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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

College Shop Open at Shawnee Library

Friday December 14, 2012

Dedicated College Bound Classes and Resources Now Available at Newly Remodeled Historic Branch

The Louisville Free Public Library and University of Louisville Office of Community Engagement have joined forces to offer a new College Shop at the Shawnee branch library, located in the Shawnee neighborhood. The collaboration to provide ongoing support to potential college applicants was announced today by Mayor Greg Fischer, U of L’s Rae Helton and Library Director Craig Buthod. The effort is part of the Library’s commitment to education and its pledge to support the “55,000 Degrees” program, a community-wide challenge to raise Louisville’s level of educational attainment.

The College Shop supports local efforts to create a college-going culture in the Shawnee neighborhood, as well as to increase the number of Louisvillians with college degrees. The College Shop will boost college aspirations for young people and adults who want to go to college, providing college hopefuls with clinics to help apply for admission and financial aid.

“We need to support everyone who wants to attend college in order to prepare for better jobs and important careers,” said Mayor Fischer. “What better way to accomplish this goal than to bring together two of our community’s finest educational institutions, both with the mission and resources to reach out and help meet our students’ needs.”

The College Shop occupies dedicated space within the Shawnee Library and offers access to four laptops to facilitate the college application process, including financial aid research, FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion, placement test preparation and other postsecondary education research and planning. Ongoing support includes monthly programs and classes led by professionals that provide college-related research and study skills training.

“Many of our library patrons are working on furthering their education,” said Buthod. “It makes so much sense to work with U of L to offer even more resources to help students reach higher when it comes to their educational goals.”

Late last year, the Shawnee Library introduced a $1.8 million renovation which doubled its space and included a significant technology upgrade including the addition of 41 new computers. The extensive 8-month expansion and renovation features a new 6,000 square foot addition and renovation of the original 73-year-old library. More study space is now available and new teen and children’s areas have been added.

Costs for the College Shop are projected at $6,500. Funding is provided by a grant from the U of L Office of Community Engagement and the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation.

“We applaud this community’s focus on increasing educational achievement and are pleased to be able to reach out to help bring students of varying ages and levels together with the services they need to reach their goals,” said Rae Helton, coordinator of U of L’s Learning Commons. “The College Shop will help those who want to achieve a college degree break down barriers and overcome obstacles to making that dream come true.”

The College Shop at Shawnee is part of the Library’s pledge to be an Ally of the “55,000 Degrees” initiative. Allies pledge to use their talents, time and resources to lead and support high impact educational programs in our community with the goal of increasing education attainment.

The College Shop is another component of LFPL’s MyLibraryUniversity, which comprises a wide range of educational offerings, including:

  • Library Short Courses, a series of college-level classes consisting of four to six sessions and taught by professors and local experts. Recent Short Courses on the “Known Universe” and the “U.S. Constitution” have attracted more than 100 participants
  • Help navigating information about free Online College Classes from some of the country’s most distinguished institutions including MIT, Stanford and Harvard. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are drawing hundreds of thousands of students from across the country and around the globe.
  • Free ACT and SAT Prep Courses for those who want to enter college that include strategies and tips sessions, online practice tools and a full ACT paper practice test.

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Louisville Free Public Library connects the residents of Louisville and Jefferson County to knowledge and information at our 18 locations and on the Web at Come on in, the whole world’s inside. For more information about the Louisville Free Public Library, go to or call 502-574-1611.