The Nashville Public Library Foundation was founded in 1997 as a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to raise funding from private sources to enhance the Nashville Public Library. It has raised more than $20 million to provide free educational programs, visual arts exhibits, building revitalization and significant collection enhancements for the children and adults who visit Metropolitan Nashville libraries nearly four million times a year.
REACHING OUT TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Bringing Books to Life: a national award-winning preschool literacy program that provides story times, curriculum supplements and visits from the Puppet Truck. The Puppet Truck also performs separately for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, community agencies and branch libraries.
T.O.T.A.L.: (totally outstanding teen advocates for the library) creates an environment of responsibility and provides professional development for local teens who then serve the Nashville Community. They plan and lead programs that speak to the unique needs of young adults. From cyber-safety and bullying to movies, games and snacks, more than 2,600 teens came together this year in the Teen Center, a safe place for common activities in order to interact and create a positive and free-flowing “issue driven” dialogue.
21st Century Digital Learning Lab: (in phase I development) The new Learning Labs are being designed to provide greater access to learning experiences to equip our young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future. The Learning Lab will be a space of youth activity and experiential learning to draw on the distinctive strengths in media, music and arts within Nashville, moving youth beyond exposure and initial engagement to activities of production, learning and expertise-building.
NPL’s community of partners include:
- Watkins College of Art and Design with its film and art school
- Frist Center for Visual Arts with its active education and creativity programs
- Youth Speaks Nashville with its focus on the spoken word and performance
- The Country Music Hall of Fame
Limitless Libraries: Imagine students sitting in their school libraries with access to all the books and periodicals they could possibly need—from a classic novel to today’s New York Times. The Nashville Public Library, with the support of the Mayor and MNPS, is making this dream a reality. Through Limitless Libraries, students in all 16 Metro high schools, 35 middle schools and 3 special education schools can select from 1.6 million books in the Nashville Public Library’s collections and have them delivered to their school libraries the next school day. Close to 24,000 students are participating, and 15,000 have become new library cardholders through this program since it began in 2010. In fact, circulation in participating schools has surpassed circulation in several of the library’s mid-size branches.
PROMOTING A COMMUNITY OF LITERACY
The Nashville Public Library Literary Award: brings outstanding individuals from the literary world to Nashville to honor their commitments to literacy through celebration and public lecture. First presented in 2004, recipients include David Halberstam (2004), David McCullough (2005), John Updike (2006), Ann Patchett (2007), John Irving (2008), and Doris Kearns Goodwin (2009), Billy Collins (2010), John McPhee (2011) and Margaret Atwood(2012).
The Nashville Public Library Literary Award Gala: individuals and corporations join in celebrating books and reading. Proceeds from the Gala fund the multiple endeavors of the Library Foundation, including Bringing Books to Life, T.O.T.A.L., and the Courtyard Concert Series.
Author Events: The Foundation helps build and support Nashville’s community of readers and book lovers. Salon@615 and Night at the Library bring a variety of authors and performances that invite everyone to participate, learn, and share at the library.
CONNECTING TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH MUSIC, VISUAL ARTS AND THEATRE
The Main Library Courtyard Concert Series presents free performances by noted musicians. The community comes together in the beautiful Robinson Courtyard of the downtown library in the summer months. Each week, hundreds enjoy live music and library offerings during lunch hours.
Arts@Main is a series of curated art exhibits at the Main Library, inspired by the Library’s collections. With prominent galleries on the main and second floor, the Main Library has emerged as a significant Nashville visual arts venue.
Wishing Chair Productions builds upon the enchantment of more than 70 years of marionette tradition at the Nashville Public Library. Today, more than 70,000 children are entertained each year by Wishing Chair Productions. Planning for the 2013 International Puppet Festival is underway! Troupes from all over the world perform to the delight of Nashvillians and the many out-of-town visitors who come to town for this
A DEDICATED HISTORY OF GIVING
Gifts from the community have provided for nearly $5 million in book purchases, a generous endowment from Phil Bredesen and Andrea Conte, the Mike Curb Children’s Theater, Bridgestone/Firestone Conference Center, Anita and Bill Cochran Popular Materials Collection, Rascoe Bond Davis Nashville Room, Ingram Hall, Junior League Children’s Services, Civil Rights Collection bestowed by Robin and Bill King, La Storia della Terra (Tower of Books)bestowed by the Liff Family Foundation, Martin~Turner Oral History and Special Collections Center, Memorial Foundation Grand Reading Room, Margaret Ann and Walter Robinson Courtyard, StoryCorps National StoryBooth Project, Wilson Limited Editions Room, numerous technology enhancements and library staff development programs.