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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

No Need To Fear; Tax Help Is Here at Memphis Public Libraries!

By: Marcey Wright

Filing income taxes is free and easy at Memphis Public Libraries! The story has details.

The April 15 deadline to file 2013 taxes has some taxpayers screaming for "help", but Memphis Public Library customers are taking advantage of free tax assistance offered at several Library locations.

A partnership with AARP and VITA, this community service gives customers a reliable and worry-free way to file their federal income taxes. To get started, Memphis Public Libraries maintains a webpage of community tax resources throughout Memphis, Shelby County, and the surrounding area.

"It can be a financial burden to pay a professional tax preparer for people with low to moderate income," noted Audrey May, LINC/2-1-1 public services supervisor. "Our role as the Library is to provide information and access to these services without the financial burden. We provide people with the information and tools to make life easier, and this is one of those tools!”

Primarily serving customers ages 60 and over, AARP volunteers work on a first come, first served basis at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Cordova Branch Library, and Bartlett Branch Library.

              Bartlett Branch Library (5884 Stage Road)
              Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 am – 1:30 pm
              Through Monday, April 14

              Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) 
              Mondays – Saturdays, 10 am – 1:30 pm
              Through Tuesday, April 15 
              (Library is closed April 4.)

              Cordova Branch Library (8457 Trinity Road) 
              Thursdays, 10 am – 1:30 pm
              Through Thursday, April 10

Customers of all ages with low to moderate income can choose from several Library locations, where VITA tax professionals will be there to help.

              Cornelia Crenshaw Branch Library (531 Vance Avenue)
              Wednesday, April 2, 2014, noon – 4 pm

              Parkway Village Branch Library (4655 Knight Arnold Road)
              Thursday, April 3, 2014, 1 pm – 5 pm

              East Shelby Branch Library (7200 East Shelby Drive)
              Saturday, April 5, 21014, noon – 4 pm

              Frayser Branch Library (3712 Argonne Street) 
              Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 1 pm – 5 pm

              Gaston Park Library (1040 South Third Street)
              Thursday, April 10, noon – 4 pm

              Raleigh Branch Library (3157 Powers Road)
              Friday, April 11, 2014, noon – 4 pm

Customers are asked to bring their social security card, income and tax documents, and any other information noting medical fees and charitable contributions (if itemizing). The previous year's income tax return is also helpful but not mandatory.

“There are no rip-offs. Customers’ information is kept completely confidential,” added Adult Services Coordinator Wang-Ying Glasgow. “Credibility is essential. The Library, AARP, and VITA are reputable resources to help customers prepare their taxes. They are all trusted sources,” she stressed.

“Libraries are trusted guardians of information,” May added, “and we take that responsibility very seriously to make sure that information is accurate, unbiased, and reliable.”

In addition to its reliability, tax services at the Library offer quality and convenience, even for customers filing last-minute income tax returns. Super Tax Days will be held at Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, meeting rooms A – C) from 10 am to 4:30 pm on April 12, 14, and 15. Tax preparers will be on-hand each day to help customers meet the last-minute rush!

“We appreciate our volunteers for their dedication and for volunteering to provide this much-needed service to the community,” Glasgow added. “And it’s free! It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Click here for more information about the Library’s free tax assistance or other community tax resources.

Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale Sprouts Lots of Great Deals

By: Na’Tasha Farr, Special to MPLIC

Friends of the Library spring Book Sale Sprouts lots of great deals for excited customers!Where’s a place that sells hardbacks and paperbacks, children’s books, records, cassettes, magazines, CDs, and videos all for $2 or less? It’s at the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale.

The action will take place at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), 10 am – 4:30 pm on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24, 2014. A special pre-sale for the Friends of the Library members will be held from 8 am to 10 am on Friday, May 23.

“Our customers get the opportunity to purchase books at extremely reasonable prices,” said Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Special Projects Nancy Knight. “There will be a really broad variety of items that will include everything from children’s books to coffee table books, art books, and encyclopedias.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward Library programs and collections throughout the Memphis Public Library System. “The Friends of the Library has two book sales annually that bring in revenue to support the Library,” Knight said. “Plus, the sales give customers a chance to get great books and give back at the same time!”

See the complete price list below

Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale Price List
Children's/ Hardbacks$1.00
Children's/Board Books$0.50
Loose Magazines$0.25
Videos & CDs$1.00
Reader's Digest$0.25











Knight concluded, “We offer a really great collection for any booklover, any book collector, or anyone who just wants to find a few good deals! The Friends of the Library Book Sale is your place!”

For more information about the Book Sale, call (901) 415-2871 or (901) 415-2840.

To become a Friends of the Library member, click here.

Earth Day - Cause for Celebrations at Memphis Public Libraries

By: Na'Tasha Farr, Special to MPLIC

Make plans to preserve the planet for Earth Day at Memphis Public Libraries!Keeping the earth clean can be a major task, but making it fun can inspire teens to recycle, throw away trash, or even to make art! Library customers can grab a friend, and get involved in Earth Day celebrations throughout the Memphis Public Library System.

Raleigh Branch Library (3157 Powers Road) will kick start the celebration on Earth Day (April 22), 3 pm with some friendly competition in the Trash to Art Contest. During the event, teens will work independently or as teams to design original artwork using their imaginations and art skills. Everyone will receive a prize, but the contest winner will have their artwork displayed in Raleigh Library’s Teen Section. Customers should call (901) 415-2778 to register, but walk-ins are welcome.

Teen Library Assistant Shelley Moore said she encourages all customers ages 13 to 18 to get involved. “We want teens to see ‘trash’ as a resource that can be reused in a new way or as a new item,” she commented. “The Library wants to engage teens by showing them how to use their imaginations to create art and to foster a passion for it also. After the program, we hope that teens will reuse, reduce, and recycle more to keep Memphis a clean and beautiful place to live, learn, and grow for future generations,” she said.

The celebration doesn’t end on Earth Day. On April 23, 2:30 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue), teens can create artwork and repurpose recycled items at “Crafts for Teens”. Then, on April 24, 2:30 pm, Central Library teens will view the movie “Hoot” and discuss how they can make the world a better place!

Teen Librarian Keshia Williams said she is excited about the upcoming celebrations. “We really want to convey the message of how important it is to take care of the earth,” Williams emphasized. “We will talk about ways that teens can contribute to making the world a better place for future generations!” For more information about Earth Day at Central Library, call (901) 415-2726.

Library Offers List of New Books on Brain Injuries, Thanks to Regional One Health Donation

By: Marcey Wright

Library customers needing information on traumatic brain injuries should visit the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library or Cordova Branch Library for MPLIC's new brain injury book collection donated by Regional One Health.To observe Brain Injury Awareness Month (March) and honor those who live with traumatic brain injuries, Regional One Health has donated a variety of books and other educational items about traumatic brain injuries to The Memphis Public Library & Information Center.

“From major car crashes to concussions from sports, brain injury awareness is a topic that is discussed more and more. When it affects families, it can be overwhelming,” noted Melissa Skipper, adult collection development librarian at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. “The Library is one of the places where people can come for helpful information. Here they will see that they’re not alone.”

With approximately 30 carefully-selected titles and more than 100 quick reference guides, this material will help patients of all ages and their families to navigate through traumatic experiences. Readers will better understand signs to recognize, questions to ask, actions to take, and how to complete them.

Children’s books such as Elvin the Elephant Who Forgets, Daddy’s Home, and My Parent has a Brain Injury: A Guide for Young People offer kids an age-appropriate insight into brain injuries that they or their parents may be facing. Other titles like Healing Together, Brain Injury: It Is a Journey, and Living with Blast Injuries, PTSD, and TBI are ideal for adult readers. Specialty books like Parents and Educators as Partners: A Workbook on Helping Your Child After Brain Injury and Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis are geared toward parents, teachers, and coaches.

“I know there are many in our community who need and will benefit from these resources. There is something in this collection for individuals of all ages,” related Carolyn Chambers, traumatic brain injury service coordinator at Regional One Health. Chambers further commented: “A brain injury can happen at any time, anywhere, to anyone. Brain injuries do not discriminate, and more than 1.7 million people sustain brain injuries each year bringing a lifetime of physical, cognitive, and behavioral changes. It is important for brain injury survivors, veterans, families, clinicians, caregivers, and advocates to access information based on the best clinical practices and most current research in the field of brain injury that is both practical and user-friendly.”

The collection was funded by proceeds from the 2013 Ride for Your Mind Bike Ride, an event to heighten awareness of traumatic brain injury in the local community and to promote wearing helmets to prevent brain injuries.

For more information about Traumatic Brain Injury Service, call (901) 545-8487.

For details about Memphis Public Library’s donated collection of books on traumatic brain injuries, visit the Business & Sciences’ Department (third floor) of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) or call (901) 415-2734.

Library’s New ‘Axis360’ Introduces Readers to a World of New e-Books

Click here to visit our digital media library!

By: Marcey Wright

Check out "Axis360," the Library's newest downloadable e-books service! See the article for details.Library customers whose worlds revolve around e-books are sure to enjoy Axis360, the Memphis Public Library & Information Center’s newest downloadable e-books service. Compatible with Windows personal computers, Macs, Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and other e-reading devices, Axis360 offers Library customers more e-books on more topics than ever before.

“The Axis360 collection currently includes more than 500 titles, and it’s growing all the time,” noted Alan Stewart, Library collections development manager. “As with all our downloadable content services, Library customers can access a world of information and entertainment when it’s convenient for them!”

The new service is not only convenient but easily accessible for readers also. Using their Library card and PIN numbers to log into the Axis360 website, customers of all ages can browse the titles of their choice.

“One of the leading publishers of books for children and teens, Scholastic Press is available only through Axis360,” Stewart noted. “This has allowed us to offer popular e-book titles like The Hunger Games, The Adventures of Captain Underpants, Goosebumps, and The 39 Clues. Through Atlantic Monthly press, classics like The Naked Lunch and popular mysteries by Donna Leon and others are available for adults as well.”

Axis360 also offers interactive and educational e-books for toddlers and developing readers. Stewart said, “For young children, parents can choose from a wide variety of great picture books and early reader books. A text-to-speech feature in many titles even lets children read along while the book is read aloud to them, which helps to build their reading skills.”

Customers can use this free service to check out up to three e-books at a time for as long as 21 days. Titles will expire automatically after the checkout period, helping customers to avoid late fees. If avid readers finish their books before the checkout period ends, e-books may be returned and new e-books may be checked out.

Readers who need assistance accessing the Library’s digital collections may refer to a detailed Help page on the Library’s website. Hands-on assistance is also available with trained staff members at the Library’s new Gadget Lab, offered on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Central Library.

“The Memphis Public Library and Information Center continues to address requests from the community regarding additions to our collections, namely digital collections,” stated Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy. “In the future, we plan to continue to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations!”

For more information about Axis360 or other downloadable collections, call (901) 415-2708.

Library’s ‘Gadget Lab’ Introduces Customers to Their Electronic Gadgets and Gizmos

By: Marcey Wright

Stop by Central Library's Gadget Lab to learn how to use your mobile device to download the Library's digital collections. See the article for details.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.

New e-Audiobooks ‘OneClick’ Away at Memphis Public Libraries

Click here to start downloading e-audiobooks today!

By: Marcey Wright

Try Memphis Public Library's new digital service OneClick Digital!

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!

Memphis Library Friends' Online Bookstore has Aisles of Hidden Treasures

By: Marcey Wright

Click here to visit the Library's Online Bookstore now!

Memphis Library Friends' Online Bookstore is a virtual bookstore available to Library customers worldwide! See the article for details.

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!”

Library Customers Learn Used Car Buying From A to Z

By: Marcey Wright

Don't waste your income tax return on a "lemon"! Learn how to buy a quality used car at Central Library!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.

Bookstock Jr. 2014 to Bring Fun, Literacy, and Learning to Central Library

By: Marcey Wright

Bookstock Jr. 2014 is coming early this year to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library! See the article for details.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.

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