library for family-friendly activities. The party includes musical artists, yoga, story walks, crafts, tech activities, multi-language storytimes, goody bags, and more!

atCentral: Living a Committed Life with Lynne Twist

Tuesday, February 28th | 7PM
Austin Public Library - Central Library

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

Mayor's Book Club: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev with Dawnie Walton

Thursday, November 17th | 7PM
Austin Public Library - Central Library

Join us for an evening with Dawnie Walton, the author of the 2022 Mayor's Book Club selection, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev. Walton will read from and discuss the novel.


Thursday, November 10th | 6PM
Austin Public Library - Central Library

Join the Library Foundation in supporting the Austin Public Library and its commitment to the freedom to read. This year's Stories Gala features special guest Jacqueline Woodson, the award-winning author of more than two dozen New York Times-bestselling books for readers of all ages, including Red at the Bone and the National Book Award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming.

Austin Youth Poet Laureate Reading

Sunday, October 23rd | 1:00 PM
Austin Public Library - Central Library

Come celebrate with us as we announce Austin's 2022 Youth Poet Laureate, Zachary Suri! The five finalists will also join Zachary in a reading of their original poems.

Austin Youth Poets: National Poetry Month Reading

Saturday, April 30th |  12:00 PM
Austin Public Library - Pleasant Hill Branch

The Austin Youth Poet Laureate and the finalists invite you to join them at a reading at the Pleasant Hill branch of Austin Public Library. The youth poets will each read an original poem in celebration of National Poetry Month. This reading is free and open for all, regardless of age or experience in poetry.

National Poetry Month takes place during every April, and is meant to celebrate one of the most open forms of expressions. We can think of no better ambassadors for this month than the Austin Youth Poet Laureate and the cohort.

The Pleasant Hill branch of Austin Public Library is located on 211 E. William Cannon Dr. in Austin, Texas. Parking is available onsite for anyone who will attend.