Who was the only U.S. president whose surname has comprised four syllables? (Forget WASH-ing-ton, JEF-fer-son, Van BUR-en and BU-chan-an … ) Or: The lone prexy who’s received a patent?
While such finite questions might not turn up in “Topics Trivia,” the world’s the limit at this friendly gathering to play and learn neat factoids and history. The public, in teams of one to six people, is welcome from 4-6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday every month through year’s end at Myrtle Beach’s Chapin Memorial Library.
Laura Fazekas, a reference assistant and the host of “Topics Trivia,” said since she first coordinated this game last spring into December, audiences have been engaging and varied, and it all falls right into libraries’ hands and mission, to share access to knowledge.
Question | How did this monthly outing begin and grow into a friendly gathering for the public?
Answer | We have older adults who like to play trivia, so we’re trying to get more young people to play. It’s geared for high school students and up. … We have some people as old as their 80s and some people in their teens.
Q. | How long does a typical session go?
A. | About an hour and 45 minutes; it depends on how many people are playing.
Q. | How does the afternoon break down?
A. | It’s done like regular bar trivia, with rounds 1 and 2, … then we have an intermission, then rounds 3 and 4, and then a final. And we might have a bonus round, like a two- or three-part question.
Q. | Might “Topics Trivia” lead to a chance of going year-round?
A. | We’re trying it again, from April through December. The more people interested, the more potential there is.
Q. | How do the different players make the game each month all the more fun and fresh?
A. | We’ve had tourists come through seeing what was going on. We have fun. We used to have a Myrtle Beach-themed game, … but we cut that one, in the event the people who live here might not know the answers.
Q. | What other benefits especially make this social outing a nice break from people’s everyday routine?
A. | They get to meet new people. If someone comes by him- or herself, and they want to join others, that’s a way for members of the community to meet one another.
Q. | Any tweaks and modifications made as “Topics Trivia” has evolved?
A. | For winners, we usually give away gift cards. It’s sponsored by the Friends of Chapin Memorial Library group, and they’ve kindly donated gift cards, and we do have a drawing at the end of the year. Every time people play, they’re entered for a grand prize.
Q. | What trivial realities have twisted your mind a little bit?
A. | The fact that goats have square pupils; they’re more rectangular shaped than in any other animal. … We run the gamut of questions. Fads and fashion are a hard one.
Q. | What has been the highest turnout for “Topics Trivia”?
A. | Eighteen or 19 was the highest one in attendance.
Q. | How many are regular, repeat players every month?
A. | We usually have a base of five or six players who have been pretty steady. And they will ask, “OK, where is so and so?” if they’re not here. We try to keep in contact, with reminders in monthly email.
Q. | What other similar programs for quality time together are in the offing this summer at Chapin Memorial Library, as libraries aim to continue to appeal to people of all ages with a community hub and resource of value for a lifetime?
A. | We’re starting a super-awesome “Game Time” this month, 4-6 p.m. on the third Thursday through December, for families or teens and older, coordinated by one of our circulation desk colleagues. I will help with the first one. … We’ll have some family-friendly movies this summer, and we have summer reading coming up, and programs for adults, kids and teens.
Also, without our posting an answer key nearby, and upside down, the answers to the two questions at the start of this story are: Dwight D. Eisenhower; and Abraham Lincoln, inventor of “A Device for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals,” for which U.S. Patent 6,469 was issued May 22, 1849.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.
If you play
What | “Topics Trivia”
With | Teams of 1-6 people, with questions on such topics such as literature, geography, sports, television, history and movies.
When | 4-6 p.m. on fourth Tuesday monthly through December.
How much | Free, but registration is appreciated.
Also this summer | Other programs include:
▪ Family films, 1:30 p.m. – “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” on June 12, “Big Hero 6” June 26, and “Annie” (from 2014) July 10.
▪ “Veterans Awareness Series,” 1-3 p.m. June 1, for veterans and their family and friends, with various topics. Reservations appreciated at 918-1295, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ “Family Game Time,” with various board games, 4 p.m. third Thursdays through December, including June 18 and July 16. Reservations appreciated at 918-1295, or e-mail email@example.com.