Nashville Public Library

Site Spotlight: Studio NPL at the Nashville Public Library

Welcome to Nashville ya’ll, home of an innovative teen services department, which includes the Studio NPL learning lab. Studio NPL hosts some familiar makerspace technologies in our 6 spaces, including 3D printers, vinyl cutters, soldering equipment, Little Bits, Lego Mindstorms, and a host of digital music production tools. As a nod to Music City, we also stock our spaces with a variety of instruments; guitars, ukuleles, electric pianos, drum sets, etc. and boast a professional performance space at our flagship site in the main library, complete with remote control stage lighting, a touch-screen live mixing board, and a patchbay that feeds into our audio production and mixing suites for live recording and editing capabilities.

Some teen musicians jam with a guest artist while production students learn live mixing and recording techniques

Studio NPL represents a collaborative spirit, with Public and Private coming together to make something really unique for the young people of Nashville. We are funded both by metro Nashville and generous contributions of our Library Foundation and area businesses and individuals. Teen services, both at our Main Library Teen Center and our branches are designed to align with the same learning lab principles and theories, so even if a site is not branded or stocked with the Studio NPL “package,” all teen programming is offered by staff that understands the innovative learning models that we base Learning Labs programs on, and our monthly meetings, which are joint-hosted by Studio Coordinator Niq Tognoni and Teen Library Manager Adrienne Strock, bring Studio NPL and Teen services staff together to share programming ideas, reflect on current library trends, and share best practices of daily operations.

Some of our cheerful Studio NPL and library staff at a professional development session in positive youth development

Fall Studio programming, offered by both Studio NPL mentors and Studio NPL partner organizations, includes Photography, Podcasting (a mobile rig that travels between sites and even schools!), “Maker” and Circuitry, Media production (a career pathway focused video production workshop), creative writing, poetry, and music production. Programming in the Main Library Teen Center includes the development of a multimedia performance showcase (Dare to Dream), job readiness programming (Mission Makeover), and a new take on book discussions that incorporates digital media into the discussion unique pathways for students to work across both programs and with both Teen library staff and Studio NPL staff. This jointly designed programming helps merge the literacy, soft skills, career readiness, and social justice programming with the digital literacy and technical skill building to create rich “free choice” learning opportunities for our teen patrons. Recent collaborations have included a videogame trivia podcast recording--where teens submitted videogame trivia questions and podcast hosts ran and recorded a trivia show--and a job interview fashion show/photo shoot utilizing clothes donated to the Mission Makeover program.

A student strikes a pose in our Mission Makeover Fashion Show

Audio production student mixing a track in one of our audio production suites

Students doing a live-reading in a theatre workshop based on the Nashville Reads books, Between Shades of Grey

Mobile rig contents

​Written by Niq Tognoni, Studio Coordinator, Studio NPL