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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

Community Outreach Visits

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.



main library

Main Library Building Tour (All ages)

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.


civil rights room lunch counter

Civil Rights Room Tour (All ages)

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.


Votes for Women Room

Votes for Women Room Tour (All Ages)

Explore Nashville's role in the Votes for Women Movement and Tennessee's role in passing the 19th Amendment. This tour lasts approximately 1 hour. We can adjust the duration of tours upon request.


exterior of bellevue branch library

Branch Library Tours (All ages)

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


Educational Experiences

main children's department

Children’s Services (Grades PreK–5)

Library tours of the Children’s department are available on Thursday mornings or any other day in the afternoon. Please use the request link below to make a reservation. Or you can call the Children’s Desk at (615) 862-5785. If you wish to see a puppet show, please see the details and separate request form below. 


puppet performer on stage

Wishing Chair Puppet Shows (All Ages)

Wishing Chair provides special performances for groups of 10 or more on Thursdays at the Main Library during the run of the show. If you have a school group, senior center, assisted living facility, or other organization that would like to see a puppet show at the Main Library, fill out our group puppet show request form and we'll be in touch. Performances should be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance. 


teen studio space

Teen Services (Grades 6–12)

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.


children at the civil rights room

Civil Rights Room (All ages)

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, an explanation of primary sources, and instruction or research assistance.


votes for women room

Votes for Women Room Tour (All ages) 

Explore ideas about democracy, political movements, and women’s role in society with a tour of the Votes for Women Room. Tours are created to examine the role of women in movements and use the American Woman Suffrage Movement as a primer for more contemporary topics and historical relevance. This tour lasts approximately 1 hour. We can adjust the duration of tours upon request and custom build a tour based on your interests.


equal access deparment

Equal Access and Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (All ages)

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.


woman helping two young library visitors

Library 101 presented by the Adult Literacy Program (All ages)

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.


group of people looking at an archival document

Metro Archives (Age 12+)

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.


wilson special editions room

Wilson Collection Tour (Age 12+)

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.


Self-Guided Tours

main library grand reading room

Main Library Self-Guided Tour

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

Main Library Self-Guided Tour (PDF)

close up of copper panel in grand reading room

The Story of Nashville Self-Guided Tour

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)