Celebrating the Trivia Nerd in All of Us

By Christine M. RSS Fri, January 4, 2019

I have a confession to make—I am that friend who always wants to get a trivia team together on a Tuesday night. I’m also that kid who read Trivial Pursuit cards for fun to see if I could guess the answers. And I ask Santa for those one-a-day calendars of random facts every year.

I love learning about something new, especially in bite-sized tidbits. It gives me endless joy that it is socially acceptable to sit around at a bar with some friends and compete with strangers to see who knows the most about baseball history or French royalty.

Despite this love of all things trivia, however, I’m pretty rubbish at actually knowing the answers to most questions. Throw out an obscure Harry Potter or Broadway musical question, and I’m your gal, but my random knowledge of how many points Bulgaria scored in the 1994 Quidditch World Cup rarely comes in handy in your everyday quizzo session. (It’s 160 points, in case you were wondering... and yes they still lost to Ireland. Quidditch is weird.)

As a self-designated trivia nerd, I’m always on the lookout for ways to beef up my knowledge of all things random. So in honor of National Trivia Day, I’ve gathered some tips on how the Free Library supports the trivia nerd in us all by sharing content from some of the top trivia categories. I also threw in some top trivia questions for a little gamified learning along the way!
(answers at bottom of blog entry)

Globe and Jerusalem are types of what?

From classes in the Culinary Literacy Center to cookbooks to a graphic novel about a family caught between the two warring sides of a civil war among people who have artichoke leaves instead of hair, the Free Library has all your food facts covered.

And if you’re looking to brush up on your food facts while surrounded by some real foodie history, Richmond Library is your place. The first incarnation of the Richmond Library was in 1897 as a "Traveling Library" of 300 books in a flour and feed store that was open two nights a week.

Which planet in our solar system has the most moons?

This is always one of my worst trivia categories. I swear I studied science in school, but this subject seems to have been the first thing that left my mind after 12th grade. If you’re anything like me, then the Free Library is going to be a great resource for you, starting with these books on our largest planet and our A Science Minute blog posts!

What is the world’s largest fish?

From Grip, Charles Dickens’s pet raven (and indirect inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven!) to birding backpacks (filled with a pair of binoculars, maps, and a field guide) available at multiple neighborhood libraries, the Free Library is home to some unusual ways to get your animal fix. Interested in some artistic animal inspiration? Visit the dragon sculpture by Stewart Zane Paul at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library, as well as a mural of medieval knights and a variety of animals, painted by Richard Watson.

In Back to the Future, what does Marty McFly's license plate say?

All those movie trivia questions (or my favorite, audio clips of a movie where you have to name the title!) are where I shine at quizzo, but I can always use a refresher. Luckily, you don’t have to leave your house for this one. With your Free Library card, you have access to 30,000 documentaries and classic movies through the Kanopy streaming service and movies/television shows (along with audiobooks, ebooks, music, and graphic novels) with Hoopla.

Who was the 'mad monk' of Russian history?

Though I’m a big nerd for Revolutionary War and World War II history, I also love digging into the history of where I’m living. Parkway Central Library hosts the region’s largest collection of newspapers from the Philadelphia metropolitan area, with over 400 newspapers on microfilm dating back to 1720. If you’re interested in more contemporary history, the newly opened At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois exhibition in Parkway Central’s West Gallery is worth a visit.

What is Paul McCartney's middle name?

If your trivia knowledge gap lives in music-land, try becoming a musician and learn by doing! Parkway Central Library’s Music Department has instruments (from guitars to steel drums) available to borrow for free with your library card.



Which player was the last to hit at over a .400 average in Major League Baseball?

With all the digital ways to read books and gather facts right at our fingertips, sometimes it’s nice to remember that the resources at the Free Library reach far beyond the books on the shelves (or the computer). Our staff have a bountiful source of information on so many topics, and they’re always willing to share. For a taste of the vast knowledge the Library staff holds, check out the Knowledge Base online, or jump right to the sports facts.

Want a shortcut to the ultimate trivia knowledge? We have you covered there too.

Did I miss your favorite quizzo category? Are you also a hopeless trivia nerd? Let me know in the comments!


  • Food - Artichoke
  • Science - Jupiter
  • Animals - Whale Shark
  • Movies / Television - OUTATIME
  • History - Grigori Rasputin
  • Music - Paul. His full name is James Paul McCartney.
  • Sports - Ted Williams

Leave this field empty

Add a Comment to Celebrating the Trivia Nerd in All of Us

Email is kept private and will not be displayed publicly
Comment must be less than 3000 characters
Could have used that Whale Shark answer while playing Wits End on New Year's Day. It's great to see all of the resources the Free Library of Philadelphia has to offer. I never got a Phila library card when I grew up in Delaware County, but I have one now!
Karen Miller - East Stroudsburg, PA
Saturday, January 5, 2019

I'm fairly new to the library but have checked out the Hoopla streaming content which looks pretty good. I'm going to check out Kanopy next; that looks really interesting.
Tom A - Poconos
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

News from October 2019: "Saturn overtakes Jupiter as planet with most moons" https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49962134
ThaiBinh! - Philadelphia
Saturday, January 4, 2020