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Community Life

From City Beautiful Scrapbook in 1956 - Ford Green Elementary students with anti-litter signs

Keeping the streets, rivers, and neighborhoods clean in this city over the years hasn't been easy, but one of the ways was with the City Beautiful Commission, that was established in 1953. In honor of Earth Day, here's a look at the commission that helped clean up the streets and neighborhoods in Nashville. 

Tennessean photo from 2003 when the bears were being cleaned

Most citizens of this city that have lived here for a few years know what I'm referring to when I say the "Edgehill Polar Bears", but do you know the history of them? Well here are the "bear" necessities.

person in mask holding a basket of hand sanitizer

If the commercial demands of winter holidays stress you out, December 2020 offers the chance to embrace a new way to be present with the season.

Just as it takes many varied pieces of cloth to make a beautiful whole quilt, it takes a diverse group of people to make a beautiful community of many faces.  Nashville Public Library has a number of resources celebrating diversity.

Road through trees

Everyone knows what it feels like to be hungry and what to do about it but some people are not able to get enough food to eat.  Without enough food, we cannot become who we were meant to be.  We can help others who are in need of good food.

It’s open enrollment season for the health insurance Marketplace (“Obamacare”). Learn more about the benefits of Marketplace plans, and get local, 1-on-1 enrollment help starting November 2. 

Sign advertising the construction of the Municipal Auditorium

While September is normally my month for educational posts, I'm bypassing that this year for something different - new images and footage! As a continuation from a previous post with old photos, this post includes a slideshow of a collection I've been processing the past few weeks, plus some new footage from our Audiovisual Heritage Center. 

Keep calm and homeschool on with the help of Nashville Public Library's Children's Department. Put your mind at ease knowing we have your back when it comes to at-home learning. Check out these amazing resources and programs geared for homeschool families with questions. 

As we round the corner to our virtual opening on August 18, we're capping off our Nashville Voices series with one last story—a powerful testimonial from a powerful woman.

The Brooklyn Heights Community Garden that Nella Pearl Frierson founded nurtures more than local produce.

The world knew Reverend C.T. Vivian and U.S. Rep John Lewis  as giants. But, before they were icons, they were young men beginning a journey in Nashville. 

We celebrate and remember what Reverend C.T. Vivian and U.S. Rep. John Lewis did for Nashville and for Nashville Public Library.

This month's Nashville history post is letting photography do the talking, with a variety of slideshows for all to enjoy. Starting with a tribute to all medical workers for their dedicated service during these trying times, to finishing with a little more of "Some Good News - Archives Edition." 

Lauri Newell doesn’t think of her life as extraordinary.

“But then again,” she says, “I’m getting to nurture my family and our dreams at the same time."

With the extra time on our hands after a month of quarantine, maybe there are other things we can spend our time on, like preserving family ephemera. This is an assisted blog post from my coworker, Christine Irizarry, who writes about the importance of family letters. And the latter part talks about preserving your family records. 

Borrowing John Krasinski's idea of reporting "Some Good News" during these troubling times, here are some historic news clippings from past pandemics or epidemics that have affected Nashville. But instead of including news articles about the actual devastation from the illnesses, these are more positive stories during the same time frame or at least examples of positives from the desolation.  

In honor of African American History Month, and to highlight a few individuals in Metro Archives' new display on Nashville women, this blog post is dedicated to a few notable women of Music City.

2020 is an important anniversary year for a couple of reasons. Most notably is the 19th Amendment, which we'll be celebrating with a new permanent exhibit in Special Collections (in addition to a few other temporary exhibits in the building). But another important Amendment went into effect 100 years ago this month that had a long-lasting impact on the country, and that's Prohibition.

Be Well at NPL values making health information and wellness opportunities accessible to all, which is why we are thrilled to partner with the All of Us Research Program, a national effort to speed up medical breakthroughs and create a future of medicine that can tailor to our unique differences.

Nashville's history with theatre and the performing arts is long and storied. You can find treasure after treasure documenting this history in NPL Special Collections. On May 25, Special Collections is playing its own role in the story.

For every workshop, class, story time, and bookshelf you see at Nashville Public Library, there are two sets of hands at work. One belongs to a Nashville Public Library employee. The other belongs to one of the library’s volunteers.

Born in rural Kenya and educated in the United States, Wangari Maathai was the first woman in East Africa to earn a doctoral degree, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and is the founder of the Green Belt Movement. Her incredible story is the subject of several picture book biographies for children.

The Nashville Room has a small exhibit of photographs to celebrate the availability of a new collection documenting the activities of the YWCA Blue Triangle Branch. Come see our resources!

One of our most-utilized resources here in Special Collections is the Nashville Banner clippings: articles about every aspect of Nashville life from the 1950s through the 1990s. In this post, I use Banner clippings to tell you the story of two popular types of night spot entertainment: mechanical bull riding and karaoke!

Exploring the holdings of Main Library’s Special Collections, I stumbled upon a local figure I hadn’t heard of before—Robert Churchwell. Hired by the Nashville Banner in 1950, Churchwell was the first black journalist and full-time reporter for a Southern newspaper.

Since 1988, December 1 has been World AIDS Day. Help break down stigma by checking out some library material on HIV/AIDS health information, its history and early activism, and the personal experiences of people living with and affected by this virus. 

Every October, the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, turns our “it city” into “lit city.” With three days of thoughtful, exciting programming, this event has long been a fall-time favorite, appealing to more than just bookworms. I investigated the roots of this community-building festival using primary and secondary sources from NPL Special Collections.

I originally wrote this blog post for March, 2018, because for some unknown reason, genealogy research seems to pick up around the end of February through March. Well, the trend has occurred again during quarantine, and this time makes more sense - you're home and you figure, why not? For whatever reason, we welcome the frequency of usage of our genealogy records. Here's a list of our most helpful and commonly-used materials, and some other tips when doing family research, with a few new additions. 

Nashville Public Library is excited to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ryman Auditorium and host Ryman Auditorium: Soul of Nashville, a brand new art exhibit exploring the iconic venue’s rich history. The exhibit is on display at NPL’s Main Library downtown from October 21 through February 25. 

1 in 5 adults in the United States will experience a serious mental health issue in their lifetime. Though stigma and shame can prevent us from seeking help, NPL and the local mental health service community are here to provide information, validation, and hope.

With 16 free, weekly classes to choose from, get out your mat (or borrow one of ours) and join NPL for a summer of yoga! We've also got books and DVDs you can use at home.

Nashville may be known as Music City, but we also LOVE our professional sports – whether the boys have sticks, bats, or footballs, fans will turn out to cheer on our local teams.

Though its expansive campus can be seen from the fast lanes of I-65 S just past Armory Lane, Father Ryan High School hasn't always called their Norwood Drive location home. On top of possessing photographs of the previous location's building and demolition in our clippings' file on the school, Metro Archives also holds several other treasures that easily tell stories about the school's past.  

Children’s Day/El día de los niños, also called Día (Diversity in Action), is an annual national event that is celebrated on or around April 30th that highlights the importance of literacy throughout all cultures and languages. Libraries and organizations around the country celebrate this day with a variety of events to showcase the beauty of diversity within their communities.

In this country’s present political and cultural climate, there are some people who think it’s acceptable to discriminate against people who may be Muslim or from the Middle East. This, of course, is wrong. People are people, and they all deserve respect, safety, and understanding. The children's books below portray Muslims and the Middle East in the light they deserve: positive, honest, open, and respectful.

Recent events have brought the world's attention to the presence of refugees in the United States. The children's picture books featured in this blog post share what it’s like to be a refugee from a child’s perspective, and are wonderful to share with children of all backgrounds.

December 10th is Human Rights Day and the library has the information to help you answer "What is that?"

I love this cookbook for so many reasons--its fun, veggie-filled recipes, its attention to fixed grocery budgets, and its PDF version with a creative commons license for online sharing.

Do you ever get to the bottom of a page and have no idea what you just read because your mind was wandering? While the book may be interesting, you find yourself worrying about the future or dreaming of the past? Come back to the present moment with the simple practice of mindfulness. 

This week is National Library Week, and the American Library Association has selected "Libraries Transform" as its theme. While the Nashville Public Library has received widespread recognition in recent years, we have a long history of innovation and outreach to our community.