5 reasons the Louisville Free Public Library is the coolest

Photo by @theloutoday

Can we brag for a moment? The Louisville Free Public Library is the coolest library ever

The 17-branch library system organizes local meet-and-greet opportunities with Kentucky legislators through Cafe LOUIE, connects people through its Books & Brews 502 adult winter reading program + brings reading materials to the community with its new Book Bike

And that’s just the prologue to why our library is the coolest around. Here are five areas where our library system outshines them all.

📚 Free programs 

  • The library hosts events from dawn to dusk every day across its branches — we’re talking a fully built-out calendar for each day — ranging from baby storytime and after school chill-and-make sessions for children + teens to rotating adult workshops —  like this DIY Paper Luminaries class on Jan. 31. 
  • Its Books & Brews 502 winter adult reading program gives participants the chance to earn points for prizes — like LFPL swag, local gift cards, and LouCity FC tickets —  by reading books + attending events at local coffee shops and breweries. 

📚 Impact

  • The Library Foundation brought in $3.9 million in fiscal 2021, which provided for 25,000 new books, 8,500 new ebooks + 1,825 new audiobooks

📚 History 

  • On July 24, 1908, the Main Branch of the LFPL at Fourth and York Streets opened to the public for the first time thanks to steel industry tycoon Andrew Carnegie.
  • The Great Flood of 1937 damaged the Main Branch’s 25,000 books + museum collections — including washing away Louisville’s mummy Then-Hotep.

📚 Architecture 

  • The 40,000-sqft South Central Regional branch received the highly prestigious American Architectural Award for 2018.
  • The Northeast Regional Library was awarded LEED Gold certification in June 2020 + features a demonstration kitchen inside the branch.

📚 Firsts 

  • The LFPL’s Eastern and Western Branches were the first Carnegie-built libraries in the country to serve African Americans. 
  • It became the first public library to put its own FM radio station on the air with WFPL + later, WFPK.