Claire's Courtyard

Located at the corner of comfy and cultured sits Claire’s Courtyard, a third-space designed with a pavilion, small amphitheater and eating / gathering spots and an adjacent sunroom that flanks the west side of the library. Named after the late Claire Swogger, artist, designer and photographer, the space was made available by a generous gift from Claire’s husband Glenn Swogger Jr., MD, and the Redbud Foundation.
The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library celebrated the grand opening and dedication of Claire’s Courtyard on Tuesday, October 8 with ribbon cutting and live performance from The Studio Strings Quartet. The open house also included tours of the new Learning Center and Plaza lobby. The Learning Center offers opportunities to learn through play, with technology classes, art activities, games, creativity experiences and book discussions. The Plaza features browsing for best sellers and the latest movies in addition to the customer service desk, copy center and checkout kiosk.
For seveneightfivers who didn’t attend the ribbon cutting, have no fear, Cocktails in the Courtyard is here. Cocktails in the Courtyard is a reoccurring adults-only event at the library. It’s a night of music, food, drink, entertainment and discoverable moments, all wrapped warmly with literature. Guests will rendezvous in Claire’s Courtyard for a signature cocktail and light bites. Different themed activities will take place, but there’s always the opportunity to just scurry around the library with libations in hand, explore and chat about it as loud as you please. That in and of itself is enough to declare Cocktails in the Courtyard one of Topeka’s best new events of 2019.
Join us on Saturday, November 9 for Cocktails in the Courtyard: 150 years. TSCPL is turning 150 years old that day (I know, right!) so they are kicking off their birthday year celebration in style, and you’re invited. Tickets are $25 per person. Get them HERE.


The library’s mission is sparking curiosity and connecting our community through literacy and learning. Their core values are excellence, curiosity, literacy, freedom, teamwork and accountability. They help transform the lives of citizens through five Community Impact Goals: every child will be ready for kindergarten • everyone will discover their passion for learning • everyone will continue learning new ways to live their best life • Topeka and Shawnee County will be an engaged community of readers • the library will be a learning organization committed to excellence in: leadership, planning, customer focus, process management and partner focus.
photo by Michael Perkins