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The Need

Paradoxically, though our world is increasingly connected through technology, as individuals, we are often more isolated than ever. This became especially evident during the pandemic.  According to the National Institute on Aging, loneliness and isolation are associated with higher risk for health problems including heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. 

Research supports that the best thing one can do to promote a sense of well-being is to focus on relationships: building union and community with others. 

With free and equal access for all, the library is a creator of community, a welcoming space for neighbors to gather in the shared pursuit of their best selves, empowerment, a better life. As an intergenerational community hub, Nashville Public Library is powerful resource for cultural engagement and to reinforce our connections to each other and the knowledge that transforms lives.

Library Solutions funded by NPLF

Special Collections

By archiving and preserving oral histories and historic materials, expanding programming and mounting new exhibits, the Special Collections division links the present with the city’s distinguished heritage. You can browse countless materials to explore Nashville’s rich history, including a robust genealogy collection. The Library also has the incomparable Wilson Collection, which showcases more than 800 priceless first edition books.

Votes for Women

The Votes for Women Room was created to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the constitution. This permanent exhibit explores a wide range of topics surrounding democracy, political movements, and women’s role in society through videos, interactive exhibits, a timeline, and interpretative panels.  Located on the second floor of the downtown Main Library, the room features an impressive Centerpiece Timeline that allows you to track women’s history and accomplishments through the years. There is also a deep dive into Tennessee’s pivotal role as the deciding vote, and the “Anatomy of a Movement” section that allows visitors to explore the main elements of activism necessary to create social change, then and today. In addition to the physical space, the Votes for Women room routinely hosts groups of all ages for engaging programs centered on learning more about the movement. Since its creation, over 42,575 people have visited the exhibit and library staff have conducted over 100 programs for groups. 

Civil Rights Room

The space serves as a place to explore the societal impact of local history and invites contemplation of the future through scheduled engagements educating visitors on injustice and human rights.
Nashville Public Library staff facilitate conversations with schools and universities, corporate groups, and community organizations that promote dialogue and understanding around the issues of equity and intercultural development. Each year, more than 10,000 visitors experience the room through these events as well as individual engagement.   

Courtyard Concerts

Much like the library itself, Courtyard Concerts are for everyone. NPL’s annual lunchtime concert series takes place each fall in the beautiful Robinson Courtyard at the Main Library located in the heart of downtown Nashville. Each season’s concert series welcomes live musical performers that span genre and generation. Selecting the best that Music City has to offer, musical acts range from classic rock and pop to latin jazz, singer songwriters and world music. Now in its 19th year, Courtyard Concerts provide a gathering space for visitors, residents, and employees and connect the Nashville community through live music. These popular events welcomed more than 4,500 attendees last year.

Connections to Language

The Children’s World Language Collection at NPL offers over 7,000 items, including books with audio narration, in 28 languages. Access to multilingual materials helps teach children their family’s native language and supports their family members who are learning a new language. Exploring cultures and languages different from their own connects children to friends and family in other countries, as well as neighbors in their own communities.   

Nashville Public Library is the only library in the country providing adult books written in the Kurdish language. This is a testament to NPL’s commitment to access and inclusion.