What's New

What's New @ Your Memphis Public Library & Information Center

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.


New Items All the Time at Second Editions Bookstore

By: Marcey Wright

When the doors of Second Editions Bookstore open, shoppers find a plethora of books!When the doors of Second Editions Bookstore open, so does a world of knowledge and great deals. With monthly book sales on a variety of topics and new inventory all the time, Second Editions matches readers to their interests!

“Items are rotated out for new sales, so the inventory is always fresh and the selection is always new,” said Nancy Knight, assistant director of community outreach and special projects. “Many booklovers make Second Editions Bookstore a regular stop. Some customers stop by each week!”

In the lobby the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), Second Editions keeps readers coming back for their monthly sales also. “We feature items that are specific to the time of year,” Knight noted, “so the sales are timely according to the season.”

Upcoming sales at Second Editions Bookstore are listed below. 


Make a Splash This Summer with Pool Access Cards

By: Marcey Wright

To make a "splash" this summer, get your pool access card at any Memphis Public Library location!When the summer heat sets in, it’s time to cool off at a City of Memphis public pool! But first, swimmers must stop by any Memphis Public Library location to receive a City Access Card for pool season – Saturday, June 7 to Friday, July 25, 2014 from 1 pm to 6 pm. (All pools will be closed Sundays and Mondays.)

Access Cards are required for residents to use any City of Memphis Aquatics Facility. Current pool cardholders do not have to re-register, unless the card has been misplaced, if the swimmer has turned 13 years old since the card was issued, if the swimmer has turned 18 years of age since receiving the pool card, or unless the swimmer’s emergency contact information has changed.

Swimmers can register for a City Access Card at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) Mondays – Thursdays, 10 am – 7 pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am – 4 pm; and Sundays, 1 pm – 4pm. Registration at Memphis Public Library branches is available 11 am to 3 pm on days of operation. Click here to see a map of all Memphis Public Library locations and their days of operation. (City Access Cards are not available at East Shelby Branch Library or Bartlett Library.)


A Place Where Adults Can Be 'Kids at Heart' - FRAYSER FUNFEST!

The fun happens June 7 at Frayser Library!

By: Marcey Wright

Frayser Library Branch Manager Dean Moore took a moment to have some FUN at "Frayser Funfest"!Frayser Library customers know how to have fun! On Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 11 am to 3 pm, they will be doing just that – at FRAYSER FUNFEST – held at the Frayser Branch Library (3712 Argonne Street).

“Each year, Frayser Library plans a funfest for the community to kick off the Memphis Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. This year it’s called Explore Memphis,” explained Dean Moore, Frayser Library branch manager. “The goal of this event is to energize customers for the Explore Memphis program.”

To help energize customers, several entertainers and community agencies will attend the free event. Plus, families will enjoy games, face painting and balloons for kids, and food trucks!

“Customers look forward to the Frayser Funfest every year,” noted event organizer and customer service library assistant Lanny Ross. “It helps customers to get excited about reading over the summer and, with community organizations in attendance too, customers get information that will benefit them.”

The Frayser Funfest has been offering entertainment and information for 15 years, rain or shine! “When we began, we were the only community festival in Frayser,” Moore reflected. “Now, there are several other great community festivals in our area. We are excited to host the first and longest-running annual celebration in the Frayser community!”


Few Dollars Go a Long Way at Library’s Spring Book Sale

By: Marcey Wright

Click here to see the amazing price list!

The Friends of the Library Spring 2014 Book Sale is coming to Central Library on May 23 - 24!Library customers won’t have to break the bank at the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale on May 23 – 24, 10 am – 4:30 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). All items are $2 or less! Whether readers want to find great “beach” reads or create a home library, the Friends’ Book Sale is just the place. (A preview sale for Friends of the Library members will be 8 am – 10 am on Friday, May 23.)

“Customers can get amazing bargains on items that they may not find anywhere else and certainly not at these prices,” said Nancy Knight, director of community outreach and special projects. “Creating a library for your child doesn’t have to be expensive. With items priced from 25 cents to $2, parents can bring a little (money) and leave with a lot (of books)!”

A booklover’s paradise, the sale offers more than 15,000 items on a variety of topics – hardbacks and paperbacks. While perusing the aisles, customers will find CDs, DVDs, records, coffee table books, children’s books, and lots of specialty books – matching readers to their interests!

These new or gently-used items were donated by Memphis Public Library supporters. “The Friends of the Library sort through thousands of donated items throughout the year to corral the best material for the book sale,” Knight commented.


Library Gives Summer Reading a Facelift – Now EXPLORE MEMPHIS!

By: Marcey Wright

Click image to visit Explore Memphis website!Memphis Public Libraries have given their 30-year-old Summer Reading Program a facelift! The new and improved EXPLORE MEMPHIS is planned for June 2 - July 25, 2014 at each Memphis Public Library location. An expanded version of the traditional program, EXPLORE MEMPHIS will offer Library customers of all ages a chance to explore their interests, while exploring the Bluff City with free trips to several local attractions!

“We want customers to know that Memphis is more than any one community. We want them to learn new skills and to broaden their horizons personally and professionally,” emphasized Jason Sharp, an EXPLORE MEMPHIS organizer and youth services senior librarian at Whitehaven Library. “EXPLORE MEMPHIS is a way for kids, teens, adults, and even book clubs to find what they love and to explore that!”


The SPOTLIGHT is ON May 10 at Central Library!

By: Marcey Wright

Cameras flashed and captured Memphis history! Meet the man behind the camera May 10, 2 pm at Central Library (4th floor).The Memphis Public Library & Information Center will cast the “Spotlight on Bob Williams,” a renowned photographer formerly of The Commercial Appeal. Library customers will see Williams’ historic photos and meet the man behind the camera Saturday, May 10, 2014, 2 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, 4th floor)!

Click here or call (901) 415-2742 for more information.

From presidents, celebrities, and politicians to business leaders, sports figures, and even beauty queens, Williams photographed them all! A list of names is below.


Library Shines Spotlight on Noted Photographer Bob Williams

Click here to see a list of prominent people Williams photographed!

By: Marcey Wright

Memphis Public Libraries are shining the "Spotlight on Bob Williams" at Central Library!Although renowned photographer Bob Williams spent his career behind the camera, his life and contributions will be spotlighted Saturday, May 10, 2014, 2 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). This program, held in the Memphis & Shelby County Room (4th floor), will offer Library customers a nostalgic look back at Memphis history through the lens of Bob Williams.

“The mission of the Memphis Room is to tell Memphis’ story,” explained Central Library History Department Manager Wayne Dowdy. “We think Mr. Williams should be recognized as one of the greatest photojournalists of our time. His photographs are unique. Very few photographers could set a scene and tell a story like he did.”

A longtime photojournalist for The Commercial Appeal, Williams told the story of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., former Presidents Lyndon Johnson’s and Richard Nixon’s visits to Memphis, and rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, to name a few. Through his camera lens, Williams captured the nation’s news from Memphis’ point of view. “One of the fascinating things about Bob Williams’ photos is that he would tell a little story that revealed a lot about how Memphians lived at that time (latter part of the 20th century),” Dowdy commented.


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