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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
By: Marcey Evans
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!
By: Marcey Evans
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.
By: Marcey Evans
“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.
Starting in June 2013, hundreds of these valued items will be 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.
By: Marcey Evans
This free entertainment offers kids (ages 3 – 8) and their families a chance to experience storybooks read aloud, accompanied by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Whether woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, or a kinder trio, stories are brought to life with each musical note and turning page.
Families are invited to attend the final concerts of the season, each on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 11 am.
Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111
Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies by Harriet Peck Taylor
Cordova Branch Library
8457 Trinity Road
Cordova, Tennessee 38018
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema
Randolph Branch Library
3752 Given Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38122
“Musicians from the Memphis Symphony Orchestra come up with really creative ways to accompany books,” said Susan Penn, children’s librarian at Central Library. Kids are really engaged (during performances) and get to see musicians up close, so it’s a combination of what they hear and what they see. Their attention is drawn in a number of directions.”
In addition to stories and music, children at Family Tunes and Tales also enjoy arts and crafts that complement each story’s subject matter. “Performances bring the arts together,” Penn added. “It’s not just stories and music. We also add craft activities that children can take home to remember their experiences. Family Tunes and Tales crosses bridges between the arts. It is something the whole family can enjoy together.”
For more information on Family Tunes and Tales, call each Library branch at the numbers listed above.
By: Marcey Evans
Webster defines “volunteer” as someone who renders a service, but the Memphis Public Library and Information Center defines our volunteers as kind-hearted and selfless individuals who take time to give back, individuals deserving of recognition.
On Sunday, April 21, 2013 Library employees and friends recognized and thanked all volunteers Library system wide, a total of 590 individuals who volunteered more than 34,000 hours. Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy opened the program with a word of gratitude: “You come on Christmas. You come if it’s snowing. We know our volunteers will be here. Today is our day to celebrate you.”
The program, entitled “Celebrate Service,” began with the melodious tunes of Grammy-nominated producer and musician Kurt “KC” Clayton, who played the piano throughout the evening. Following Director McCloy, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton shared his sentiments about Library volunteers, stating that they help to “enlighten” society. “Volunteers are the folks who make you feel right at home,” Wharton said. “They say, ‘Ask me. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. I’m here – not because of a check – but I’m here to help,’” he added.
This help and commitment to service during 2012 had a monetary value of more than $750,000, a figure printed in the event’s program. “The numbers are important, but you cannot put a number on the value of our volunteers,” Wharton commented, while encouraging all citizens to invest in the Library. “A good Library is not a luxury. It is not an option,” he said.
This attitude was exactly what attracted 95-year-old Angela Astor to volunteer at Central Library, since the day it opened in 2001. “When I passed by the big hole where Central would be built, I said, ‘I’m going to adopt it (Central) as my Library.’ And, I loved my job at the welcome desk,” she said. Astor, who attended Sunday’s event, volunteered at Central Library until she could no longer drive. “I would have stayed forever. I’m a professional volunteer,” she laughed.
Keynote speaker for the evening Fox 13 News anchor Mearl Purvis spoke about people like Astor, calling them a “rarified group of people who have found happiness”. “Every volunteer must be made to feel their value,” Purvis said. “Regardless of what we don’t have, we all have the ability to serve. Library volunteers help to change human existence,” she said.
For more information on how to volunteer at your local Library, call (901) 415-2700 or visit http://www.memphislibrary.org/about/support/volunteer to complete a volunteer application.
By: Marcey Evans
Imagine a place where there’s live music, balloons, face painting, and rows of books! No, it’s not a carnival. It’s the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale coming to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) from 10 am to 4:30 pm on May 10 – 11, 2013. A pre-sale for Friends of the Library members will be held from 8 am to 10 am on Friday, May 10.
Customers can find a variety of genres for a fraction of the price. Friends of the Library President Jacque Jenkins said a little money will go a long way. “You can find any kind of book. And, you can’t beat the prices; that’s for sure,” she said.
These gently-used items, which were donated or previously a part of the Library’s collection, are now up for grabs. But, book sale customers can expect to find several other options in addition to books. “We also have vinyl records, CDs, movies, and magazines,” said Jenkins.
On Saturday, May 11 customers will enjoy live music while they shop, compliments of alternative music band “Ambient,” which consists of high school students Jordan Finney, Joseph Finney, Franklin Wallace, and Ben Whitehorn. Kids can also play with balloons or have their faces painted while their parents stock up on books. There’s something for everyone!
Proceeds from this family-fun event will support the Library’s programs and services. “We want to make the Library the best that it can be,” Jenkins said. “We have one of the best Libraries in the country, and we want to keep it that way.”
For more information on the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale, call (901) 415-2840.
By: Marcey Evans
If the streets of Memphis and Alabama could talk, they might tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement, which occurred in part on that very pavement. Social injustice, marches for equality, and subsequent conflict would undoubtedly depict the tale along with the civil rights leaders who led peaceful protests.
This story, which lives in the minds of those who experienced it firsthand, is the subject of exhibit “50 Years Forward,” a traveling display from Birmingham, Alabama commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement there. The exhibit is on display in the Goodwyn Gallery of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library now through April 24, 2013 for the public to enjoy.
Illustrating photos of Dr. King in a Birmingham jail and a uniform of Birmingham police to information on civil rights leader Medgar Evers, the Beckwith Conviction, and the “White press” of that day, the exhibit recaps America’s history with photos, videos, and actual items from the historical movement.
The mayors of Memphis and Birmingham, among several others, gathered at the Central Library to celebrate the exhibit’s opening and to discuss its significance. “We cannot change the past,” noted Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, “but at least we can do our parts in making sure we never ever forget it. We’re going to walk and sing and pray our way to a new day,” Wharton added reflecting on the historical events that shaped America’s history and the world.
“Take time to honor the past by honoring the present and taking advantage of the future,” advised Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “We have too many young people taking too many things for granted. It took a rainbow of people coming together to change the world and to create a new day in the South. The Civil Rights Movement was the movement that changed the world,” he said.
For more information on the “50 Years Forward” exhibit at the Central Library, call (901) 415-2700.
Shots rang out from smoking barrels. Soldiers fell. Their blood stained the ground on Shiloh Hill. This was the story of the Battle of Shiloh, a war fought in April 1862 between the Union and Confederate armies over the issue of slavery.
On Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., customers to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue) can revisit Shiloh Hill during a film entitled Shiloh: A Fiery Trial. This convincing re-enactment chronicles the two-day battle in the actual location where it was fought on the Shiloh battlefield.
“Our history tells us where we have been, where we are, and where we are going,” said Library Deputy Director Fred Bannerman-Williams. “A society that doesn’t know its history is lost. This information will make us a better informed community,” he said.
The documentary complements a recent program at the Library called “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War.” (See www.memphislibrary.org/whatsnew/americancivilwar2013.) This five-part, scholar-led reading and discussion paved the way to the documentary, which will bring the series to life.
“The role of the Library is to present the past, present, and future. When people attend these programs, they are informed, empowered, and engaged in the community,” Bannerman-Williams said. “It will help our community to move forward.”
Library customers are encouraged to wear historical costumes and come prepared to travel back in time.
For more information on the showing of Shiloh: A Fiery Trial or any Library programs and services, contact Public Relations Supervisor Marcey Evans at (901) 463-3055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's New @ Your Memphis Public Library & Information Center
Bring your gently used books to the nearest Memphis Public Library & Information Center location. Proceeds from Friends of the Library book sales benefit the Memphis Public Library & Information Center.