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Friday, January 11, 2013

Kansas City-Area Library Uses Butchering Demonstration to Lure Patrons

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM

The library hog-butchering in progress. - IMAGE VIA
  • image via
  • The library hog-butchering in progress.

These are exciting times for library users. Not only can you go to the library to check out books for free, you can also go for a live demonstration of hog butchering!

Well, uh, you can do that in Overland Park, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. Not here. Not yet. But isn't it glorious to know that such things are possible?

(There was once a butter churning demonstration at the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, but that is positively tame compared to hog-butchering.)

The account of the hog butchering appears in an article that ran in the Wall Street Journal about how libraries are attempting to expand their offerings because, apparently, nobody needs to read anymore. There's also Wii bowling!

But, as the Johnson County librarian who dreamed up this demonstration observed, "If you can butcher a hog in a library, then all sorts of other things become possible."

About 100 people came to the demonstration, both farmers and curious city dwellers. The butcher was a professional named Alex Pope, who plies his trade at a shop called the Local Pig in Kansas City. It began with what the Journal reporter described as "an audible crack," violating all the rules about quiet in libraries.

It takes about two hours to butcher a pig. For the record, the part that got the most applause was when Pope pointed out where bacon comes from. Mmmmm...bacon...

Overcome with envy, Daily RFT decided to check out other local offerings to see if there was anything as exciting coming up. There is not. Sure the St. Louis Public Library offers exercise and crocheting classes, the folks at the University City Library will teach you how to send e-mail, and the St. Louis County Library promises a visit from Al Gore and a potentially-thrilling seminar on tax preparation.

But really. Get on the stick, St. Louis, willya?

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