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Previous Stories From What's New
These are stories that are between 90 days and a year old.
Previous Stories From What's New
By: Marcey Wright
Navigating the ever-changing world of electronic gadgets and gizmos is easier at the Memphis Public Library & Information Center thanks to a new e-Book and e-Audio Gadget Lab at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue).
“This open lab is for customers who want to learn how to check out and download digital content from the Library’s various collections,” explained Staff Development Manager Damone Virgilio. “Customers now have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a knowledgeable staff member who will assist them with learning or troubleshooting,” he said.
Instead of depending on users’ guides or online tutorials, customers can bring their electronic devices to Central Library (computer lab L-50) from 10 am to 1 pm on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Helpful Library staff will be standing by to offer hands-on assistance and answer customers’ questions on how to download music, e-books, and e-audiobooks to their devices.
“This is an excellent opportunity for customers to strengthen much-needed technical skills in an environment where they have experienced people to assist them with the process,” Virgilio commented. “Nothing beats hands-on experience in helping customers to get past their doubts and concerns in using digital devices and services.”
Some devices customers may bring to the Lab include iPhones, iPads, tablets, Nooks, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, and more. Regardless of which device, Library staff is willing to help customers of all ages!
Virgilio concluded, “E-readers and tablet devices are more prevalent, and prices are coming down, which will result in more demand for digital content. This type of content has become increasingly popular, and this trend will continue. In our Strategic Plan, the Library has positioned itself to satisfy this growing demand!”
For more information about the Library’s Gadget Lab, call (901) 415-2723.
Click here to start downloading e-audiobooks today!
By: Marcey Wright
One click, that’s it! Memphis Public Library customers now have access to more digital audiobooks through OneClick Digital, one of the Library’s newest online resources for customers on the go.
Thanks to funding from the City of Memphis and a partnership with Recorded Books’ RBdigital, more than a thousand new e-audiobooks are available at customers’ fingertips in addition to Axis360 and Freegal Music Service.
“The Memphis Public Library & Information Center continues to address requests from the community regarding additions to our collections, namely digital collections,” said Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy. “Now, our electronic collections constitute five percent of our overall circulation.”
Library Collections Development Manager Alan Stewart added, “Our circulation of e-books and e-audio books continues to grow at a rapid rate. A boost to our budget has allowed us to add to existing collections and begin new ones. We hope to increase our e-titles to keep up with ever-growing demands, and OneClick Digital is helping us to do that.”
Convenient and easy to use, readers can simply create an account on the Library’s website using their Library card number and PIN. Then, download the OneClick Digital app – available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Nook color tablets, and Kindle Fire. Shelves of audiobooks are available to download on customers’ personal devices by their favorite authors like John Grisham, Stephen King, Sue Monk Kidd, and many more!
“Our leisure reading material appeals to customers of all ages and tastes,” Stewart noted. “We also have a large selection of titles that are frequently assigned to students, including well-known classics. Now, busy students can download titles to their smartphones and listen on the go. OneClick Digital is for everyone!”
Several other benefits exist with the new digital service like increased availability. “A lot of our OneClick Digital titles are licensed for simultaneous use, meaning multiple readers can check them out at the same time – no holds, no waiting,” Stewart explained. “And since titles expire automatically, there are no worries about overdue fines.”
A detailed Help page is available on the Library’s website for customers to learn OneClick Digital, along with the Library’s new e-Book and e-Audio Gadget Lab at Central Library (computer room L-50) for customers who need one-on-one assistance. The Lab is open 10 am – 1 pm on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
For more information about the Library’s new OneClick Digital service or other digital services, call (901) 415-2708, and start downloading today!
By: Marcey Wright
Click here to visit the Library's Online Bookstore now!
Library customers can browse the aisles of the Memphis Library Friends’ Online Bookstore any time of the day or night. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, this virtual store is reaching booklovers around the world with affordable prices, speedy delivery, and great customer service that keeps readers coming back.
“We have a very good standing in the Amazon community and very good ratings with our customers,” noted Louise Brown, online bookstore manager. “We have a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating, and we work very hard to keep it. That’s very important to us!”
Rescuing and recycling gently-used book donations to Memphis Public Libraries, the Online Bookstore has had 30,000 books in stock since it opened in 2009 and currently has more than 11,000 books on a variety of topics, including textbooks, classics, and even specialty books in the medical and technical fields, to name a few. “We do not buy our inventory, so it is ever-changing,” Brown said. “Our items are all gifted to us.”
The Online Bookstore doesn’t just receive but also gives proceeds raised in the store to support Memphis Public Libraries. “Every penny that we make that’s not used for shipping goes to the Library,” Brown emphasized.
Customers can click here to "visit" the Bookstore and explore which titles are currently in stock. Items may also be found by visiting Amazon.com and searching for the title of a desired book. If the item is in stock, "Memphis Library Friends" will appear among the list of book retailers.
Longtime bookstore volunteers like Ilene Markell said that when customers shop at Memphis Library Friends Online Bookstore, they will find accurate book descriptions to help them make the best selections. “We want to make it feel like customers have the book in their hands,” Markell said. “In describing books, we include photos as a visual for customers, instead of text alone.” Brown added, “While Amazon provides information on a book’s storyline, we carefully provide details about every aspect of the book’s condition from cover to cover, even the look and smell!”
Selling up to 100 books weekly, the Online Bookstore ships five or six days each week. The volunteer-driven store is open Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays, responding to customers’ requests and shipping books to their doorsteps.
For more information about the Memphis Library Friends’ Online Bookstore or to volunteer in the Bookstore, call (901) 415-2871.
“We want everyone to know that the Friends’ Online Bookstore is here and available,” Brown stressed. “Whether Library customers would like to donate items or take advantage of our affordable prices, we’re always glad to help!”
By: Marcey Wright
Income tax season means more money and more options for some Library customers shopping for used cars. Memphis Public Libraries have teamed up with AutoZone and Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) for “A to Z of Used Car Buying,” educational sessions for customers planning to purchase quality used vehicles.
One program in two parts, “A to Z of Used Car Buying” consists of a video presentation by mechanics and a speaker, an attorney from MALS. “Mechanics point out specifics to look for when purchasing a car, like uneven wear on tires, and attorneys talk about the legal side of car buying, like the Lemon Law,” explained Library Business and Sciences Department Manager Jessie Marshall.
Library customers can cash in at 11:15 am and again at noon, Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). “Customers will learn troubleshooting tips and the mechanics of how cars should or should not look and sound,” she said. “They will also learn about consumer rights and common myths.”
Marshall said the program is useful for anyone who owns a vehicle, namely people with little mechanical knowledge. “After ‘A to Z of Used Car Buying,’ customers will be more prepared and confident when they shop for a used car,” she concluded.
For more information about “A to Z of Used Car Buying” events at Central Library, call (901) 415-2734.
By: Marcey Wright
Very few places offer a day of educational fun, literacy, and learning in a family atmosphere – completely free of charge. The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) is just the place on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:30 am – 3:30 pm for Bookstock Jr.
The highly-anticipated annual festival offers kids and families a chance to meet local children’s authors, while enjoying balloon artists, face painting, live music, a scavenger hunt, food trucks, and lots of great books!
Forty local authors are slated to attend Bookstock 2014, also happening April 26 at Central Library. Both events are designed to entertain Library customers and encourage literacy among all ages. “Customers like meeting authors – always hoping they’ll discover a new favorite,” said Bookstock Jr. organizer and Youth Services Coordinator Mary Seratt. “Authors also benefit because they have an opportunity to meet like-minded people and get the word out about their books,” she said.
No registration is required for customers attending Bookstock Jr. For more information about the event, call (901) 415-2739.
By: Na’Tasha Farr, Special to MPLIC
Where’s a place that teen computer whizzes and a do-it-yourself fanatics can come together to create, explore, and share content? It's at this year's Teen Tech Week: Do It Yourself @ Your Library, a national event celebrated on March 8 and 11, 2014 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, meeting room A).
To kick off the fun, Clockwork Mechanalists, Memphis’ premiere Steampunk group, will present a program called Literacy Through Steampunk on Saturday, March 8 at 2 pm. Donning their Steampunk costumes, the group will host a fashion show, do dramatic readings, and lead a book discussion for teens to enjoy. They will also display Steampunk devices that they have created.
Teen Librarian Keshia Williams said she encourages teens to get involved in this event. “Simply show up and bring a friend or two! Help to get the word out about Teen Tech Week on Twitter with the hashtag #TTW14.”
Then on March 11 at 2:30 pm, during Teen Tech Tuesday, the Library will open its creativity lab for teens to use apps like GarageBand, Movie Maker, Storybird, and Photo Booth. Teen Tech Tuesday will offer these future professionals an opportunity to explore critical thinking, computer programming, graphic arts and design, and composition skills by composing their own songs, doing voiceovers, creating their own movies, and artistically re-touching photos.
“Teens can learn about technology and have fun at the same time,” said Williams. “Maybe, it will influence them to pursue a related career in the future!”
For more information on Teen Tech Week or other upcoming teen events at the Library, call (901) 415-2726.
By: Marcey Wright
Click here to see which New York Times best-selling author is coming to Bookstock 2014!
One of the area’s largest local author events is coming to Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) a bit earlier this year. Formerly scheduled in the fall, this year’s literary festival will be held in the spring on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:30 am – 3:30 pm.
Bookstock 2014 is a writer’s chance to meet readers one on one, network with other authors, and promote books directly to buyers in a family-friendly setting. Event organizers say that authors and customers are sure to enjoy the list of activities. “Bookstock gives 40 local authors a platform for showcasing their work. Customers can meet these authors in person, buy their books, and get autographs,” explained Adult Services Coordinator Wang-Ying Glasgow. “In addition, customers can enjoy a family fun day in a festival atmosphere!”
A special Writers’ Workshop is planned for aspiring authors, a new addition to this year’s event, along with cooking demonstrations and tastings, author interviews, and live music. Several prominent authors are also slated to attend Bookstock 2014. “We are in the process of securing several big-name authors, so stay tuned for details,” Glasgow advised.
Parents interested in attending Bookstock can bring their children to Bookstock Jr., which will feature lots of interactive fun for kids like face painting, food trucks, chalk art, balloon artists, a scavenger hunt, and more!
For more information about Bookstock 2014, call (901) 415-2709.
By: Marcey Wright
The fear of learning English is fading at Cordova Branch Library (8457 Trinity Road), where customers learning to speak the nation’s official language can attend free English Language Learners’ Conversation Groups. Offered each Saturday (1 pm – 2 pm) and fourth Thursdays of each month (2:30 pm – 4 pm), groups give English as a Second Language (ESL) customers a chance to learn at their own pace.
“Non-native English speakers can gain confidence, build their vocabularies, reduce their accents, practice pronunciation, and become more fluent in speaking English,” said Philip Williams, Cordova Library branch manager. “The atmosphere is always welcoming and friendly, never threatening or stressful,” he promised.
Native English-speaking volunteers with specialized ESL tutoring experience have helped customers from Ethiopia, Turkey, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and Iraq to name a few. During sessions, attendants learn practical skills for daily use. “The emphasis is on informal, everyday English,” Williams said, “but participants also learn more about American society and culture, and get answers to their questions about everyday life in America, like how to order food, shop for groceries, or even visit the Library!”
In addition to learning everyday English, organizers say the program’s benefits will reach far into the future. “Helping [ESL] Library customers become more proficient in English will help them to accomplish their goals in life, like getting new or better jobs, pursuing higher education, addressing health issues by communicating with doctors and pharmacists, purchasing a home, or even obtaining U.S. citizenship,” Williams said. “Becoming more proficient in English can be a life-changing event that begins here at Cordova Library.”
For more information about English Language Learners’ Conversation Groups or other programs at Cordova Branch Library, call (901) 415-2764.
By: Marcey Wright
During these interactive sessions, prospective citizens learn about the naturalization process and the responsibilities of U.S. citizenship, along with immigration laws, how to file paperwork, and tips on passing the U.S. citizenship exam. “The best part of Citizenship Workshops is that customers have the opportunity to ask questions,” noted Cordova Library Branch Manager Philip Williams. “Customers get the help they need to become U.S. citizens,” he added.
Cordova branch librarians, in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Memphis field office), are preparing for another Citizenship Workshop on Thursday, March 6, 2014, 5 pm – 7 pm at Cordova Library (8457 Trinity Road).
Workshops have been offered throughout the Memphis Public Library System at other branches like Bartlett Library, Randolph Library, Whitehaven Library, and the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. Program organizers say all Citizenship Workshops have the same objective. “We help our customers who would like to become U.S. citizens reach their goals. Then, they will enjoy all the benefits of citizenship and have access to wonderful opportunities that come with being an American citizen,” Williams concluded.
For more information about Citizenship Workshops at Cordova Branch Library, call (901) 415-2764. Click here for a complete list of Memphis Public Library events.
By: Na'Tasha Farr, Special to MPLIC
Parents can jumpstart their toddlers' love for literacy during Toddler Storytimes at Poplar-White Station Library (5094 Poplar Avenue). Kids, ages one to three, will gain the confidence they need to learn early reading skills like rhyming, singing songs, creating finger puppet plays, and working with board books.
During each storytime, toddlers repeat four rhymes to help them learn association. Along with rhyming, toddlers and parents read stories, review alphabet sounds while practicing words, and learn to associate words and actions using songs like "Itsy Bitsy Spider". Motor skills and creativity are also put to work at the end of every storytime when toddlers participate in arts and crafts.
Toddler Storytimes will be held 11 am – 11:25 am at Poplar-White Station Library on the following dates.
- April 1, 2014
- April 8, 2014
- April 15, 2014
- April 22, 2014
- April 29, 2014
“Toddler Storytimes give children a sense of reassurance,” said Senior Youth Services Librarian Michelle Allen. “All of these early reading skills that toddlers learn during storytime form a foundation that they will continue to build upon for the rest of their lives.”
For more information about Toddler Storytimes, call (901) 415-2777.
Bring your gently used books to the nearest Memphis Public Library & Information Center location. Proceeds from Friends of the Library book sales benefit the Memphis Public Library & Information Center.