Trivia From Your Library Archive: 2016

Fill your brain with random trivia! We feature a new trivia question in each edition of the library email newsletter.

December 20, 2016

where'd you goTrivia Q. What is the coldest temperature ever recorded on earth?

Trivia A. The coldest temperature ever recorded was -123°F at Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983. Want to read a great story that takes place in Antarctica? You can’t go wrong with Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.

December 6, 2016

Trivia Q. The tallest snowman ever built had trees for arms and 5-foot tires for buttons!
What U.S. state claims the title for tallest snowman ever built?

Trivia A. Maine! The tallest snowman, er, actually snow-woman, was built in Bethel, Maine in 2008. It took an entire month to build the towering giant. See the whole story, and then check out some less intimidating snow crafts from the library’s arts and crafts neighborhood to get you in the snowy spirit.

November 22, 2016

Trivia Q. What percentage of Americans think that Thanksgiving leftovers are better than the main event?

Trivia A. 79%. Think that’s sacrilege? Then you must be part of the 21% of Americans who think that food just tastes better when it’s eaten with family.

November 8, 2016

Trivia Q. If the White House were put up for sale on the real estate market, what would be the asking price, according to Zillow?

Trivia A. $389 million. The White House pretty much sells itself. But if you’re considering buying or selling your own home, you might need a boost. Check out the books in our Home Neighborhood for free guidance.

October 25, 2016


Courtesy of Starbucks

Trivia Q. In 2015, Starbucks added what new ingredient to their Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Trivia A. Pumpkin. The previous iteration of the wildly popular drink only contained pumpkin spice, and the pureed pumpkin wasn’t added until last fall. Fuel your pumpkin spice madness with cookbooks for pumpkin-lovers.

October 11, 2016

Trivia Q. What year was the very first product sold with a bar code?

Trivia A. The very first product sold with a bar code was scanned at 8:01 a.m. on June 26, 1974 at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was a pack of Juicy Fruit Gum. Read more about the history of the bar code and find your own little niche in history in the library’s History Neighborhood.

September 27, 2016

Trivia Q. This author wrote an uplifting note to a fan who’d written to ask his opinion on the bleakness of the human race. His most famous character also wrote messages, using strands of silk. Who is the author?

Trivia A. E.B. White, most known for his children’s books, Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web. White was also a prolific letter writer and essayist who wrote this letter in defense of humanity. “Wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day” is just one consoling quote from this beloved author.

September 13, 2016

Trivia Q. The Willy Wonka costume that the late Gene Wilder wore in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) was sold in 2012 for how much money?

Trivia A. Almost $74,000.

August 30, 2016

Trivia Q. According to the bureau of labor statistics, in which decade of the past 60 years did the largest percentage of the work force in this country belong to labor unions?

Trivia A. The 1940s (35%). Today, 16% of workers are union. Learn the oftentimes tumultuous history of the labor movement in the library’s History Neighborhood.

August 16, 2016

Trivia Q. How many hours a week does the average teacher work (including after-school engagements and grading)?

Trivia A. Thank a teacher right now! Because teachers spend an average of 53 hours working per week, according to this survey by the Washington Post. Hey teachers, let the library help you find the stuff you need to get a rein on your lessons.

August 2, 2016

Trivia Q. Before he became president, who bribed voters with liquor in an election for a Virginia house seat?

george-washingtonTrivia A. According to the National Constitution Center, it was none other than George Washington! Washington was following the English tradition of buying votes with booze, and the Virginia tradition of rolling barrels of liquor to polling places on election day. Times have changed! Check out more about the sordid history and tumultuous present of US elections.

July 20, 2016

Trivia Q. What is the hottest temperature on record in the City of Topeka, according to the National Weather Service?

Trivia A. 114 degrees on July 24, 1936, right in the middle of the Dust Bowl. You can put yourself right into the hearts and minds of Kansas dustbowl refugees with these books, but gratefully read them from the safety of a cozy, air conditioned place indoors!

July 5, 2016

Trivia Q. What was the very first animal to go into space?



Trivia A. The very first animal to go into space was a dog, a Russian dog named Laika who travelled in the spacecraft Sputnik around the earth in 1957. Meet more dogs who are as cool as Laika at Dog Dogs – our annual art exhibit for children – through July 31.

June 22, 2016

Trivia Q. How many gallons of water are in the Blaisdell Aquatic Center pool at Gage Park?

Trivia A. 660,000 gallons, according to Shawnee County Parks and Recreation. If the heat index keeps it up, we’ll be seeing you there this weekend. In the meantime, stock up on some of the hottest new books of summer.

June 7, 2016

Trivia Q. What do the Topeka Library and the 2016 Camaro have in common?

Trivia A. Both the library and the Camaro won the biggest prize you can possibly win in its own industry. The 2016 Camaro is the Car of the Year by Motor Trend Magazine, and the Topeka Library is Library of the Year by Library Journal. Congratulations, Topeka and Shawnee County!

May 24, 2016

Trivia Q. The average American homeowner spends how many hours per year on lawn care?

Trivia A. 150 hours in cooler climates and 208 hours in warmer climates. That translates to 5 – 8.5 days a year. Want to make your lawn and garden a simpler chore? Plan to attend our Master Gardener series, or visit the Lawn and Garden neighborhood for tips on how to slim down on those hours of toil.

May 10, 2016

Trivia Q. Where did the phrase “dog days of summer” come from? Hint: there’s also a Harry Potter character who gets his name from the same source.

Trivia A. The weeks between July 3 and August 11 are named after the Dog Star, Sirius, in the Canis Major constellation. In ancient Greece, Sirius was blamed for all the drought and discomforts of summer. Learn more about the skies above and how you can take a closer look with our collection of astral titles.

April 27, 2016

Trivia Q. What’s a ‘berry? It’s a lovable nickname for the library, of course. It’s a shortened version of “li-berry” which is how some people pronounce the word. That’s cool, you can call us whatever you like! Can you guess what the #1 most mispronounced word is in the English language?

Trivia A. Phenomenon! According to this article from the Telegraph, the word “phenomenon” is certainly a tongue-twister and beats out “anesthetist” and “February” as most ornery word to say aloud. Want to get your tongue in a tizzy? Check out some tongue twisters from your library and get crackin’.

April 13, 2016

Trivia Q. Alright, Word Nerds, this one’s for you. This word was originally coined by Lewis Carroll in an epic nonsense poem, and today means to “employ insightfully snide commentary with a bite.” What is the word?

Trivia A. Snarky! It’s a word you see and hear often these days, but most people don’t realize it was invented by Lewis Carroll. In his epic nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark, the imaginary animal lives on an island with the jubjub, bandersnatch and jabberwock. It’s National Poetry Month. Pick up a nonsense poem on our catalog.

March 31

Trivia Q. In 1996, this company announced that it would purchase the liberty bell. Know which company?

Trivia A. On April Fools Day, 1996, Taco Bell joked that it would purchase Philadelphia’s iconic Liberty Bell to help out an ailing economy and re-name it the Taco Liberty Bell. Ha-ha-ha, good one, Taco Bell. Want to make a memorable prank on April Fools? You can check out these books or see some other great ideas.

March 8

Trivia Q. A “lawn mullet” refers to what kind of landscaping faux pas?

Trivia A. It refers to a neatly manicured lawn in the front and an overgrown mess in the back. Don’t pull a mullet. Go visit the Lawn & Garden neighborhood to help you tackle that “party in the back.”

Feb. 23

Trivia Q. You’ve time-traveled back to 1918 and visited the Peking University Library to check out a book. The librarian looks like someone you’ve seen in history books and on TV. Who is it?

Mao Tse TongTrivia A. Mao Zedong, or “The Chairman Mao” was a librarian from 1918-1920 before organizing the People’s Republic of China in the 1940s & 50s. The chief librarian at the time was a Marxist, and was responsible for converting Mao Zedong to Communism. If you have a special interest in librarians (who doesn’t?!), check out these books.

Feb. 2

Trivia Q. America has a favorite actor. Know who it is?

Trivia A. Tom Hanks. You probably guessed it. His 2015 release, Bridge of Spies, was nominated for 6 Oscars and it’s hugely popular at the library. Put it on hold and we’ll notify you when a copy is available.

Jan. 5

Trivia Q. On what day of the year do most people give up their New Year’s resolutions?

Trivia A. January 17. Whoa, now, that’s a shame. Don’t let your resolutions go down the drain. Get your year started right with our newest issue of Library News, wherein we show you how to do resolutions with the library’s help.