11/09/2011 10:26 am ET Updated Jan 09, 2012

New York Public Library Honors 2011 Library Lions (PHOTOS)

Gay Talese was thirsty Monday night, and he let the bartender at the New York Public Library know it.

"Keep pouring," the writer, dressed in a well-tailored tuxedo, said, "I don't want to have to come back."

Then he retreated back to his wife's side. She was talking to David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.

Bill Keller, the former executive editor of the New York Times, was there too. He wore a silver bow-tie and looked, well, rested.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg chatted up Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire whose $100-million donation to the library won him naming rights to its Carrere & Hastings building.

Al Roker, wearing a velvety blazer, spoke to Lorne Michaels. It might have been about the weather.

At dinner, Charlie Rose sat with Annette de la Renta and Jonathan Franzen next to Caroline Kennedy.

John McEnroe was in attendance.

This was not, if you haven't figured it out by now, a regular night at the library. It was the annual Library Lions gala, which honored Franzen, Tony Kushner, Ian McEwan, Natalie Merchant, Stacy Schiff and Isabel Wilkerson. Guests each took home a goodie bag filled with books by the honorees.

After dinner, some of the guests headed downstairs to dance with the Young Lions at their fundraising party.

Talese did not, and, as he was leaving, another guest remarked that "the one problem with such a fancy event" is that Talese didn't look as over-dressed as he usually does.

See photos of the party below by Patrick McMullan's Clint Spaulding: