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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

New Citizens to Celebrate Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies at Central Library

By: Marcey Wright

Hundreds of new U.S. citizens will celebrate Independence Day anew at Central Library on July 3, 2014!With heads held high and hands over their hearts, hundreds of naturalized citizens will begin their pursuit of happiness during two Independence Day Naturalization Ceremonies held Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11 am and 1 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). Unlike previous ceremonies, these events are open to the public. Library customers are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue for this special occasion!

“These ceremonies mark one of the most important days of participants’ lives as they become naturalized U.S. citizens,” said Wang-Ying Glasgow, event organizer and Adult Services Coordinator. Glasgow, a naturalized citizen herself, will serve as keynote speaker and will detail her experience of becoming an American citizen.

To encourage civic engagement, the ceremonies are a part of the Library’s Explore Memphis program and are opportunities for Library customers to earn badges for their attendance.

For more information about the Naturalization Ceremonies or how to earn Explore Memphis badges, call (901) 415-2709.

PBS to Feature Memphis Public Library Collection on National Stage July 1

By: Marcey Wright

Recount "The Sultana Tragedy" with "History Detectives Special Investigations" and the Memphis Public Library July 1, 2014 on PBS (local station WKNO)!









When a 260-foot, wooden steamboat called The Sultana set sail in 1865, the soldiers aboard didn’t know their voyage would end with an explosion on the Mississippi River near Memphis. The tragedy claimed the lives of more than 1,800 men – an event later called the “greatest maritime disaster in U.S. history”.

With the help of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center and its historical records, PBS will reconstruct what happened on that day in History Detectives Special Investigations: Civil War Sabotage?, set to air at 8 pm (CST) on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Local viewers can watch the show on WKNO/Channel 10.

“Our Library system is not just well regarded locally but nationally and internationally as well. PBS and Lion TV were doing research on a Memphis event, and they came to the Memphis Public Library to do the research,” noted Wayne Dowdy, historian and manager of the History Department at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. “It shows that we have a world class collection.”

During the camera crews’ visit to Memphis, they used the Jerry O. Potter Sultana Collection, along with Central Library’s newspaper microfilm and official records of the War of the Rebellion. “Not only did we help them with the research,” Dowdy explained, “but we also hosted them for a day as they filmed here. Our TV station WYPL shot video of Central Library’s building as well.”

To recreate the 1865 Sultana tragedy, librarians and researchers heavily relied upon the Library’s Jerry O. Potter Sultana Collection – a compilation of first-person accounts of the disaster, Memphis’ response to it, along with the government’s report and subsequent investigation. “PBS and Lion TV reached out to us when they discovered that we had the Potter Collection,” said Dowdy. “They asked for specific information, and we spent a great deal of time gathering information that they used for the finished product.”

Civil War Sabotage? is the finished product, which will air July 1. Credit will be given to the Memphis Public Library & Information Center and WYPL for their contributions to the show.

“It is important that Memphians know how well regarded their Library is on a national stage,” Dowdy stressed. “The Memphis Public Library is a nationally-recognized institution, and that speaks volumes!”

For more information about the Memphis Public Library’s Jerry O. Potter Sultana Collection or other historical documents, call (901) 415-2742.

'May the Odds Be Ever in Your Company’s Favor' for Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2014

Deadline to register August 29

By: Diane Jalfon

"May the odds be ever in your company's favor" for Corporate Knowledge Bowl 2014!The 17th annual Corporate Knowledge Bowl – themed Hunger Brains – will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm during the week of September 15 – 19, 2014. Teams must register by Friday, August 29.

“This is the city’s ultimate trivia contest,” said Diane Jalfon, executive director of the Memphis Library Foundation. “It is known for its challenging questions and professional format. Proceeds from the event help to support the Library’s collections and programs.”

In addition to the premiere title and trophy for “Smartest Company in Memphis,” representatives will compete for “Most Creative Team Name,” “Most Team Spirit,” and “Biggest Fans,” earning them bragging rights for a year.

Last year’s Corporate Knowledge Bowl winner was The Commercial Appeal. Previous winners include Buckeye Technologies, Valero, and Accredo Health, Inc.

Corporate Knowledge Bowl kicks off with a special happy hour for team members on Friday, September 12, 2014. Registered teams members receive complimentary T-shirts, drinks and snacks each day, plus an annual subscription to the Memphis Business Journal.

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

Your Magazine Rack is Now 'Digital' at Memphis Public Libraries

By: Marcey Wright

Click image to start downloading your favorite magazines now!

Click here to start downloading your favorite magazines now!

The “world’s largest newsstand” is now available at the Memphis Public Library & Information Center! Zinio Digital Magazines offer Library customers unlimited access to complete, full-color issues of popular magazines for free. Using their Library cards to check out and download their favorite titles, readers can convert their traditional magazine racks into digital ones.

“We want to continue to provide the information our customers want and need, in whichever formats they prefer to use,” said Library Collections Development Manager Alan Stewart. “Zinio should appeal to anyone who appreciates magazines and is reasonably comfortable with technology. You can’t beat the convenience of being able to browse, check out, and download new magazines anywhere, at any time. And it’s free!”

The result of a partnership with Recorded Books, this digital magazine service offers Library customers more than articles but full magazines and well-known titles like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Rolling Stone, The Economist, Esquire, and Us Weekly. For readers with more specialized tastes, several other magazines are available, like Runner’s World, Billboard, Food Network Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and even children’s magazines, Chickadee and Owl.

 “We currently have 97 different magazines available, covering a wide variety of interests,” Stewart noted, “and new issues become available in Zinio the same day they go on sale. This means that the Library often has a magazine digitally before we have it in print!” To stay current in its collections, Memphis Public Libraries have made the transition along with popular magazines like Newsweek and PC World that have converted to digital editions.

Using this new service, magazine lovers will not be bound by checkout limits or return dates. Plus, magazines do not expire, meaning customers can start their own collections! To get started, customers must establish an account using their Library cards. New users are required to set up a Zinio account as well. After establishing the Zinio account, customers can search for specific magazines and purchase them from Zinio, if they are unavailable in the Library’s collection. “Library customers can rest assured that they will never have to pay for magazines from the Library,” Alan stressed.

All customers need to get started is their Library card number and a computer or other Internet-ready device. Although readers are not required to download special software to read magazines, certain apps are available for Windows and Mac computers, Kindle Fires, and Apple and Android mobile devices that will enable customers to download magazines and read them anytime – whether or not they are connected to the web!

Library customers needing assistance in using the new Zinio Digital Magazine service can bring their devices to a special Gadget Lab, offered during the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). For more information, call (901) 415-2700.

JobLINC Career Fair to Link Jobseekers to Potential Employers

By: Marcey Wright

Visit Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) on July 15, 2014, 10 am - 3 pm for the JobLINC Career Fair!More than 2,000 jobseekers are expected to gather at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 10 am – 3 pm for the JobLINC Career and Information Fair. This annual event links workers (ages 18 and older) directly to potential employers! 

Job hunters are advised to arrive early for this much-anticipated event, a partnership between the Memphis Public Library & Information Center, the Society for Human Resource Management – Memphis, and the Workforce Investment Network (WIN).

An extension of JobLINC’s mobile unit and other services, the Career Fair will host recruiters and job readiness agencies. These potential employers will be on hand to accept resumes and, in some cases, to conduct on-the-spot interviews.

Jobseekers are advised to come prepared with plenty of resumes and to dress for success. No registration is required for job hunters wishing to attend the Fair.

For more information about the JobLINC Career and Information Fair or other JobLINC services, call (901) 415-2700.

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.

“Participants get assignments too and considerations to think about from a business perspective,” Marshall added. “But customers have to do their homework. They will be told what to do, but then they have to get out and do the legwork to make their dreams happen. This process identifies the people who want it the most.”

For the most persistent go-getters, follow-up opportunities are available also to provide ongoing assistance. Customers will receive ideas on how to “package” and market their ideas, along with answers to their questions.

“There is a need out there,” Marshall said, referring to customers who are seeking information on entrepreneurship. “We’re trying to meet this need that we knew existed,” she concluded.

For more information about the Small Business Center at Central Library or its programs, call (901) 415-2734.

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”.

Teens at Cherokee Branch Library (3300 Sharpe) will learn “Line Dancing,” while Cordova Library (8457 Trinity) teens “Hang Out, Geek Out,” solve “Murder Mysteries” and “MythBusters,” and enjoy “Cupcake Wars” and “Teen Movie Madness”! Teen customers visiting Cornelia Crenshaw Library (531 Vance) will learn to “Sink or Float” and to “Be a Sport,” as they practice “Marshmallow Engineering” and “Programming with iPads”. Meanwhile, teens at East Shelby Library (7200 E. Shelby) will learn to produce their own music and how to be a teacher.

Frayser Library (3712 Argonne) teens will enjoy the Frayser Teen Book Club and movies galore, as Gaston Park Library (1040 S. Third) entertains with a “Comic Conference,” “Creating a Video,” and teaching teens to “Market a Brand: Design a Personal Logo”.

Teens who like taekwondo should head to Hollywood Library (1530 N. Hollywood) for a free demonstration, along with “Mad Science Experiments,” “Movie Day!,” and a crash-course cooking class on making tortilla wraps. Levi Library (3676 Highway 61S) teens can flex their creative muscles in “Artistic Creativity” class and the “Pinkalicious Cooking” program, or they can explore the world of sports. At North Library (1192 Vollintine), customers will “Rap About It,” compete during “Game Day,” and engage in book clubs.

Parkway Village Library (4655 Knight Arnold) will kick off their summer fun with a “Summer Fest Kick-off Party,” then they’ll “Recipe Swap” and explore technology, similar to teens at Poplar-White Station Library (5094 Poplar) who will embark upon a “Digital Scavenger Hunt,” enjoy “Lego Construction,” “Cupcake Decorating,” and “Making Avatars”.

Customers ages 13 to 17 at Raleigh Library (3157 Powers) will engage in “Robot War,” after conducting a “Zombie Experiment,” an “Egg Drop,” “Art Tech Lab,” and “Game Day”. South Library (1929 S. Third) teens will create “Rainbow Bracelets,” explore “Cupcake Colors,” and then do some “Creative Movement”. And Whitehaven Library (4120 Millbranch) will wow teens with “Wii Gaming Day,” a “Podcast Radio Show,” “Crazy Science Experiments,” “Creative Writing,” “Family Engineering,” “Creating Video Games,” and much more!

From June 2 to July 25, exciting summer programs are happening everywhere teens look in the Memphis Public Library System! For information on specific program dates and times or registration requirements, call each Library location.

“Every one of our Libraries will have something cool this summer for teens to explore!” Pitts-Murdock concluded.

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.

“It’s a fun opportunity to read aloud!” Penn concluded.

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. 

  • Summer Reading
    June 14 – 28
  • Children
    July 5 – 18
  • Back to School
    July 19 – August 2

These gently-used or new items donated to Memphis Public Libraries are hand selected by the Friends of the Library, a group of philanthropic volunteers who support the Library. “The Friends are astute in identifying novelty items, which may show up in the Library’s Online Bookstore or possibly at the monthly sales in Second Editions,” Knight commented.

With items priced to sale, booklovers can stop by and stay awhile. “The Friends try to feature items that are popular among readers. That way, customers can stock up on books that are popular in different genres!”

For more information about the monthly sales at Second Editions Bookstore, call (901) 415-2700.

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.)

To register, all minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must provide a valid form of identification, such as a birth certificate, along with proof of residency. (Children ages 12 and under must have an adult present to swim at City of Memphis pools, which means the adult must register for a City Access Card also.) Adults ages 18 and older must provide valid picture identification, such as a driver’s license, and proof of residency in order to register. (Acceptable proof of residency includes a utility bill, landline telephone bill, bank statement, property tax bill, mortgage or rental agreement, or Tennessee voter registration card.)

To help ensure safety this summer, affordable swimming lessons are available Mondays – Fridays at the Bickford and Hickory Hill pool locations. A two-week session for children is $25, and a two-week session for adults is $48. For more information, call (901) 547-8018 or 578-3732.

A complete list of City pools and the nearest Memphis Public Library location is below.

Charlie Morris1225 Brown38107North1192 Vollintine415-2775
Douglass1616 Ash38108Hollywood1530 N. Hollywood415-2772
Ed Rice2907 N. Watkins38127Frayser3712 Argonne415-2768
Gaisman4223 Macon38122Randolph3752 Given415-2779
Gooch1974 Hunter38107Hollywood1530 N. Hollywood415-2772
L. E. Brown617 S. Orleans38126Crenshaw531 Vance415-2765
Lester317 Tillman38112Central3030 Poplar415-2700
Pine Hill973 Alice38106South1929 S. 3rd415-2780
Raleigh3678 Powers38128Raleigh3157 Powers415-2778
Riverview182 Joubert38109South1929 S. 3rd415-2780
Tom Lee328 Peach38105North1192 Vollintine415-2775
Westwood833 Western38109



3676 Hwy 61S

4120 Millbranch



Willow4777 Willow38117Parkway Village4655 Knight Arnold415-2776
Bickford235 Henry38107North1192 Vollintine415-2775
Hickory Hill3910 Ridgeway38115Parkway Village4655 Knight Arnold415-2776
Orange Mound2590 Park38114Central3030 Poplar415-2700
Skinner712 Tanglewood38104Central3030 Poplar415-2700


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