What's New

Express Yourself at Memphis Journal Writing Project

By: Marcey Wright

Express yourself through written word during the Memphis Journal Writing Project!Tuesdays in July at 6 pm are your times to express yourself through written word! Central Library customers can learn writing techniques from University of Memphis assistant professor Jennifer Schnabel during the Memphis Journal Writing Project.

Help us tell the story of The Bluff City by adding your unique touch and perspective! This event – held July 1, 8, 15, and 22 – will take place in the Memphis & Shelby County Room (4th floor) of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue).

For more information, call (901) 415-2742.


New Citizens to Celebrate Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies at Central Library

By: Marcey Wright

Hundreds of new U.S. citizens will celebrate Independence Day anew at Central Library on July 3, 2014!With heads held high and hands over their hearts, hundreds of naturalized citizens will begin their pursuit of happiness during two Independence Day Naturalization Ceremonies held Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11 am and 1 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). Unlike previous ceremonies, these events are open to the public. Library customers are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue for this special occasion!

“These ceremonies mark one of the most important days of participants’ lives as they become naturalized U.S. citizens,” said Wang-Ying Glasgow, event organizer and Adult Services Coordinator. Glasgow, a naturalized citizen herself, will serve as keynote speaker and will detail her experience of becoming an American citizen.

To encourage civic engagement, the ceremonies are a part of the Library’s Explore Memphis program and are opportunities for Library customers to earn badges for their attendance.

For more information about the Naturalization Ceremonies or how to earn Explore Memphis badges, call (901) 415-2709.


PBS to Feature Memphis Public Library Collection on National Stage July 1

By: Marcey Wright

Recount "The Sultana Tragedy" with "History Detectives Special Investigations" and the Memphis Public Library July 1, 2014 on PBS (local station WKNO)!









When a 260-foot, wooden steamboat called The Sultana set sail in 1865, the soldiers aboard didn’t know their voyage would end with an explosion on the Mississippi River near Memphis. The tragedy claimed the lives of more than 1,800 men – an event later called the “greatest maritime disaster in U.S. history”.

With the help of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center and its historical records, PBS will reconstruct what happened on that day in History Detectives Special Investigations: Civil War Sabotage?, set to air at 8 pm (CST) on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Local viewers can watch the show on WKNO/Channel 10.

“Our Library system is not just well regarded locally but nationally and internationally as well. PBS and Lion TV were doing research on a Memphis event, and they came to the Memphis Public Library to do the research,” noted Wayne Dowdy, historian and manager of the History Department at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. “It shows that we have a world class collection.”

During the camera crews’ visit to Memphis, they used the Jerry O. Potter Sultana Collection, along with Central Library’s newspaper microfilm and official records of the War of the Rebellion. “Not only did we help them with the research,” Dowdy explained, “but we also hosted them for a day as they filmed here. Our TV station WYPL shot video of Central Library’s building as well.”


'May the Odds Be Ever in Your Company’s Favor' for Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2014

Deadline to register August 29

By: Diane Jalfon

"May the odds be ever in your company's favor" for Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2014!The 17th annual Corporate Knowledge Bowl – themed Hunger Brains – will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm during the week of September 15 – 19, 2014. Teams must register by Friday, August 29.

“This is the city’s ultimate trivia contest,” said Diane Jalfon, executive director of the Memphis Library Foundation. “It is known for its challenging questions and professional format. Proceeds from the event help to support the Library’s collections and programs.”

In addition to the premiere title and trophy for “Smartest Company in Memphis,” representatives will compete for “Most Creative Team Name,” “Most Team Spirit,” and “Biggest Fans,” earning them bragging rights for a year.

Last year’s Corporate Knowledge Bowl winner was The Commercial Appeal. Previous winners include Buckeye Technologies, Valero, and Accredo Health, Inc.

Corporate Knowledge Bowl kicks off with a special happy hour for team members on Friday, September 12, 2014. Registered teams members receive complimentary T-shirts, drinks and snacks each day, plus an annual subscription to the Memphis Business Journal.

For more information about how your company can compete in Corporate Knowledge Bowl, call the Memphis Library Foundation at (901) 415-2831.


Your Magazine Rack is Now 'Digital' at Memphis Public Libraries

By: Marcey Wright

Click image to start downloading your favorite magazines now!

Click here to start downloading your favorite magazines now!

The “world’s largest newsstand” is now available at the Memphis Public Library & Information Center! Zinio Digital Magazines offer Library customers unlimited access to complete, full-color issues of popular magazines for free. Using their Library cards to check out and download their favorite titles, readers can convert their traditional magazine racks into digital ones.

“We want to continue to provide the information our customers want and need, in whichever formats they prefer to use,” said Library Collections Development Manager Alan Stewart. “Zinio should appeal to anyone who appreciates magazines and is reasonably comfortable with technology. You can’t beat the convenience of being able to browse, check out, and download new magazines anywhere, at any time. And it’s free!”

The result of a partnership with Recorded Books, this digital magazine service offers Library customers more than articles but full magazines and well-known titles like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Rolling Stone, The Economist, Esquire, and Us Weekly. For readers with more specialized tastes, several other magazines are available, like Runner’s World, Billboard, Food Network Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and even children’s magazines, Chickadee and Owl.


JobLINC Career Fair to Link Jobseekers to Potential Employers

By: Marcey Wright

Visit Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) on July 15, 2014, 10 am - 3 pm for the JobLINC Career Fair!More than 2,000 jobseekers are expected to gather at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 10 am – 3 pm for the JobLINC Career and Information Fair. This annual event links workers (ages 18 and older) directly to potential employers! 

Job hunters are advised to arrive early for this much-anticipated event, a partnership between the Memphis Public Library & Information Center, the Society for Human Resource Management – Memphis, and the Workforce Investment Network (WIN).

An extension of JobLINC’s mobile unit and other services, the Career Fair will host recruiters and job readiness agencies. These potential employers will be on hand to accept resumes and, in some cases, to conduct on-the-spot interviews.

Jobseekers are advised to come prepared with plenty of resumes and to dress for success. No registration is required for job hunters wishing to attend the Fair.

For more information about the JobLINC Career and Information Fair or other JobLINC services, call (901) 415-2700.


Schedule Your Free Small Business Mentoring Session Today!

By: Marcey Wright

Small Business Mentoring program organizers are waiting for your email to schedule a free consultation!Library customers dreaming of starting their own businesses can start making their dreams reality during Free Small Business Mentoring Sessions, offered each Tuesday, 2 pm – 6 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). A partnership between the Memphis Public Library & Information Center and Start Co., these 30- to 45-minute counseling sessions are a chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to get expert advice and much more!

“Since the Library’s Small Business programs and Legal Clinics are well attended, we decided to take it a step farther. Now, we’re offering one-on-one sessions which provide follow up and a continuing source of help through our partner, Start Co.,” noted Jessie Marshall, Business & Sciences Department Manager. “This program is like a developmental curriculum.”

Aspiring entrepreneurs (adults only) can take the first step toward business ownership by calling (901) 213-7795 or by emailing info@neverstop.co to schedule a free consultation. Walk-ins are welcome also. Once there, customers will meet with a professional in a private meeting room to openly share their ideas and receive step-by-step advice on how to achieve their goal of business ownership.


EXPLORE MEMPHIS Offers Teens a List of Exciting Summer Programs

By: Marcey Wright

Teens put on their thinking caps at Memphis Public Library programs!Teens hoping to stay busy this summer are invited to EXPLORE MEMPHIS from June 2 to July 25, 2014 at any Memphis Public Library location. A summer full of fun, free, and exciting programs are planned for teens ages 12 to 17.

“While teens are exploring Memphis, they should also explore the creative programs at their local Library,” encouraged Teen Services Coordinator Janae Pitts-Murdock. “Each Library has something that will spark their interests!”

Teens visiting the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar) can have a “Robotic Afternoon,” as they “Rainbow Loom” or perform “T-shirt Surgery”. Teens can also “Spark a Reaction and Catch Some Fire,” or why not “Espresso Yourself,” “Get Your Game On,” or “Get Crunk @ the Library”? Each program offers entertainment with an edge of education in one of four major S.T.E.A.M categories – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Mathematics.

Bartlett Library (5884 Stage) teens will enjoy everything from “Wolf River Artifacts,” “Art of Zentangles,” “Making Hemp Jewelry,” and “Tie-Dye” to educational lessons on “Heredity” and “DNA”.


Therapy Dogs Help Young Readers at Memphis Public Libraries

By: Marcey Wright

Kids love reading to READ therapy dogs at the Library!The days of struggling to read aloud are over for kids at Memphis Public Libraries! Young readers are becoming more confident by spending time with trained read therapy dogs.

“There’s no judgment involved when children read to a dog. There’s no parental pressure, and kids aren’t being graded,” explained children’s librarian Susan Penn. “It’s just a fun, no-pressure way to practice reading with man’s best friend!”

Parents and kids can take advantage of two free programs at Memphis Public Libraries – PAWS for Reading at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), and READ to Tootsie at Bartlett Branch Library (5884 Stage Road).

With each new word, kids are encouraged by their four-legged cheerleader and a human companion. “Children respond so well to this interaction because kids feel that they are seen truly for themselves and not what they’re supposed to be,” Penn said.

For children who aren’t natural animal lovers, they too can be worry-free. “Some kids, because of how they’ve seen others react, are inherently afraid of dogs. We show them that they are right to be cautious, but we show them how to approach the dogs too,” commented Penn.

For specific program dates and times, parents can call Central Library (901-415-2700) or Bartlett Library (901-386-8968) Mondays through Thursdays, 10 am to 8 pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm; and Sundays, 1 pm to 5 pm.


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