We Carricos are officially Friends of the Memphis Public Library. It’s no secret that I love our library. I put books on hold, have books sent from other branches, and shop in Second Editions (the used bookstore inside the Central branch). Noah played baby bingo this summer and was given a free board book for a prize. I participated in their Explore Memphis program for adults, which I hope they will work the kinks out of and try again. I download my five free songs a week through the library’s subscription to Freegal, and I check out ebooks from the relative comfort of my desk chair.
I also use the archives frequently. So frequently, in fact, that I have gotten to know several of the archivists on a first name basis. I can say with certainty that they are some of the nicest, most qualified people I have met in my researching. Honestly, I cannot sing their praises quite loudly or often enough. The Memphis and Shelby County Room (where the archives are housed) also has fantastic equipment available to researchers. I’m talking about a digital microfilm scanner. DIGITAL. Any historian out there knows the magnitude of this equipment. You can zoom in on specific areas and save the images to a zip drive. That means no more reams of copy paper that must be read through a magnifying glass.
Then there are all the library resources that I don’t use–classes for teenagers, job fairs, technology classes, computer access. These are fantastic resources for the Memphis community, and we are happy support them.
Basically, we love the library. Our kid is going to grow up having access to one of the coolest children’s libraries and learning about the world through afternoons spent grabbing whatever book catches his eye. We are happy to be their Friends.
The picture above is the Benjamin Hooks (Central) Branch Light Veil atrium sculpture by Ed Carpenter. You can see more photographs of the piece and read his artist statement on the Urban Art Commission’s website.