Explore Memphis 2017

Welcome to Explore Memphis. Read. Engage. Share. And of course, Explore.

Explore Memphis — June 1st through July 31st
Build a Better World

Join us for the Explore Memphis Finale!

Come celebrate the end of a great summer of learning, reading, and building a better world! The Explore Memphis Finale will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Sunday, July 30th, from 1:00 pm to 4:00pm. Join us for a reception, community information booths, and a Prize Drawing for a laptop notebook (Must be present to win).

Finale Agenda

Meeting Rooms A-C

  • 1 PM to 2 PM
    • Book Club Group Photo by Andrea Zucker Photography
    • Visit Explore Memphis Partners and Information Booths
    • Reception with light refreshments
  • 2 PM to 4 PM
    • Performance by the members of Memphis Ukulele FlashMob
    • Welcome — Keenon McCloy, Director of the Libraries
    • Keynote Speaker (see attached) – Otis Sanford, author of
      From Boss Crump to King Willie, How Race Changed Memphis Politics
    • Karen Golightly of CBU invites everyone to participate in Memphis Reads: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

Children’s Department & Court Yard

  • 1 PM to 3:30 PM
    • Scavenger Hunt
  • 1 PM to 4 PM
    • Balloons by Deann
  • @ 4PM
    • Drawing for Yarnell’s Ice-cream

Meet our Keynote Speaker


Read more about Otis Sanford!

Learn more about Explore Memphis

It’s that time again. Memphis Public Libraries are your free ticket to a summer full of reading and loads of fun activities this June and July. And the best part? All MPL programs are free and open to the public.
This summer, we’re celebrating how to build a better world. Art-making, book talks, sharing perspectives and building character–we’re striving to share books and programs that teach kindness, crafting, and tolerance. So join us in asking: how can we leave this world better than we found it?



Did you know children and teens who don’t read during the summer lose knowledge and skills? Click here to learn more about the “summer slide.”


Still have questions? We’re here to help you. For more information, call 901-415-2700.

Join us for the Explore Memphis Kickoff Party!

Come Celebrate the beginning of a Summer of Learning, Reading, and Building a Better World! The 2017 Explore Memphis Kickoff Party will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Friday, June 2nd, from 11:00 am to 3:00pm. Join us for music, games, crafts, talks, and story-times. The Memphis Public Library’s community partners—including the Brooks Museum, the Woodruff-Fontaine House, and Recycle Memphis—will be present to provide engaging information and opportunities for library card holders this summer. You can view the event in our events calendar here.

View the Explore Memphis Kick Off Party Schedule of Events PDF (last updated 5/25/17)

Friday, June 2

  • 11:00 am – Exhibiton opens
  • 12:00 pm – Conversations with Joel Jassu in the Goodwyn Gallery

Saturday, June 3

  • 1:30 pm – “VIAGGIO: An Architectural Journey though Culture and Time,” a lecture by Joel Jassu with dessert afterwards

AIA Memphis and Memphis Public Libraries proudly present VIAGGIO: An Architectural Journey though Culture and Time, an exhibition by Joel Jassu, on view June 2 through July 29, 2017 in the Goodwyn Gallery inside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. As a Jack R. Tucker Jr., FAIA Memorial Grant recipient, Joel traveled to Europe in 2016 to conduct research through numerous interviews with architects, local people, sketches, and site visits throughout Turin, Italy; Paris, France; and Birmingham, England. He partnered with Metropolitan Design Center in Turin and Pavilion D’Arsenal in Paris to create an exhibition of his experiences through photographs of the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in England, France, and Italy.

Author Talk with Lisa Wingate and Book signing

June 2nd from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at Meeting Room A inside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library!

Author Talk with Judith A. Yates, True Crime Author and Book signing

June 2nd from 1:30pm to 2:30pm at Meeting Room A inside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library!