about us

history & mission

There is no single institution that addresses as many different needs in our community as Nashville Public Library.

dedicated to supporting and empowering one of NASHVILLE’s greatest resources.

The Nashville Public Library Foundation (NPLF) is a committed community of leaders, learners and innovative achievers dedicated to supporting and empowering the Nashville Public Library.

When Andrew Carnegie helped Nashville establish four public libraries more than a century ago, books were the only story. Today, Nashville Public Library (NPL) serves the community in ways and in numbers that Carnegie couldn’t have imagined. More than 350,000 Nashville residents own a library card and visit the Library’s 21 branches nearly 4 million times per year. A proud recipient of the 2017 Library of the Year Award, the Library inspires reading, advances learning, and connects our community through a broad range of programs, services, and collections. Through culturally diverse programs and centers, and an openness and hospitality that welcomes everyone, NPL takes special care to meet the needs of people who are marginalized, struggling, and new to the community and our country.

As a department of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Library depends on public funding to support operations and maintenance; however, it thrives because of private investment. Founded in 1997 as a 501(c) 3 organization, the Nashville Public Library Foundation has raised more than $50 million to advance the impact and reach of NPL programs and initiatives. These gifts allow the Library to encourage young minds to read, give teens a safe space to explore state-of-the-art technologies, and provide training and resources to adults and new Americans in need of support.


Your support goes right back into the community.

All children deserve such a place to grow and thrive. Through NPL’s expansive collection and award-winning programs, young patrons can develop strong literacy skills and expand their imaginations.learn more

important person spotlight

Don Holmes

Don brings his passion for equity to the Foundation. He loves sharing how the Library is leading the nation in innovation and how others look to Nashville to set the standard.meet the board of directors

important person spotlight

Shawn Bakker

Shawn brings a wealth of nonprofit experience and love for the library to her role. So much so that each time she moves to a new city, her first task is to get a new library card.meet our staff
Guidestar logo
Sign up for our newsletter, E-News.