Thursday, January 12, 2012

Downtown Nashville Library--worth the trip

As we discussed on Monday, libraries are rich resource for moms of youngsters, so we wanted to give you some links to online library resources as well as a peak at some of the wonderfully enriching FREE programs coming up.

Given that this Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. day, you must know that the Downtown Nashville Public Library houses a striking history of and tribute to the civil rights movement as it played out mere blocks away.  The Civil Rights Center tells the story of the local movement through photographs from local papers, a timeline of events, and quotes that capture its spirit.

This is only one of the many treasures at the downtown branch. If you are not already acquainted, this next link will introduce you to the magic of Tom Tichenor and his marionettes.  This local artisan and puppeteer extraordinaire bequeathed his collection to the Nashville Public Library, where they are displayed used in delightful productions for young children.  In January and February, the branch will be featuring the puppets of Wood and Strings, a contemporary puppet group hand-crafting these works of art in Centerville, TN.  They are performing Anansazi and the Spider, an African folk-tale.  For showtimes click here.  Shows last 30 minutes, and are very popular, so be sure to arrive a bit early to ensure a good seat (most seating is on the floor, with benches along the sides of the theater).

Like most local libraries, they also host storytimes for children and, by way, the do have books, too.  Lots of them.  And while you are in the children's section, look for the mousehole in baseboard.  When I was a young girl trips downtown to see the shows at the library (in its former location) always included a trip to "check on the mice," who I imagined to be lurking just inside.

Don't be intimidated by the trip downtown--ample parking is available in the garage, you don't have to live in Davidson County to visit (just to check out books), and this space and all of its wonders just might make your child fall in love with libraries (it did my daughter, for sure).  Of course that could be because we always get a cookie at the Panera Bread next door (with access from the main lobby)...
Can't get there?  Please go here:  the Kid Zone link on the Downtown Nashville library's site is definitely worth bookmarking.  In addition to details on all the upcoming events, there are book lists galore--Caledecott Medal winners, Newbery Medal winners, lists by topic (such s "princess books" and "dinosaur books)", and book lists by age and grade level.  They also have some online resources worth checking out.  And while you're online, go to the site of the library nearest you.  You might be surprised how much they have to offer.

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