Tours and School Visits

The Main Library offers guided tours, educational experiences, and self-guided tours. Tours should be scheduled at least 1 week in advance. Educational experiences should be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance. We encourage you to reserve early because group visits are very popular. A Library staff member will contact you to confirm the date and time for your visit.

Library Visits to Schools and Community Groups

Would you like a Nashville Public Library staff member to visit your school library, classroom, or community group? Children's Services, Teen Services, Special Collections, Studio NPL, and Bringing Books to Life can bring programs to your group.

Please describe your group's needs and we can discuss whether an outreach visit is a good fit.

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Tours

Image of the Main Library exterior

See the architectural elements of the Main Library’s neoclassical design. Learn about our permanent artwork and current art gallery exhibits. Your tour guide will describe the services offered in each area of the Main Library. At the tour group’s request, we can emphasize particular service areas. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour.

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Group touring the Civil Rights Room

Explore Nashville's role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s with a discussion about the Civil Rights Room, historical photographs, and timelines. This tour lasts approximately 1 hour. We can adjust the duration of tours upon request.

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Exterior photo of the Bellevue Branch Library

If you would like a tour of a branch library, please contact the branch location directly.

View Branch Locations

Educational Experiences

The Children's Department at the Main Library

Group puppet shows and Library tours are available on Thursday mornings with prior reservation. Groups of 10 or more wishing to attend a puppet show or schedule a tour of Main Library must make a reservation. Large groups of 20 or more should contact the Children’s Department to determine the best time to visit. Children’s Department tours are available for groups of 60 or less. To inquire about Wishing Chair Productions’ puppet show schedule, or to schedule a Library tour, call the Children’s Desk at (615) 862-5785

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Studio NPL at the Main Library

Explore the Teen Space and Studio NPL. Teens can play games, hang out, study, or participate in after-school activities offered every week. Studio NPL offers special programming led by local mentors from various industries and disciplines. These class or group visits can be customized to include a building tour, a teen area and Studio tour, a 3D printing demo or other hands-on activity, or research/class assignment help. Maximum group size is 40. The maximum time for Library staff-led activities is 2 hours.

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Children in the Civil Rights Room

Explore Nashville's pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s with a discussion about the Civil Rights Room, historical photographs, and timelines. We welcome groups of all ages, from elementary school children through university students and graduate-level researchers. Your visit can include a full building tour, a tour of the Civil Rights Room, a group activity (e.g., scavenger hunt, hands-on oral history), an explanation of primary sources, and instruction or research assistance.

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Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Learn about our equipment, software, books, DVDs, and program accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing. Maximum group size is 10 for in-depth resource sessions.

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Getting help in the children's department

For adult education students and their families. Discover free resources for adults, families, children, and teens available with your Nashville Public Library card. This tour can be tailored for speakers from non-English backgrounds.

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Group in the Archives storage room examines original image

The Metropolitan Archives is the official repository of Nashville and Davidson County government documents. This unique collection contains rare documents dating back to the founding of the city through its incorporation as one of the first combined city/county governments in 1962. Visitors will learn about conservation techniques, see examples of Archives' holdings, and walk through the closed stacks. Maximum group size is 20 people.

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Group in the Wilson Room

The Wilson Limited Editions Collection contains 800+ rare and unusual books dating from 1929, donated to Nashville Public Library by local author and book collector Dr. Sadye Tune Wilson. The collection also features fine art portfolios containing illustrations from these beautifully bound books. Photography is welcome. Maximum group size is 20 people.

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Self-Guided Tours

Main Library Grand Reading Rooom

The self-guided tour brochure offers an overview of the services and collections at the Main Library.

PDF Brochure

Copper Panel detail from the Main Library Grand Reading Room art installation

The Story of Nashville is a set of copper repoussé panels located in the Main Library's Grand Reading Room. The Story of Nashville brochure gives an explanation of each panel.

Brief Guide to A Story of Nashville (pdf)
Detailed Guide to A Story of Nashville (pdf)