- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Star power is helping fuel a fundraiser for the Nashville Public Library.

Actress Nicole Kidman is backing the effort by the Nashville Public Library Foundation to raise $2 million from everyday patrons. The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1kP4QMa) reports Kidman recently spoke with author Ann Patchett on camera to help publicize efforts to raise the money over the next year.

“I love libraries, in general, and I particularly like the Nashville library,” Kidman said in a recent interview with Patchett.

Kidman says she supports the library’s role in the community, and she visits regularly with her two daughters who are ages 5 and 3. They check out books and attend story time events.

“It’s a place where I can bring the kids. It’s a place I can study. It’s a place where I can come with them to see a great puppet show,” Kidman said. “It’s a community hangout - with a meaning.”

The nonprofit foundation works to enhance the number and types of books and programs offered by the library, which is funded by the city. According to the newspaper, the foundation provides about 10 percent of the library’s annual operating budget.

Kidman said she supports both traditional and new approaches the library is taking to engage the public, including hosting classes that bring people together.

“I believe people like to be around other people,” Kidman said. “I believe people still want to know there is a community and there is a place you can go where you can ask someone - a librarian - for references, for help.”

Some of the programs are held at the library and others are held in various locations around the city.

“We get to people who otherwise might not go to the library,” said Elyse Adler, the library’s community engagement director. “We have had the opportunity to get out into the community.”

Kidman said her love of reading led her into acting.

“I read because it relaxes me, and I read because I get lost in that place,” she said. “I read for inspiration, and I read for protection, and I read for spiritual growth.”

The library foundation was inspired to connect with Kidman due to her genuine love of reading, said President Tari Hughes.

“To know that this is a family that really, truly brings their children to storytime, I think that enriches people’s perceptions,” she said.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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