Library Summer Camps FAQ

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As we work as a society through these trying times, Memphis Public Libraries has worked to shift our services and programming to meet the needs of our community! Until the City of Memphis deems it safe for the library to go back to normal meeting guidelines, Memphis Public Libraries have decided to shift a number of our program opportunities to a virtual platform. This includes our MPL Summer camps! Youth accepted into our MPL summer camps will have the opportunity to have the summer camp experience virtually! We are currently working as a team to present the best opportunities for this program. MPL is excited that you have continued interest in our programs and encourage you to read the rest of the FAQ for guidance around our summer camps.

When will applications be accepted?
Applications are being accepted now through June 1st.

Is there a cost associated with the Library Summer Camps?
Memphis Public Libraries’ Summer Camps are free for the youth who have been accepted into the camps. These camps are available for the Greater Memphis area through the Memphis Library Foundation and other generous funding and partnerships.

Are your camps first come/first serve registration camps?
No. Our camps are all application based and applicants are selected by the camp’s coordinator. If you have questions regarding expertise needed to apply for a specific camp, please refer to the camp registration site.

Will there be food provided for the camp participants?
Due to our camps being on a virtual platform this year. We will not be providing food.

Will there be breaks scheduled throughout the camp day?
Yes. There will be multiple breaks built into each camp for participants to use the restroom, make calls, eat a snack, or handle any other needs that they may have.

Is there an age requirement for the camps?
Yes, each camp has an age requirement. You must be the proper age for the designated camp by the start date of the camp. Please refer to the Summer Camp’s page for each camp’s age requirements.

Where do I go to apply to the Library Summer Camp?
Please visit

What will the camp participants learn during the Library Summer Camps?
The Memphis Public Libraries has qualified staff dedicated to executing a rigorous and engaging curriculum each day for our summer camp programs. The specific skills, such as music production techniques, coding, art, robotics, and STEM, are different based upon each camp and the camp goals. Most of our summer camps are project-based and students will produce a piece of work that they will be able to take with them upon completion of the camp. Please refer to the camp’s registration site for more information.

What is the structure of the Library Summer Camps?
Due to our current climate with COVID-19, Memphis Public Libraries have decided to switch to a virtual opportunity for our summer camps. This means that we will be providing our summer camps on a virtual platform. Each summer camp has a different schedule of activities / instruction. Most summer camps will have two facilitators that will teach the participants, as well as an experienced student peer to further aid participants. Some of our camps will be led by Memphis Public Libraries’ Librarians; however, there will be some camps who will be taught by outside instructors. Those instructors will have been vetted, undergone background checks, and are approved to teach their specific summer camp. Regardless of camp, all participants are asked to login virtually about 15 minutes before the camp starts. Each Library Summer Camp will start promptly at their designated time and participants will follow structured camp schedules for their assigned programs.

What happens if my child has an emergency?
Due to our camps becoming a virtual opportunity, we will trust the parent/guardian in the home will handle any emergency.

How can I see the work that my child has done over the course of this camp?
Each camp is structured differently.  For camps where projects are presented, parents will be invited to attend a showcase where they will be able to see their child’s work as well as other projects produced during their child’s camp.  During those showcases, camp participants will give a brief presentation and demonstration of their creations.  Please refer to the camp’s registration site for more information.

Can I apply to more than one camp?
It depends on the camp.  Most of our summer camps do not require prerequisite knowledge or skills but some do.  Please refer to the camp’s registration site for more information.

I submitted my application, now what?
Applications are reviewed by Memphis Public Libraries’ Camp Coordinators. Participants will be selected on the strength of their application, and if they are deemed to be a good fit for the specific camp that they applied to. If you applied to a summer camp, notifications on all summer camps will be send out by Tuesday, June 15th. Some reasons why an application may not be accepted are:

  • The application was not completely filled out.
  • The application was not submitted by the deadline. The deadline for applications is June 15th.
  • Insufficient essay responses, any application that failed to thoughtfully and completely respond to the essay questions will not be considered.
  • The applicant is not the proper age for the specific camp.
  • The applicant would like to gain skills/knowledge in an area that will not be covered in the camp.

If my child does not get into a camp, is there a waiting list?
We do offer a waiting list for most of our camps.  Please refer to your official camp notification to see whether your child has been placed on a wait list. Please refer to the camp’s registration site for the appropriate camp coordinator’s information.

I have multiple children that would like to apply for a camp. Do I need to fill out multiple applications?
Yes.  Some camps also require children to answer questions about their knowledge, please have each child answer those questions separately.

I submitted an application and was accepted into a Summer Camp. What happens next?
Congratulations on your child’s acceptance! Parents will receive a camp packet from Memphis Public Libraries along with their acceptance email. This packet will have in-depth information on the particular camp that the child has been accepted into. Camp logistics such as camp dates, times, arrival time, how to dress, and general rules and guidelines for the summer camps will also be listed. You will have 3 business days to confirm your child’s attendance for the summer camp that they have been accepted. If you decide that your child will not be attending, please complete the confirmation form to inform us that your child will not be attending so we can notify a waitlisted applicant. We will also follow up with a phone call or text to each parent as a courtesy reminder for the specific camp that they have confirmed their acceptance and attendance.

What other opportunities do you have for our youth during the summer in the library system?
Memphis Public Libraries is proud to have a number of engaging programs throughout the summer for our youth via our Explore Memphis Summer Programming. You can learn more about Explore Memphis at

Who can I contact if I’m having technical difficulties with the application or other questions about the camps that are not covered here?
Please refer to the camp’s registration site for the appropriate camp coordinator’s information.

Go Back to the Summer Camp page.

Remember that teens 13 – 18 can still participate in any of our free workshops in CLOUD901! Visit our calendar for teen programs and tween and children programs across the entire the library system.