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Gaston Park Library Customers Celebrate Black History Month in Creative Way – Setting Positive Examples

By: Marcey Wright

Honoring past generations by helping future ones, customers at Gaston Park Library (1040 South Third) will celebrate Black History Month by forming an African American Book Club, set to launch at the branch Saturday, February 15, 2014, 2 pm – 4 pm.

“The purpose of the African American Book Club is to heighten awareness of black writers, poets, and playwrights from the past to the present,” said Gaston Park Library Branch Manager Inger Upchurch. “Our (adult) customers expressed an interest in establishing the book club to stress the need for reading and to serve as an example for children and teens.”

Following the lead of other Memphis Public Libraries, Gaston Park Library will continue its journey into the past during the second Saturday of each month (2 pm – 4 pm) and will host a local guest writer each quarter.

“African American literature is rich with knowledge that’s right at customers’ fingertips,” Upchurch continued. “The book club will spotlight a collection of classic African American fiction and nonfiction books, from Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eyes to Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands. We will start with reading an all-time favorite, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” said Upchurch. “We hope customers will learn information about African American history, life experiences, and pride!”

For more information about the African American Book Club at Gaston Park Library, call (901) 415-2769.


Tuesdays at the Library Mean Teens and Technology

By: Marcey Wright

Teens, mark your calendar for Teen Tech Tuesdays at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library!Teens and technology will unite at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) for Teen Tech Tuesdays (TTT), free and interactive sessions allowing teens a chance to learn today’s cutting edge technology for tomorrow’s world of work.

“TTT isn’t really a class,” explained Nancy Knight, assistant director of community outreach and special projects. “It’s like a ‘free period’ for experimenting and learning. IT professionals, graphic artists, and film makers will attend some sessions to discuss tech careers or offer hands-on instruction in film editing, photo editing, and other topics of interest.”

Thanks to funding from Best Buy, the Memphis Public Library Foundation purchased the latest technical gadgets for teens to freely explore each Tuesday, 2:30 pm – 5 pm at Central Library. Philanthropic organization Friends of the Library will provide snacks for participants during programs also.

Laptops, tablets, cameras, and tripods are a few of the devices teens can choose from, and organizers say more is on the way. “Soon we will add keyboards and a beat station as well, so teens can learn basic music editing. We will add equipment that is the latest and greatest in terms of quality and capability,” Knight said. “This will provide teens with an opportunity to do more with devices than just surf the Internet or update Instagram and Twitter.”


Cordova Library Offers Customers Cheap Rates on ‘International Travel’

By: Marcey Wright

International Storytimes at Cordova Library take children and families around the world!

International travel just got a lot cheaper for Memphis Public Library customers. Children and families can experience the sights and sounds from around the world at one of Cordova Library’s International Storytimes.

“Each program is presented by someone who has either lived in another country or is from another country,” explained Sharon Evrard, storytime organizer and Cordova Branch librarian. “Presenters are allowed to include anything they feel best highlights their homeland.”

In addition to great storytelling, regulars to International Storytimes have enjoyed Indian and German folk dances, viewed Nigerian movies, played Native American games inspired by the Chickasaw and Cherokee tribes, enjoyed Chinese and Korean dance performances, and even shopped at an Ethiopian marketplace offering food, clothing, brassware, and lots more! Evrard said the topics of discussion are nearly endless. “We have learned about landforms and weather in desert and tropical countries, about the history of other countries, as well as schools and favorite foods kids enjoy in different parts of the world,” she said.

The "itinerary" of 2014 International Storytimes (11 am) is below!


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