Public Library Services & Resources

Services to Public Libraries

Through its Planning and Development Section, the Tennessee State Library and Archives provides assistance, statewide consultation, and leadership to local public libraries throughout the state in the areas of

Regional Library System

The Regional Library System is composed of nine multi-county regions serving 211 small and medium-sized public libraries throughout the state of Tennessee. Membership in the Regional Library System is voluntary. The four metropolitan library systems (Memphis Public Library, Knox County Library, Nashville Public Library, and the Chattanooga- Hamilton County Bicentennial Public Library) are considered single-county regions.

State assistance received by local public libraries through the Regional Library System is intended to supplement local appropriations as required in the establishment of public libraries by the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 10, Chapter 3. In return for State assistance, each public library desiring to belong to the Multi-County Regional system must maintain “the allocation of locally appropriated funds at a level not less than the amount appropriated the last fiscal year as well as the expenditure of locally appropriated funds at a level not less than the total amount expended in the last fiscal year.” Annual Maintenance of Effort agreements between the State Library and Archives and local cities and counties make certain that State funding does not supplant the fiscal responsibility of local governments on behalf of their public libraries.

Tennessee Standards for Public Libraries Overview

Public library standards provide specific criteria by which libraries can be measured and evaluated. They provide focus and direction for action and accountability within local library communities. Welcome to the proposed new 2018 Tennessee Standards for Public Libraries in the Regional Library System. 

Public libraries in Tennessee have made great progress since our first Tennessee Library Standards for Non-Metropolitan Public Libraries were published in 1988-89. Those original standards set out a basic level of public library service that could be both a measure of what a library was providing for its community, as well as a set of goals for a library board and staff to accomplish.  

Because of shifting populations, improved technology, and increased needs of Tennessee residents, we have revised the Standards, which are available here. Tennessee Public Library Standards


Network Services Program: The Network Services Program was established in 1997 to provide technical leadership and perform information systems technical support work of advanced difficulty to public libraries. The Network Services Consultants determine current and future technology requirements through research and library interviews; plan and implement network developments and upgrades accordingly; install and upgrade microcomputer hardware and software; consult with library personnel in assessing information systems planning and physical facility planning; develop training aides and materials appropriate for public and regional library staff members and plan, organize and conduct basic and advanced training sessions in both classroom and on-site settings.