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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

Second Editions Bookstore Saves You Money

By: Maegan Partee, Special Contributor

Customers to Second Editions Bookstore enjoy great prices on signed books!Paying high prices for books can be a drag, but not at Second Editions Bookstore. Located in the lobby of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), Second Editions offers your favorite titles for only a fraction of regular price.

Second Editions Bookstore is funded by the Friends of the Library, an organization of volunteers who raise funds and sort book donations for the Library. Books are donated from people in the community, and all of monies made at the bookstore help to fund new programs and services like book clubs and special events.

Second Editions’ prices are wonderful, and the sales are even better. Throughout the year, customers can choose from several book sales, such as the annual Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale, the annual Fall Book Sale, the Signed Book Sale, and the year-round sale on books of different genres.

“The selection is the best”, said Jimmie Thompson, a bookstore volunteer. At the bookstore, there are new best sellers, collectables, classics, and the largest number of signed copies in the area from authors like James Patterson, William Shakespeare, Nora Roberts, and many more that range from $2 to $45. Second Editions Bookstore not only sells books but other things like DVDs, box sets, videos, audio CDs and tapes for less than $10.

Purchasing items from the bookstore is one way to help; another way is to submit an application to volunteer. There are two ways to volunteer online: visit http://www.memphislibrary.org/friends/volunteer/apply to join the Friends of the Library, or visit http://www.memphislibrary.org/about/support/volapplication.

Second Editions Bookstore is open Monday – Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday – Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information about the bookstore call (901) 415-2836.

Film Series at Central Library Casts Light on Other Cultures

When life pushed this group of women to the edge, they consider suicide. Will they jump or choose to live? Find out at the Global Lens 2013 film series, which will launch at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, meeting room C) on June 30, 2 pm with Iraqi film "About 111 Girls".Customers to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, meeting room C) will see the world a lot clearer through a global lens starting Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 2 pm. It’s the launch of Global Lens 2013, the only traveling feature-length narrative film series of its kind in the world, and Memphis families can experience it for free. The series begins with the showing of Iraqi film About 111 Girls, the telling story of a government official and the nearly insurmountable odds he faces in a combative society while carrying a message from Iran’s president.

Presented in collaboration with Indie Memphis, Global Lens 2013 offers families a chance to see other cultures through foreign films, written, directed and produced by native casts. “The purpose is to promote cross-cultural understanding through the medium of cinema,” said humanities librarian and event coordinator Nobuko Igarashi. “You may not have the chance to travel to Kazakhstan, Serbia, or Iran; so, it is amazing that we have it coming here! We want to bring the world to our community, and we want the community to come to the Library.”

In addition to viewing films, community members will receive discussion guides and information about each movie. “There is a discussion guide with questions to be used to facilitate conversation after the screening,” said Erik Jambor of Indie Memphis. “We encourage people to read through film descriptions and choose to attend at least one film from a country that they know nothing about,” he added.

The schedule of films is below. (All screenings will be located at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.) 

  • About 111 Girls (Iraq) – Sunday, June 30, 2013, 2 pm
  • Beijing Flickers (China) – Sunday, July 14, 2013, 2 pm
  • Cairo 678 (Egypt) – Sunday, July 28, 2013, 2 pm
  • The Fantastic World of Juan Orol (Mexico) – Thursday, August 1, 2013, 6 pm
  • Modest Reception (Iran) – Monday, August 5, 2013, 6 pm
  • The Parade (Serbia) – Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 6 pm
  • *Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights (India) – Special Student Screening – Sunday, August 25, 2013, 2 pm
  • Student (Kazakhstan) – Monday, August 26, 2013, 6 pm
  • Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights (India) – Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 2 pm
  • Southwest (Brazil) – Sunday, September 15, 2013, 2 pm
  • Life Kills Me (Chile) – Sunday, November 24, 2013, 2 pm

With films screening nationwide, Global Lens 2013 will offer families throughout the U.S. a chance to learn about other cultures concurrently. “Often, we focus on our differences,” Igarashi commented, “but we’re all human. We have a lot in common, and the human emotion behind the films is something we can all understand. Instead of asking how we’re different, we’ll see how we’re the same.”

All films are co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and are a part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit www.globalfilm.org.

Volunteer Today for Library’s Homework Help Centers

By: Marcey Evans

Volunteer to become a homework coach and help a child today! Call (901) 415-2840.Homework doesn’t have to be a headache, but for some students it’s a daily hassle. Starting June 25 – August 22, 2013, the Memphis Public Library and Information Center will eliminate the headache with Homework Help Centers at five Library locations, and volunteer homework coaches are needed today!

“In doing research locally, we discovered that homework help for students is practically nonexistent. For Memphis, this help is minimal with only a few locations offering homework assistance,” noted Dean Moore, Frayser Library manager and one of the Homework Center organizers. “We want to provide a place where students, parents, and grandparents can come and say, ‘This is where we can go to get help!’”

Volunteer coaches will be trained to provide this extra help during one of the training sessions on Monday, June 17, 1 pm – 5 pm or Saturday, June 22, 10 am – 2 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). “Volunteers will learn how to speak to children, helping them ask the right questions, so we can provide the right answers,” said Damone Virgilio, staff development trainer who will teach volunteers.

Students in grades 3 – 5 will receive homework assistance in English, grammar, writing, and math. During this initial phase of the program, Homework Centers will be located at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Frayser Library, Hollywood Library, Parkway Village Library, and Whitehaven Library.

Instead of tutoring students to sharpen skills, Homework Help Center volunteers will simply help students to complete their homework without the hassle. “Our end goal is for students to leave with a completed assignment,” Virgilio commented.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, well-organized, and team players who can communicate effectively with children, parents, and Library personnel. They must be self-directed, culturally-sensitive, computer and Internet literate, and able to write clearly and concisely.

For more information about becoming a homework coach, call Volunteer Coordinator Sonya Walton at (901) 415-2840 or email sonya.walton@memphistn.gov.

Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2013 Coming Soon to Central Library

By: Marcey Evans

Calling the best and brightest, the Memphis Public Library and Information Center issues a citywide challenge to all companies and businesses for a test of mental prowess. It’s the survival of the fittest, and only the strongest men and women will be left standing. Together, they will be called the “Smartest Company in Memphis”.

Buckeye was named "Smartest Company in Memphis" during Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2012.Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2013 will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) September 16 – 20, 2013 with a special event kickoff and happy hour on Friday, September 13 at 5:30 pm, also at Central Library. Now is the time for companies to register for this contest and Library fundraiser by calling (901) 415-2831. The deadline is Friday, August 2. Companies that sign up before the deadline will receive a discounted rate.

“This is the ultimate trivia contest,” said Diane Jalfon, executive director of the Memphis Library Foundation. “There are a lot of people to whom Corporate Knowledge Bowl is very competitive. This is an opportunity for people who work together to participate as a team.”

Only the strong-minded will survive this bracket-style trivia competition whose theme this year is Brain Matters. Proceeds from the event will help to support Library collections, programs, and departments such as Children’s, Humanities, Business and Sciences, and the History Department.

“Knowledge is power, and since the Library is the ultimate source of information, we decided to take the lead role in hosting Corporate Knowledge Bowl as a fundraiser,” Jalfon said about the competition, which is in its sixteenth year. In addition to the premiere title and trophy for “smartest company,” representatives will compete for “Most Creative Team Name,” “Most Team Spirit,” and bragging rights for a year. Jalfon said co-workers who attend the event generally come to cheer their teams to victory while helping to clinch the most spirited team title.

“We encourage people to look at their workplaces and to see if their company can create a team,” Jalfon said. “There’s always room for new competition.”

For more information about how your company can participate in Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2013, call the Memphis Library Foundation at (901) 415-2831.

Adult Summer Reading 2013 Offers a New Twist for Participants

By: Marcey Evans

Summer Reading at Memphis Public Libraries Runs June 1 – July 27

Adults can register as individuals or as groups (i.e. book clubs) for Summer Reading 2013. Sign up today!Take kids to school. Go to work. Cook dinner; do homework. Bedtime. Do it again and again. Adults can break the daily routine this summer with Summer Reading 2013. Not just for children and teens, Summer Reading offers adults a chance to escape into a book, magazine, e-book, article, or literature of their choice, while winning prizes.

Themed “Groundbreaking READS,” the fun starts at all Library locations on June 1 – July 27, 2013 for ages 18 and older. Adults can register for Summer Reading individually or in groups (i.e. book clubs) by completing an entry form at any Library location in the Memphis Public Library System or online at http://web.memphislibrary.org/adult-summer-reading-2013/entry-form.

The official Summer Reading Kick Off event for adults and the whole family will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013, 1 pm – 3 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) in meeting rooms A – C. Author Ashton Lee will be on hand to help launch Summer Reading with a discussion of his book The Cherry Cola Book Club. Also during this informational session, adults will learn all about Summer Reading, along with details on the inaugural “Book Club of the Year” Contest.

This year, when any Memphis-area book club registers for Summer Reading as a group, members jointly compete for the most-coveted title of “Memphis Public Library Book Club of the Year”. This lucky group will be featured on WYPL TV–18 and pictured on the Memphis Public Library’s National Library Card Sign-up Poster, in addition to bragging rights. Each Library location will award a “Book Club of the Year” title for their specific branch, along with the “Most Participation” award, and the “Most Books Read” award.

On Sunday, August 11, 2 pm – 4 pm, all winners and participants are invited to celebrate their hard work at the Adult Summer Reading Book Club Awards Ceremony and Reception, also held in the meeting rooms of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). Cary Holladay, author of Horse People: Stories will be the keynote speaker and featured guest.

The fun begins June 1! For more information on how to register for Adult Summer Reading 2013, visit http://www.memphislibrary.org/adult-summer-reading or call (901) 415-2700.

Second Editions Bookstore is One-Stop Shop for Signed Book Lovers

By: Marcey Evans

The monthly Signed Book Sale is coming to Second Editions Bookstore on June 1. Don’t miss it!An author’s signature adds a personal touch to a book, turning it from printed words on bound pages to its owner’s treasured possession.

“People develop strong feelings for their favorite authors and having a signed book means that the author actually held it long enough to sign it,” said Sherman Dixon, Friends of the Library volunteer.

Hundreds of these valued items are available for sale during the first week of each month throughout the remainder of the year. For a limited time, signed book lovers can take advantage of this sale at the Second Editions Bookstore, located in the lobby of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue).

Friends of the Library volunteers say shoppers will find racks of signed books on a variety of topics ranging from fiction to politics to sports and much more. “There will really be some nice (signed) books for the first week of each month,” said Friend of the Library volunteer Herm Markell. “This is a very unique opportunity for people to own a (signed) book whose author is meaningful to them.”

After years of collecting signed book donations, Friends of the Library volunteers say Second Edition’s customers can choose from a list of familiar names. “We have now accumulated enough signed copies to offer a wide and impressive selection that will appeal to a large number of customers,” Dixon said.

Authors whose names appear among the signed collection include sports figures like John Calipari and Terry Bradshaw; political figures like Lamar Alexander, John McCain, and Jimmy Carter; general fiction writers like James Patterson, Sue Grafton, Lee Smith and Mitch Albom; local names from the Tri-State area like John Grisham, Hampton Sides and Eudora Welty, and the list goes on.

“Books will be changed every month to give people who want to buy (signed) books a normal stop,” said Markell. “Second Editions is a quality place!”

In addition to quality items, customers are certain to love the affordable deals. “Our prices will be consistently lower than market prices,” Dixon promised.

For more information on the monthly signed book sale or Second Editions Bookstore, call (901) 415-2836.

June Marks Kick Off for Library's Summer Reading Club 2013

Summer Reading at Memphis Public Libraries Runs June 1 – July 28

Children, tweens, and teens can READ and WIN prizes this summer with Summer Reading 2013!School bells rang, dismissing students for the summer. And, there’s no better place to spend it than at Memphis Public Libraries for Summer Reading 2013. Children, tweens, and teens can join the fun at their local Library branch for the highly-anticipated Summer Reading Kick Off events taking place in early June throughout the Library system.

Summer Reading Kick Off Events for CHILDREN
Children’s 2013 Theme: Dig Into Reading!

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 1 pm
3030 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111

Cornelia Crenshaw Branch Library
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 12 pm–1 pm
531 Vance Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38126

Frayser Branch Library
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 11 am - 3 pm
3712 Argonne Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38127

Gaston Park Branch Library
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 12 pm–3 pm
1040 South Third Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38106

East Shelby Branch Library
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 11 am
7200 East Shelby Drive
Memphis, Tennessee 38125

South Branch Library
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 1 pm - 2 pm
1929 South Third Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38109

Randolph Branch Library
Thursday, June 6, 2013, 10 am
3752 Given Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38122

Children, tweens, and teens can READ and WIN prizes this summer with Summer Reading 2013!Summer Reading Kick Off Events for TEENS (ages 12 – 17)
Teens’ 2013 Theme: Beneath the Surface!

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 1 pm
3030 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111

Randolph Branch Library
Thursday, June 6, 2013, 11 am
3752 Given Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38122

Each week, ALL READERS will log the number of books or hours they’ve read and win prizes. For every 10 books or 10 hours read, participants’ names will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize at the summer’s end.

There’s something for everyone during Summer Reading Club 2013. “It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s easy. Participants can win prizes for doing something that’s free, fun, and easy!” said Mary Seratt, Library youth services coordinator and event organizer. “An added benefit is that kids who read over the summer return to school without the effects of the ‘summer slump’. They can pick up right where they left off and don’t have to relearn critical reading skills,” she added.

To join Summer Reading Club 2013, Library customers should visit their local Library branch. For more information about Summer Reading Club, call (901) 415-2700 or call your nearest Library location.

Summer Reading Club Plus YOU, Equals Fun for All Ages

By: Marcey Evans

Avid readers of all ages can join Summer Reading Club 2013 and win prizes for doing what you love!Join the club! Everyone is invited to join the Summer Reading Club 2013 at any Memphis Public Library location. From June 1 – July 27, children, teens, and adults can cash in on the benefits of reading.

“It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s easy,” said Mary Seratt, Library youth services coordinator and event organizer. “Participants can win prizes for doing something that’s free, fun, and easy!”

In addition to winning prizes, youthful readers can avoid the summer slump as they “Dig into Reading” – the children’s theme for this year’s event. “Non-readers can lose between two and three months of progress over the summer,” Seratt explained. “That means teachers have to spend time re-teaching skills students learned before the break, instead of covering new material.”

Humanities manager and teen coordinator Everna Andrews said teens can get “Beneath the Surface” during Summer Reading too. “Reading is empowering,” she said. It provides a three-in-one experience, allowing teens to be the student, the teacher, and the master by using their eyes and minds. Reading is like money in the bank and in your pockets too,” Andrews said.

But, Summer Reading isn’t just for kids and teens. Adults Services Coordinator Wang-Ying Glasgow said adults are encouraged to make “Groundbreaking Reads” throughout the summer also. “Summer Reading is for everyone,” Glasgow stressed. “We want to encourage lifelong learning and to foster a love for reading among all ages. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles serve as role models for young people in our community, so we want adults to set a positive example,” she said. “We encourage adults to start reading and to get the incentives that come with it – not just (Summer Reading) prizes but the enrichment to life overall.”

To participate in Summer Reading Club 2013, Library customers can visit their local Library branch to sign up or register online at http://web.memphislibrary.org/adult-summer-reading-2013/entry-form. Each week, readers log the number of books or hours they’ve read and win prizes. For every 10 books or 10 hours read, participants’ names will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize at the summer’s end.

For more details on Summer Reading Club, call (901) 415-2700. Happy reading!

The City and its Libraries: Increased Need and a Vital Future: Annual Report

The report "The City and its Libraries" is available as an Adobe Acrobat document.  The free reader is available here.

Central Library Invites Teens to Celebrate 'SwedeFest' for Memphis in May

By: Marcey Evans

Teens, ages 12 - 16, can experience Sweden during SwedeFest, held Thursday, May 16, 2013, 3 pm, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), first floor, room L-56. See you there!Across the Atlantic Ocean, a world away, lies the country of Sweden. To celebrate Memphis in May, teens (ages 12 – 16) can visit this distant country and experience its culture and customs first-hand without leaving Memphis.

SwedeFest will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2013, 3 pm, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) in meeting room L-56 on the first floor. From ABBA music and games to cultural food and fashion, teens will get a taste of what Sweden has to offer.

“We are going to show teens a side of Swedish culture that is both pop and contemporary,” said Humanities librarian Ashley Roach of the Central Library. “We will show several short Swedish films, images of Sweden’s famous ice hotels, and we’ll host a contest making ice hotels from sugar cubes!”

“It will be like taking a mini trip to Sweden,” added Humanities librarian Keshia Williams. “Teens can expect to learn about Sweden while having fun.”

A getaway without getting away, teens who attend SwedeFest will understand Swedish culture and the world in new ways. “We tend to get wrapped up into our own surroundings and neglect the world as a whole,” Williams said. “So, come ready to have fun!”

Roach agreed: “Our world is gigantic, and our cultures are diverse and exciting. It is important (for teens) to experience other cultures. They can look out of a tiny window into another place on the other side of the world and bring that world much closer. Hopefully SwedeFest will give teens the travel bug and make them want to visit Sweden!”

For more information about SwedeFest or other Library programs and events, visit www.memphislibrary.org or call (901) 415-2700.

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