Louisville Free Public Library
The Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) is the largest public library system in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Officially opened in 1908,[3] the library's main branch is sited at Fourth and York streets, south of Broadway in downtownLouisville. The library's Head of Reference from its opening until 1910 was Marilla Waite Freeman,[3] who would go on to become one of the most well-known librarians in the country.
Louisville Free Public Library
TypePublic Library
ArchitectPilcher and Tachau
Reference to legal mandateKRS 173.105
LocationLouisville, Kentucky
Access and use
Population served771,158
Other information
Budget$22,298,100 (FY '21)
DirectorLee Burchfield
AffiliationAFSCME Local 3425
Louisville Free Public Library
Location301 W. York St., Louisville, Kentucky
Area2.2 acres (0.89 ha)
ArchitectPilcher and Tachau
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference No.80001608[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 27, 1980
References: [2]
Additional branches were added over time, including the Western Colored Branch, which was the first Carnegie-housed library in the U.S. built solely for African Americans. Thomas Fountain Blue was appointed head of the Colored Branch in 1905 as well as the Eastern Colored Branch when it opened in 1914; he also started the first library training program for African Americans in the United States.[4]
The infamous Flood of 1937 damaged both the Portland and Main branches. Since 1908 a museum was opened to the public in the basement of the York Street branch. After the devastating flood, the museum was temporary relocated to the Monserrat school. In 1971, the museum moved downtown to West Main Street to become the Louisville Science & History Museum.
In 1950 the library became the first library in the nation to put its own FM-radio station on the air—WFPL. A second station, WFPK, joined it a few years later. In 1969, a $4 million north building was added to the classicizing Carnegie structure. This provided an additional 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of floor space, compared to the 42,000 sq ft (3,900 m2) in the original building.
At one time LFPL had over 30 branches, but a number of them were forced to close due to lack of funding. Currently, there are 16 branches, in addition to the main library site. Internet services and inter-library loan have helped to make up for having fewer branches.
In 2007, a proposed tax increase to pay for Louisville Free Public Library improvements and ongoing costs was soundly defeated in spite of strong support by many political and business leaders. Nonetheless, with the help of the Library Foundation and community support, a new education and technology-driven, $1.9 million branch library[5] was completed and opened in the Newburg area (a traditionally underserved community) in August 2009.
In early August 2009 the main branch was flooded when a storm dropped 7 inches (18 cm) of water on the city in 75 minutes. The library servers, bookmobiles, offices, and processing rooms were under 6 feet (180 cm) of water. 50,000 books were destroyed, and the building severely damaged, with a total estimate of $5 million. Structural, mechanical, electrical, and computer systems damage were near complete, forcing the main library to close for several weeks. Other branches in the system in hard-hit areas were closed for a few days while damage was assessed and cleanup undertaken. The library system itself remained open for business throughout the event. The last time the main building had flooded was in the Ohio River flood of 1937. Three other branches of the library system were damaged or affected in the flooding as well: Bon Air Regional Branch, Iroquois Branch, and Shawnee Branch libraries. Despite the level of damage, library services at all branches, including the main, were able to return to near full service.
The Main Library serves as a central hub to the library system, including facilities, content management, and administration. In addition to the Main Library, LFPL has 16 branch libraries. The main library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[6]
Staff Unionization
The majority of LFPL's employees are employed through a collective bargaining agreement between AFSCME Local 3425 and Louisville Metro Government.
See also
  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ . 2018 https://www.imls.gov/labs/search-compare/index/details.html?fscs_id=KY0053​. Retrieved 2020-10-15. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b Louisville Free Public Library Board of Trustees. Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Louisville Free Public Library (1905-1911). Louisville, Kentucky. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  4. ^ Burress, Jacob Carlton (2016). The colored librarian: Thomas F. Blue and the Louisville Free Public Library's Colored Department, 1905–1935 (MA). Louisville, Kentucky: University of Louisville. p. 3. doi:10.18297/etd/2420.
  5. ^ "Mayor Leads "Sneak Peek" of Newburg Library - 2009 - LouisvilleKy.gov". Archived from the original on 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  6. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Louisville Free Public Library". National Park Service. Retrieved October 15, 2020. With accompanying pictures
External links
Louisville Free Public Library
Further reading

Last edited on 19 October 2020, at 21:52
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