Did you know Nashville Public Library has a full time puppet troupe that includes a roving truck? Did you know Nashville Public Library has a program that allows Metro Nashville Public School kids access to NPL books through their own school library? Did you know you can download audio books, e-books and music (popular and obscure)? Did you know you can check out your favorite cable TV series on DVD? Did you know there is a conference center? What about an art gallery? What about special access to ancestor research and websites? Need help learning how to use an iPad mini or maybe Gmail? They will offer a class when demand dictates. Need a handful of books for your book club? Check with NPL to see which they have ready for you. Do you see what is going here? If you live in Davidson County, TN you have access to so much and mostly for free. All you need is a Nashville Public Library card.
The public library concept has changed and is now a cutting edge social environment. This is not the “shush”, gray-hair-in-a-bun librarian kind of place anymore. In Nashville, things started to change in the late 1990s. The city decided to invest in the physical spaces and the library board and director decided to bring forward a change in style and consciousness surrounding the public library. The mayor, Phil Bredesen, and the director, Donna Nicely, were on the same page which meant council would follow suit (Who wants to be the council rep who doesn’t support the library? Nobody.) The philosophical change is what took and what will take the library into the future.
The library became a community center, not just for kids during the Summer but for all ages. Nationally recognized and awarded authors started to visit, collaboration between the library and community institutions and organizations started to build, facilities added amenities like conference rooms and art installations, the library jumped on the front end of technology and, most importantly, the library responded to patron requests. Public computers allowed immediate access to international research sources as well as career search help. Events expanded to include all parts of town and all ages. A pop culture podcast started. E-books and downloadable audio became available before the general population knew it was logistically possible.
Chief among the benefits of this library system are the kid’s programs, including puppets and story times. Nashville Public Library has weekly story times at all of the regional locations and many of the neighborhood branches. NPL has a puppet troupe that is second to none. You can see Grimm tales, African tales, Mother Goose or the very Nashville tribute to Duke Ellington among others. You can go to the Main location or you can find the puppet truck. Story times run from the traditional sit on the floor and an adult reads to you to the high energy show downtown that includes sing-alongs, juggling, and stories. If you have a teen take them let them go downtown to play Wii or get homework help. Let them go to the library website to get homework help or research help from the “ask a librarian” chat. Do you need a social outlet? Join a book club at the library. Once you start talking about the non-book benefits of the library it is hard to stop.
Of course, if it is books you want have one transferred to your preferred location. Renew it online. Request something from inter library loan while online. Suggest the library carry a title or an author.
New or old, book or not, social or solitary; child, teen or adult, there is very little of which Nashville Public Library will fail. If you have a library card use it. If you don’t have a library card (Davidson County = free, any other location = nominal annual fee) get one and have fun.
Upcoming Events (very small sampling):
- Barbara Kingsolver – 11/27/2012 – Main Library
- Cinderella puppet show – throughout November & December – Main Library
- Cat’s Eye (1985) – 11/17/2012 Movies @ Main
- Saturday movies – Inglewood Branch
- Manga Night – Goodlettsville Branch
- Vanderbilt Basketball, Tales of Commodore Hardwood History – Metro Archives