NPL - Page 6



ANNUAL MESSAGE
INSPIRE READING,
ADVANCE LEARNING,
CONNECT COMMUNITY
This mission drives the people who use, work for,
volunteer at, and support Nashville Public Library. As
we begin 2019, I have been reflecting on how we’ve
accomplished our mission in the last twelve months.
for a total of 11,350,000 minutes, helping to fight
“summer slide.” We use that term to describe summer
learning loss that can occur when students stop
reading during their break.
First, we held steady to our commitment to
intellectual freedom. You can’t advance learning
by putting limits on a person’s right to discover an
idea, question it, and decide for themselves. You
can’t support democracy that way, either.
Finally, as we created a welcoming environment for
people to thrive as readers and learners, we also
focused on growing as neighbors and citizens.
At Nashville Public Library, we’ll never tell you what to
read or what not to read. We will do everything
we can to give you free access to as many stories and
ideas as possible and let you choose.
Second, we reached people across Davidson County
who needed access to a computer or internet
connection and wanted to learn how to use them
meaningfully – everything from paying bills and
applying for jobs to using social media and
reading ebooks.
Digital literacy is one focus area for our adult
education work. Smart, hardworking people in
our community see a space between their current
skills and abilities and the accomplishments and
milestones they have the natural potential to realize.
Our job is to share free learning tools and instruction
with them to close that gap.
Of course, you can’t address education gaps in
Nashville without acknowledging this crisis: two
in three of Nashville’s third-graders aren’t reading
at grade level. That can set into motion alarming
patterns of high-school dropout, limited earning
potential, and lifelong struggle.
People from different races, countries, and across
the many lenses through which we see and identify
ourselves have participated in our Civil Rights and
Civil Society workshops. They’ve joined our staff
from the library’s Civil Rights Room to have
respectful, courageous conversations about the
complex civil rights issues we face today.
Much of the work you’ll read about here is possible
because of private support received through the
Nashville Public Library Foundation, thousands of
hours of service from library volunteers, and
support from elected and community leaders who
see how Nashville’s library benefits our city.
We are thankful for them, and for the book lovers,
thinkers, artists, and inventors who invest their time
and talents into making Nashville a great city with a
great library.
Sincerely,
Kent Oliver
Director, Nashville Public Library
This summer, more than 17,000 Nashvillians read
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N A S H V I L L E P U B L I C L I B R A R Y A N D T H E N A S H V I L L E P U B L I C L I B R A R Y F O U N D AT I O N





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