MPL in the News

mpl in the news

‘Fresh out of your own garden’ | Free seeds and gardening program offered at Benjamin Hooks Central Library

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – March 5, 2023

Did you know the Memphis Public Library has a seed library at Central Library on the third floor? ABC24 Visual Storyteller Shiela Whaley took a look.

How a Mid-South technician is helping young & old learn the basic of electronics

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – March 5, 2023

Learning how things work can save people money or even highlight a new career path. Now one class is helping Mid-Southerner get back to basics when it comes to electronics.

“A look at the innovation behind Memphis Public Libraries”

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – November 30, 2022

Did you know the Memphis Public Library is one of the most innovative in the country? ABC24 Visual Storyteller Patrick Niedzwiedz took a look.

“Evicted Exhibition”

Memphis Flyer – November 30, 2022

For the months of December and January, the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library will host “Evicted,” a multimedia exhibition that explores the causes and consequences of housing insecurity.

The exhibition, presented here by the Memphis Public Interest Law Center and the Black Clergy Collaborative of Memphis, has traveled throughout the country, drawing inspiration from Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, which followed eight families in Milwaukee navigating housing insecurity.

Photo: Yassine el Mansouri

‘Parade of Nations’ held by Benjamin L. Hooks Central Libraryons Book Store aims to be more than words

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – November 20, 2022

“Performances by groups like the Chinese Ensemble and the Memphis Youth Arts Initiative aimed to express different cultures, showing similarities despite differences.”

Second Editions Book Store aims to be more than words

Daily Memphian – August 12, 2022

“When walking into the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave., it’s not unusual to walk past the Second Editions Book Store without noticing it. 

A small room nestled just to the right of the library’s front entrance with bookshelves nearly as high as the ceiling, Second Editions Book Store offers thousands of gently used hardback and paperback books for sale, with the average title priced at $3.”

Raleigh Library opens new Teen Innovation Center

Action News 5 – July 22, 2022

“The Raleigh Library will have the grand opening for their new Teen Innovation Center Friday, July 22 at 1:30 p.m. Branch Manager Michael King, along with teen staffers Aaren Todd and Madison Virgilio joined Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas at the digital desk to talk about how this new addition will offer free resources for teens including gaming consoles, virtual reality headsets and workstations.”

Senior Health Fair set for July 22

Action News 5 – July 22, 2022

“The 2nd Annual Senior Health Fair is set for Friday, July 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Poplar Avenue. Wang-Yinh Glasgow, adult service coordinator for Memphis Public Libraries, joined Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas at the digital desk to talk about what resources will be available.”

Live At 9: Summer Program Helps Families Explore the Tastes and Sounds of Memphis

News Channel 3 – June 29, 2022

“Families are invited to explore Memphis through music, food, and an estimated 250,000 books. The Memphis Library’s Summer Reading Program is in full swing, but it features much more than the typical prizes for reading books. Families get to explore the taste and sound of Memphis at free public events.”

Memphis Teens Get Crash Course in Diversity

La Prensa Latina – June 22, 2022

“Benjamin L. Hooks Library is hosting a Diversity Camp this week for teens 13 through18 years old.

Over the five-day camp, guest speakers will discuss topics like religion, politics, sexual identity, and how to navigate and find common ground with people who share different beliefs.”

Library cultural leaders teach teen diversity

Action News 5 – June 21, 2022

“These kids are getting a crash course on what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

Grown-ish workshop series at South Library prepares teens for adulthood

highground news – march 17, 2022

“Many teens entering adulthood find the experience overwhelming. School can only prepare kids for so much, and they often aren’t taught about life lessons they’ll encounter as young adults.

The Grown-ish workshop series—named and modeled after the popular television show—is held the third Friday of every month at Memphis Public Libraries’ South Library branch.”

Memphis Youth Arts Initiative drumming up interest in camp

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – march 14, 2022

“Shelby County students are out of school this week enjoying their spring break, but parents might be wondering what their kids can do to stay out of trouble.

The Memphis Youth Arts Initiative has a solution: drum camp.”

Memphis Public Libraries Opens New Teen Innovation Centers

memphis parent – february 28, 2022

Memphis Library Foundation and Memphis Public Libraries have teamed up with International Paper to open new Teen Innovation Centers (TIC).

Memphis Public Libraries and the Memphis Library Foundation have been investing to keep libraries relevant to the current times and also to create engaging spaces for the local youth.”

14 Memphis Adult Education Classes to Enrich Your Life!

styleblueprint – february 22, 2022

“Libraries are known for offering help with tax prep, software programs, and computer literacy, but the Memphis Public Library goes a step beyond those basic offerings with a variety of classes focused on health and wellness, finance, arts and crafts, and civic engagement.”

Memphis’ North Branch Library opens new center for teens

abc 24 memphis – february 7, 2022

“Memphis’ North Branch Library opened their new Teen Innovation Center (TIC) Saturday, February 5. 

Library representatives said the TIC offers teens a space to engage in literacy and technology-related activities. This center includes a tech and gadgets like a drone and a VR gaming headset for teens to interact with.”

United Way of the Mid-South offering free tax prep to families

ABC 24 MEMPHISjanuary 30, 2022

“Filing your taxes might be a little tricky this year, but United Way of the Mid-South is helping families file for free.

In 2002, United Way of the Mid-South and the Internal Revenue Service started a coalition of local businesses, non-profits, and other partners to create the Free Tax Program. Households that made $58,000 or less last year qualify for the program.”

How Memphis Created the Nation’s Most Innovative Public Library


The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, a building of pale concrete and greenish glass, rises four stories in midtown Memphis. Walking through its automatic doors on a weekday afternoon, I hear unexpected sounds, muffled but unmistakable, almost shocking in a library context: the deep, quaking bass beats of Memphis hip-hop, plus a faint whine of power tools cutting through metal.”

“Smithsonian Magazine picks Memphis as place with most innovative library in the country”

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – october 26, 2021

“Memphis is back on the map nationally once again. This time for the libraries.

Smithsonian Magazine highlighted Benjamin Hooks Library as the most innovative public library in the nation.

Shh! This is a library, but it’s more than just books.

Check it out.”



“As the summer season sunsets and a new school year begins, the National Summer Learning Summer Association (NSLA) – the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning experiences – is pleased to announce the 2021 honorees of the coveted New York Life Foundation’s Excellence in Summer Learning Awards.

“Pilot program centers Memphis teens in library decision-making”

higher ground – august 25, 2021

“For Zahra Chowdhury, a 17-year-old senior at Pleasant View High School, being a part of the pilot Comeback Stronger Youth Council has been an eye-opening experience. 

“Having a seat at the table of influence means everything,” Chowdhury said. “As young people, we have specific needs, and it’s nice to have a platform to share these ideas.”

“Students Get Involved in Memphis Public Libraries”

MEMPHIS FLYER – august 19, 2021

“This summer, Memphis Public Libraries (MPL) has partnered with BRIDGES to assemble the Comeback Stronger Youth Councils, as part of an initiative to boost teen engagement and expand libraries’ teen programming. The councils consist of middle and high school students, who represent five branches: Benjamin L. Hooks, North, Poplar-White Station, Raleigh, and South.”

Explore Memphis Literacy Program Wraps up with Festivities

MEMPHIS PARENT – July 30, 2021

“Saturday marks the end of Memphis Public Libraries’ Explore Memphis program. The summer-long curriculum is designed to help students get over a dreaded “summer slump,” a period between school years when they aren’t engaging either academically or educationally.”

How the library system thrived in the pandemic

daily memphian – JUNE 10, 2021

“Memphis Public Libraries is one of three recipients of the highest national honor given to museums and libraries.

The MPL system was recently named as recipient of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Poplar-White Station Branch Staff with the The 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Memphis Public Libraries awarded second national medal

daily memphian – may 25, 2021

“Memphis Public Libraries is one of three recipients of the highest national honor given to museums and libraries.

The MPL system was recently named as recipient of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

PLA, public libraries and Microsoft Corp. extend upskilling efforts for in-demand jobs

ALA NEWS – april 26, 2021

“The Public Library Association (PLA), supported by Microsoft Corp., is promoting tools to help job seekers in high-growth careers. PLA’s Skilling for Employment Post COVID-19 initiative connects public libraries and their communities nationwide to specialized online training and certifications, and today adds new targeted programs in Cleveland, El Paso, Memphis, and New York City.”

Winners of the Memphis Black History Library Card Contest announced

ABC 24 MEMPHIS – april 13, 2021

Memphis library cards will have a new look this summer. The winners of the Black History Library Card Contest were revealed Tuesday.

They were divided into three age groups. Ryan Garnett won in the nine and under group, Rachel Douglas won the 10 to 17 group, and Daria Davis took the 18 and up group. One of the winners had these words of encouragement to other artists.”