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Louisville libraries are getting a $1.5 million boost

The funds come from the James Graham Brown Foundation.


Construction on the new Fern Creek library branch is expected to be complete in 2025.

Image courtesy Louisville Free Public Library

The Louisville Free Public Library is about to turn the page on several important projects, thanks to a new grant.

The James Graham Brown Foundation has given a $1.5 million matching grant to the LFPL Foundation, to support projects at the Portland, Parkland, Fern Creek, and Main library branches.

A rendering shows a yellowed brick building, with a newly proposed renovation.

The Portland Library will eventually feature an expanded collection of books and materials, more computers, separate children’s and teen areas, new comfortable seating, and a public meeting space.

Image via Louisville Free Public Library

Let’s check out what that money will help build:

  • The Portland Library (3305 Northwestern Pkwy.) project is renovating the existing 6,000-sqft Carnegie library building — which dates to 1913 — and building a new 4,500-sqft addition.
  • The Parkland Library (2743 Virginia Ave.), which has been closed since 1986, is being re-opened. The project includes renovations to the original space — which opened in 1908 — and a new 3,152-sqft addition.
  • A new, 18,000-sqft library building is under construction at 9127 Fern Creek Rd. (next to Fern Creek High School), replacing the branch that closed in the area 2019.
  • The Main Library branch (301 York St.) will see exterior improvements + landscaping to a portion of the building that was built in 1969, plus re-open a section of the original 1906 structure that had been closed for many decades + the third floor, which closed in 2019.

Previously, these projects were being funded by local, state, and federal authorities — but the Library Foundation needed more funds to complete them. Officials said that Library Foundation supporters have contributed over $5 million, with the foundation committed to raising an additional $3 million — this grant gets them halfway there.

Want to chip in? You can donate at the Library Foundation website.

Bonus: There’s another Carnegie library building that’s currently out of service. The Shelby Park library moved from its historic home at 600 E. Oak St. in 1994. Now, neighborhood residents are petitioning to re-open it.

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