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Friends of the Knox County Public Library is dedicated to fostering a love of libraries, books, and reading in the Knox County area by community outreach, advocacy, and support of the Knox County Public Library System and staff.

Learn more about who we are and what we do.

  • Download a copy of our July 2019 Annual Report here.
  • Read the latest issue of Friends ❤️ KCPL, our monthly e-newsletter, here.
  • Subscribe to our e-newsletters to stay up to date on what’s going on with Friends.

The 2020 Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture: An Evening with Michael W. Twitty

Culinary and cultural historian Michael W. Twitty will present the 2020 Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at The Press Room, 730 N. Broadway, Knoxville. Twitty will talk about his Cooking Gene Project, with special reference to African-American heritage foods in Tennessee. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Twitty is the author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, which was both the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year and the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner in Writing. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the lecture, and the author will be available to sign books after he speaks.

For more information, please visit the event page on this website. 

An Evening with Erik Larson

Join Friends, Union Ave Books, the Knox County Public Library, and the East Tennessee Historical Society for an evening with Erik Larson on Tuesday, February 25, at 7 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre. Larson, the author of five national bestsellers, will speak about his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which will be released on February 25.

Tickets for the event will go on sale to the public January 31; each ticket will include a copy of the book. The author will be available to sign copies of his book after he speaks.

Please visit the event page on this website for more information.

Used Book Sales at Branch Libraries

A new season of book sales at Knox County Public Library branches will offer shoppers access to a wide selection of books and other media at affordable prices. As always, sale proceeds will benefit KCPL.

Upcoming Sales

Help Friends Put Books in Readers’ Hands

Thanks to your incredible generosity during the 2018 Empty Stocking Fund Children’s Book Drive, we received enough donations to give the gift of reading to children in our community during the holidays last year and this year!

The book mobile from the Knoxville Dream Center delivers books to children in various locations in our community, including these young residents of an apartment complex off Sutherland Avenue.

Now we have a new opportunity to put books in readers’ hands year round through our Books in the Community program, and once again your financial support can help.

While we give away books to dozens of agencies in our community, we often don’t have the books those agencies ask for. A few examples: Centro Hispano and the Knox County Sheriff’s Detention Center requested books in Spanish. The Montgomery Village Library asked for up-to-date study guides to help people prepare for the GED or qualify for employment. The Career Magnet Academy requested copies of Angie Thomas’ popular novel The Hate U Give.

Why were we unable to fill these and other requests? Because our book donations come from private collections and from KCPL’s withdrawals, and books that are current and popular today rarely find their way into our inventory.

Providing books to address the varied needs of our community is an ongoing challenge. Please help us meet that challenge and build a stronger, healthier, and more literate community by making a donation to Books in the Community online today. 

Grow With Us as a Member of Friends in 2020!

Grow with us in 2020! Join an energetic family that supports outstanding programs and advocates on behalf of the Knox County Public Library year-round.

As a member of Friends, you’ll be a stakeholder in one of Knox County’s longest-standing nonprofit organizations.

Whether you’re a new Friend or an old one, please join or renew your membership today! Library lovers all over Knox County will thank you!

Register your Kroger Plus Card

Support Friends of the Knox County Public Library by registering your Kroger Plus Card and choosing Friends as your recipient! You’ll earn points for us with every purchase you make — points that will be converted into dollars of support for Friends. Don’t worry — you’ll still receive your usual Kroger Plus Card discounts. And library lovers in Knox County will thank you for your support.

Follow these easy steps to link your card to Friends:

  • Register your card online — create an account; then enter your email, favorite store, and Kroger Plus Card number.
  • At the bottom of your Account Summary, click Enroll under Community Rewards, and either enter our Kroger Nonprofit Organization number (HA962) or just search for Friends of the Knox County Public Library.