Limitless Libraries is a partnership between Nashville Public Library (NPL) and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) whose goal is to improve student success by enhancing school libraries; sharing resources; and providing access to high quality books, online resources, and other learning material.

It all began with a big idea: give students easy access to the best educational resources and learning materials in our libraries and on the internet.

Through collaboration and resource sharing, Limitless Libraries:

  • Gets NPL services and materials to students and teachers where they are—at school. MNPS Student ID cards are also NPL cards, which allows students in grades K-12 to request materials from NPL’s catalog of 2 million-plus items.

  • Breaks down barriers to access. MNPS students can access NPL materials, even if they can’t get to an NPL location. Items are delivered to schools and can be returned to school libraries, eliminating any transportation or other barrier that might stand in the way of a student accessing NPL’s collection.

  • Increases available resources. MNPS librarians can harness NPL’s purchasing power and receive lower rates on materials. Larger orders equal lower prices.

2020-2021 School Year

During the 2020-2021 school year, students checked out over 33,000 books, DVDs, and audiobooks from Nashville Public Library branches through Limitless Libraries.

Limitless Libraries served over 90,000 MNPS students, teachers, and librarians

42% of students polled say that Limitless Libraries has improved their reading skills

80% of teachers surveyed use Limitless Libraries to support classroom instruction

Limitless Libraries' buying power saved MNPS $500,000


In 2009, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean asked Nashville Public Library to take the lead in a new partnership between the public and school libraries, with NPL recommending specific steps to improve the school libraries, to foster resource sharing between the two institutions, and to improve student access to learning materials. NPL was charged with collection development and purchasing for school libraries to meet state standards for volumes and quality of materials.

A pilot project with three high schools and a ninth grade academy began in 2009. City funding was expanded to carry the program forward to all 16 area high schools in the 2010-2011 school year. Now, Limitless Libraries partners with all MNPS school libraries.

male and female students sitting at a computer