A resolution recognizing and congratulating Nashville Public Library, its patrons, staff, board members, supporters and volunteers for being awarded Library Journal’s 2017 “Library of the Year".

WHEREAS, in 1897, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Library Law, which authorized cities of 20,000 or more to establish and maintain free public libraries and reading rooms; and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library was established in 1898 and was then known as the Howard Library; and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library now has twenty-one locations across the city, over 350 employees, more than 500 volunteers, and serves over 680,000 Davidson County residents; and

WHEREAS, on June 6, 2017, Nashville Public Library was named the “Library of the Year” by the Library Journal magazine, which described Nashville Public Library as “a model for the nation and the world.”; and

WHEREAS, an awards judge and director of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library described Nashville Public Library as “a champion of diversity and inclusiveness and a literacy gladiator;” and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library has broad engagement with the local school system and renowned educational initiatives, such as the early reading outreach program Bringing Books to Life, and the student accessibility program Limitless Libraries, both of which are unique in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library is distinctive in having Wishing Chair Productions, its own resident puppet troupe and puppet truck program, which proudly preserves Tom Tichenor’s 79-year-old puppetry legacy; and

WHEREAS, in 2008, Nashville’s first International Puppet Festival, held at the Main Library, reached over 15,000 children and adults and is now one of the library’s most popular programs; and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library is home to the Civil Rights Room and Collection, a space that houses a collection of 150 oral histories, photographs, periodicals, manuscripts, and news accounts; and

WHEREAS, the Civil Rights Room and Collection is accessible to all Nashvillians and was created to preserve and honor the stories of local and national civil rights pioneers, as well as provide a forum for conversations about current civil rights issues and complex community dynamics; and

WHEREAS, much of Nashville Public Library’s strength and vitality comes from the community that has embraced it, including the Friends of Nashville Public Library, as well as individual and corporate members of the community who support Nashville Public Library generously through the Nashville Public Library Foundation, whose public-private partnerships enable the Library to find innovative ways to meet community needs; to offer these services and resources at no cost to local families; and to reach even more of Nashville’s students, families, and lifelong learners; and

WHEREAS, Nashville Public Library helps meet challenges and the opportunities we all face as a growing city as demonstrated through its other notable programs and services such as Studio NPL, NPL BoomBox, as well as health literacy, adult education, and digital literacy efforts; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes Nashville Public Library for its momentous achievement and honors the library’s continuous commitment to community education and engagement, fulfilling its mission to inspire reading, advance learning, and connect our community.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing Nashville Public Library, its patrons, staff, board members, supporters and volunteers for their hard work and achievement of the Library Journal’s 2017 “Library of the Year” award.

Section 2. That the Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Library Director Kent Oliver.

Section 3. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Angie Henderson, Nancy VanReece, Kevin Rhoten, Freddie O'Connell


Referred to: Parks, Library and Recreation Committee
Introduced: September 5, 2017
Adopted: September 5, 2017
Returned Unsigned by the Mayor: September 20, 2017
Effective Date: September 20, 2017

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.