Bach to Books

Bach to Books is the name for the Friends’-sponsored arts and humanities series offered at the library, free to the community. Artists, writers, and musicians appear at the library and share their talents.

The main goal of Bach to Books is to share a variety of programs featuring music, dance, visual arts, literature, history and more with the people of our community for their enjoyment and enlightenment. We offer these programs free to the public, so that everybody can attend. Most events are held in the auditorium in the library.

Upcoming Events

Here are our upcoming events. Also, check the Library Calendar or call (214) 509-4911 for more information about any Bach to Books performances.

salt creek

Salt Creek Bluegrass

Friday, January 20th – 7:30 PM

January usually brings ice cold temperatures but the heat is on when Salt Creek Bluegrass Band performs its foot stompin’ music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 20, at the Allen Public Library, free.

Although the roots of Bluegrass music are truly American, no two bluegrass bands offer exactly the same style.  Like different amounts of cayenne will sure change your chili, the high-energy Salt Creek Bluegrass adds subtle twists to their standard bluegrass and contemporary tunes that will whet your appetite for more.


allen chief of police

Coffee with the Chief

Saturday, January 21st, 3:00 PM

Share coffee with Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, January 21, at the Allen Public Library.  Chief Harvey will discuss challenges that confront Allen, the impact of national issues on local law enforcement, and programs offered by the Allen Police Department.  After this presentation, citizens can interact personally with Allen’s police chief by submitting questions, expressing concerns, and making suggestions.  If the issue is confidential, the Chief can arrange a private meeting afterward.

EB Lewis

Illustrator, E. B. Lewis

Saturday, January 28th, 2:00 PM

Award-winning children’s illustrator E.B. Lewis kicks off this year’s ALLen Reads at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 28, a the Allen Public Library. Drop by the library’s Meeting Room between 12:30-1:30 p.m. for a meet and greet with the illustrator of Each Kindness and The Other Side.   Stay to hear him speak at 2 p.m., followed by a book-signing.  Bring your own books, or the Friends of the Library will have books on hand to purchase.

E.B. Lewis has illustrated over seventy books for children, including Nikki Grimes’ Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman (2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner), Tolowa M. Mollel’s My Rows and Piles of Coins (ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book), Garvin Curtis’s Bat Boy and His Violin (Coretta Scott King Honor Book), and Jacqueline Woodson’s The Other Side (2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts).

Inspired by two artist uncles, Lewis displayed artistic promise as early as the third grade. Later, he enrolled at Temple University School of Art League where he discovered his medium of preference was watercolor.


Armchair Travelers visit The Russian Far East

Tuesday, January 31st, 7:00 PM

Travel to Russia’s Far East, one of last pristine regions on the planet, from the comfort of an Allen Public Library armchair at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 31.  No passport is required.  Visit Russian Orthodox churches, native Siberian dancers, abandoned Soviet military bases, a wealth of wildlife, and much more.

Sharon Hudgins will be the tour guide for this fascinating journey through this region.  This program features photographs taken during the two years when she lived, worked, and traveled in East Russia by herself. Sharon is an award-winning author of four books and more than 900 articles published in magazines and newspapers. A former professor with the University of Maryland’s overseas programs, Sharon’s lifelong interest in Russia led her to accept a position with a new university education program in Siberia and the Russian Far East, where she was one of the first American women to work in that part of Russia shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Later, she returned to Russia as a lecturer on expedition ships to Siberia and for National Geographic Expeditions on Trans-Siberian Railroad tours.

gospel band

African-American Gospel

Sunday, February 12th – 3:30 PM

Enjoy the enthusiasm and inspiration of African-American Gospel music with blues and gospel artist Sugar Boy Myers and his Praise Band at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, February 12, at the Allen Public Library.  Walter Jackson will provide vocal accompaniment. Music historian Donte Ford will open the concert by giving a brief history of African-American Gospel music. Arrive early to view rare archival footage of gospel icons such as Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Five Blind Boys of Alabama and more.

Origins of gospel music can be traced to American slavery. Combining the rhythms of African cultures with Christian theology resulted in the emergence of the spiritual, jubilee and sorrow songs.  What most African Americans would identify today as “gospel” began in the early 20th century. In the 1920s, composers such as Thomas Dorsey and Sallie Martin Blues synthesized spirituals with blues and boogie woogie sounds to produce modern gospel music.

What I believe program

What I Believe

Thursday, February 16th  7:30 PM

Are you curious about the spiritual belief systems of others? Plan to attend the “What I Believe,” at the Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Dr.

In Allen’s 2017 ALLen Reads book, Brown Girl Dreaming, the last chapter is titled “what I believe”. An excerpt from that book is:

“I believe that there is good in each of us

No matter who we are or what we believe in.

I believe in the words of my grandfather.

I believe in the city and the South

The past and the present.

I believe in Black people and White people coming together.”

Three clerics will represent their religion and briefly present their thoughts and feelings. A question and answer session will follow.

Ella Fitzgerald is 100

Friday, February 17th  7:30 PM

Celebrate the centennial of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 17, at the Allen Public Library.  This free tribute to The First Lady in Song will be led by Andrew Griffith and will feature selections sung by Dallas vocalist Leena Conquest. Accompaniment will be provided by Roger Boykin on keyboard and Jonathan Fisher on acoustic bass.

One of greatest female jazz singers in the United States, Ella dazzled her fans for more than half a century. Garnering 13 Grammy awards, she sold over 40 million albums. Singing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and even imitating orchestral instruments, Ella partnered with iconic jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie.

Chocolate Extravaganza!

Food for Thought Market and Café presents Chocolate Extravaganza! at 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, in the 1st floor meeting room of the Allen Public Library. Chocolate treats and chocolate tastings will be offered. The Chocolate Extravaganza is a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s month with a loved one, shake off the winter blahs and enjoy delightful treats.

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Well, at the Allen Public Library, you can “educate yourself” on how to figure out exactly what is inside that delectable chocolate you just picked from the box. Join Food for Thought Market and Café and the Allen Public Library as they uncover the mysteries of chocolate and present a program on the percentages of chocolate in confections—from dark to milk and white. Grab your golden ticket (and some scrumptious chocolate) and join us in the world of all things chocolate. Ages 12+.

Allen Community Band

Allen Community Band at the Library

Friday, February 24th  7:30 PM

The Allen Community Band presents a midwinter concert 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 24, at the Allen Public Library Civic Auditorium, 300 N. Allen Dr. A free event, the doors open at 7:00 p.m.

A popular bumper sticker declares, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”   This concert will afford an opportunity to express that gratitude.  Under the direction of Craig Logan, this Allen Community Band (ACB) event will honor area educators, past and present, at this concert.

Themes from “Movies and Musicals” that have been suggested by ACB members and area educators will be featured.  Selections include songs from the Star Wars series, various Hollywood hits, and of course Broadway musicals.

RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Cathay Williams

U.S. Army’s Only Female Buffalo Soldier

Saturday, February 25th  3:00 PM

RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Cathay Williams, the first documented African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army and the only woman to serve in the U.S. Army as a man.  She shares this amazing story at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at the Allen Public Library and the program is free.

Born in Missouri to a free man of color and a woman in slavery, Williams was legally a slave. As a teenager, she worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation near Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861, Union forces occupied Jefferson City and captured slaves who were designated by the Union as “contraband.” At age 17, Williams was impressed into the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Benton.