Friday, September 19, 2014

[News and Notes] Banned Books Week: September 21-27, 2014

Banned Books Week is September 21-27, 2014

Why celebrate Banned Books Week? The American Library Association explains:
"By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read." (Source)

Sites of interest for Banned Books Week:
American Library Association BBW page
Banned Books Week 
Visit Banned Books Week YouTube page to view 2014 Virtual Read-Out videos  

Click here to learn how to add this Twibbon below to your profile.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

[Memphis Reads 2014] Christian Brothers University's 2014 "Fresh Reads" Essay Contest

As part of our partnership with Christian Brothers University for the city-wide Memphis Reads reading initiative, the Memphis Reads blog will post the top ten essay contest winners from CBU's 2014 "Fresh Reads" program (About Fresh Reads).   

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

All incoming CBU freshmen were "invited to read [a preselected book], consider the issues it raises and respond to it with an essay."  The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu was the 2014 Fresh Reads selection. The essay winners' names are listed below.

Fresh Reads 2014 
Top Ten Essay Contest Winners

Abraham Hsuan-Hsin Lin

Barbara (Rosie) Schmitz

Caye Caparas

Katie Dorsey

Hozyer Saeed

Jeanna StaAna

Luke Wade

Nick Vongprachanh

Prakruthi Phaniraj

Saehymn Oh

Starting September 22, please visit the blog every Monday and Wednesday for a new essay from these Fresh Reads essay contest winners. 

Mark your calendars November 4, 2014 for these upcoming Memphis Reads events:

Author reading by Dinaw Mengestu 
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue
5:30 p.m.

Author talk and book signing by Dinaw Mengestu
University Theater at Christian Brothers University
8:00 p.m.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

[Library Events and Programs] The Memphis Public Library and Christian Brothers University present MEMPHIS READS

From the official press release:

“Christian Brothers University and the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, in cooperation with the Memphis Mayor’s Office, are partnering to present Memphis Reads, a city-wide initiative to promote literacy that will officially kick off on October 1.

The Memphis Reads program will select one book annually to be read by the Memphis community at large. This month-long community read will consist of discussions, interviews with the author and sponsors, and related arts events, all of which will be free and open to the public. Memphis Reads will culminate in a series of live presentations by the author of the book, which for 2014 is The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Ethiopian immigrant Dinaw Mengestu.”

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

Memphis Reads city-wide reading selection: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Author visit by Dinaw Mengestu
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Reading at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue
5:30 p.m.

Talk at Christian Brothers University Theater
8:00 p.m. 

Click to view CBU's Memphis Reads announcement

Search the library catalog for The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

[Library Events and Programs] World War I Lecture Series at the Central Library

The History Department presents:

World War I
Monday Lecture Series

Memphis Room (4th Floor)
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue

Mondays on the following dates:
September 15, 29, 2014
October 20, 2014
November 10, 2014

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

[Library Events and Programs] Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale October 2014

Friends of the Library 

Fall Book Sale
Saturday, October 25, 2014

10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library 
3030 Poplar Avenue 

*Preview sale for Friends members, Friday October 24 from 8 am to 10 am

Click to view price list


Thursday, September 04, 2014

[News and Notes] Depression and Suicide Prevention

In light of recent tragic events, the suicide of comedian/actor Robin Williams and deaths by suicide in our local news, I think it’s important to pause from our regular postings to address a serious issue. 

Book Riot recently posted What We Talk About When We Talk About Suicide: Books About Depression, addressing the issue of mental health by profiling three memoirs with more reading recommendations shared in the comments section.
It is very important to remind everyone there is help out there for those who are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. For many, finding a book in the library has been the starting point for understanding and coping with depression. Please browse and share the sources below if you or someone you know needs help.  

Browse the MPLIC catalog for books about depression and suicide prevention.

Local Community Resource and Referral
LINC 211 of the Memphis Public Library (click for information and hours)
Dial 2-1-1 or call Toll free at (855) 354-4211 
Hearing-impaired individuals may call TTY 415-2701.

Resources for immediate help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Online chat --
Phone Hotline -- 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Photo credit: dany_masson via photopin cc

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


All locations of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center will be closed Monday, September 1, 2014 for Labor Day. 

Customers have the option of  reserving or renewing books via the library catalog by going to or calling 452-2047. 

The library’s website also offers several resources customers can use anytime—24 hours a day—seven days a week.   

E-books and downloadable audio books can be checked-out for free; online databases contain searchable newspaper and magazine articles, reference books and more; and blogs and newsletters on everything from fiction bestsellers to travel can be read on the web. 

[Book Review] The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fiction/Young Adult

Andrea reviews THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2014)

This is another brilliantly tragic young adult (YA) novel written by author, Laurie Halse Anderson, who won the Michael L.  Printz Honor award with her debut novel, Speak.

Told primarily from the voice of Hayley Kincain, she is being “raised” by her Iraq war veteran father, Andy.  I am using the word raised loosely because, unfortunately for Hayley and all those around her, her father suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving tours in Iraq.
Andy’s primary occupation after serving his tours of duty was semi-truck driver. Because Hayley’s mother and grandmother both had died, Andy felt he had no choice but to take her on his long hauls. Hayley claimed she never saw the need for formal education; she was learning all she needed from being on the road with her dad. All that came to a screeching halt when Andy decides to put Hayley in public school for her senior year. Andy’s PTSD demons are getting worse and he decides to self-medicate. Hayley is having a hard enough time fitting in with the “zombies” of high school without Andy’s abusing her and himself.
This is a heartbreaking young adult novel that shows readers how war is destroying many people in so many different ways.

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station

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