Take a look inside the Nashville Public Library’s new Donelson branch that opened Monday

Hundreds of people gathered outside the new Donelson branch of the Nashville Public Library to celebrate its opening Monday morning.

Families and community members came together to celebrate, alongside state, city and library leaders, including Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell. Metropolitan Council member Jeff Gregg, who represents Donelson, and his predecessor Jeff Syracuse were also part of the ceremony. Both advocated for funding for the new library, as well as other developments in the area.

“I think what you’re seeing in the attention from state and local officials is that Donelson’s future is not only important but incredibly bright,” O’Connell said.

At 10 a.m. sharp, a ribbon was cut and visitors began entering the building.

The new two-story space spans nearly 25,000 square feet at 2714 Old Lebanon Pike, about a mile east of its now-closed former location. In addition to being able to accommodate nearly 30,000 books, the new branch also incorporates a variety of public art inside and outside its building, including a hanging sculpture depicting parts of the ecosystem of the Tennessee.

The children fanned out into the maze of shelves to explore. A few wasted no time checking stacks of books. A puppet show, drumming and Afro-Latin dancing, story times, Irish step dancing, cookie making and a forum with the Urban Design Overlay team were also planned for the day-long celebration .

Amber Lelli’s hanging sculpture Celestial Falls is seen during the opening of the new Donelson Branch Library in Nashville, Tennessee, Monday, June 24, 2024.

What’s included in the new Donelson branch

The new branch, primarily designed by Hastings Architecture, features several eco-friendly features, including rooftop solar panels, a geoexchange system that creates more efficient heating and cooling, and a third of an acre of green space open at the front. The branch is also expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification, according to its website.

Here’s a look at what’s included in the space, which is part of a larger ongoing development called Donelson Plaza:

  • Three dedicated program spaces

  • Six study rooms

  • Expanded documents in Spanish

  • Signage in English, Spanish and Arabic

  • Works by local artists

  • A mobile kitchen that can accommodate cooking classes and demonstrations

  • A kiosk for vehicle registration renewals

  • Charging sockets for electric cars

  • Outdoor water stations for animals and people

O’Connell praised the expanded community services that come with the ongoing development around the library and plaza.

“Not only are we trying to make it easier for children to discover their future at our incredible public facility, but we are also trying to make it easier for adults here,” he said.

Learn more

More information about the Donelson branch can be found at library.nashville.org/new-donelson-branch-library.

Learn more about Donelson Plaza, an ongoing revitalization effort of a historic shopping center, at DonelsonPlaza.com.

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