The 10 Best Libraries in Tennessee!

Much more than a place to find a good book, the best Tennessee libraries offer a place to engage with your local community, work on a research project, get involved in the local arts, and much more. But if unwinding with your favorite book is all you’re looking to do, there’s plenty of space to do that, too. Here are the 10 best libraries in the state.

1. Nashville Public Library – Main Library, Nashville, TN

This award-winning library is a favorite among Nashville residents for myriad reasons. For starters, they have one of the most expansive book and resource networks in the state. There are tons of activities for children here, including interactive art exhibits, story time, programs, and reading spaces. Their courtyard is a great place to do a little work, read a book, or simply enjoy the surrounds. Every corner of this place is inspiring, and you’ll be hard pressed to find another library quite as amazing.

2. Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Memphis, TN

Memphis has no shortage of libraries in and around the city, but this one stands out as one of the best for its public services and ongoing used book sale. Visitors can scoop up gently-used books for rock bottom prices. This is also your go-to spot to check out laptops, book a meeting room, or dig through their extensive historical archive.

3. Nashville Public Library - Green Hills Branch, Nashville, TN

Patrons are immediately attracted to the upscale, modern look of this expertly designed library, but they keep coming back because of the amazing group of librarians. Some of their best services include a drive-through book drop-off, a seed exchange program, an on-site walking trail, and an abundance of public art work always on display. You’ve never experienced a library quite like this one before.

4. Bearden Branch Library, Knoxville, TN

The staff at the Bearden Branch of Knoxville’s library system is what makes all the difference. They know how to help you get the most from your time at the library, offering extensive knowledge of their programs and resources. It’s a great place for a little peace and quiet, especially for students or working professionals. They’ve also got a huge community meeting room packed with A/V essentials. 

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5. Nashville Public Library – Bellevue Branch, Nashville, TN

Part of the Nashville Public Library system, the Bellevue branch is a must-visit because of its visual appeal and seemingly infinite services. Inside is a far cry from the typical library, offering upscale ambiance with a designer’s touch. You can reserve your books online to save some time when you visit, but since they’ve created such an inviting atmosphere you’ll want to sit and stay awhile.

6. Cordova Library, Memphis, TN

From online book reservation to laptop checkout to free internet access and more, this is by far one of the best libraries in west Tennessee. A sprawling array of shelves, computers, and other resources await you, complete with fun events and programs for children and adults alike. They’re open late through the week to give you time to visit after work.

7. Kingsport Library, Kingsport, TN

It’s a small-town library with huge opportunity. Inside you’ll discover no shortage of books and magazines, free book clubs, educational classes, and other community-driven events. Parents love the expansive children’s play area complete with train table, puzzles, tablets, and other activities.

8. Linebaugh Public Library, Murfreesboro, TN

Part of the Rutherford County Public Library System, the Linebaugh branch is a favorite for many reasons. For starters, their children’s section is one of the best in the state because they offer so much more than books and story time, including blocks and toys, pictures with Santa, and digital resources. The nearby fountain is always a favorite spot to take your new reads for a test drive. It’s a smaller library than some of the ones on this list, but it makes up for its size in terms of quality and service.

9. Johnson City Public Library, Johnson City, TN

Small and cozy, this local library is one of the most inviting libraries you’ll ever visit. Make yourself at home as you browse their collection of books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs, and even a collection of Braille books. If they can’t get what you need, their fantastic inter-library loan program leverages resources from other libraries.

10. Williamson County Main Library, Franklin, TN

This branch of the Williamson County library system is a huge part of Franklin history, especially being situated a stone’s throw from its historic downtown area. Guests love that kids have their own special area that’s away from quiet rooms and meeting spaces, giving every type of visitor the best possible experience. Computers with free internet access are available throughout the building, even some especially for kids and teens, and a few adaptive technology machines for those with disabilities.

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