Friday August 14, 2009
New branch opens to public tomorrow
Mayor Jerry Abramson helped neighborhood children log on to computers and checked out new digital audio books at the newly completed Newburg Library, which formally opens its doors tomorrow. The $1.9 million library is the city’s first technology-driven branch, and will dramatically expand computer and multi-media accessibility to library patrons.
Library director Craig Buthod and Metro Council representatives were also on hand to celebrate. The new branch has all its book stock and equipment in place, despite having lost its new computers in the devastating flood that heavily damaged the Main library branch last week. The branch’s computers were replaced within days, and most of the branch’s book stock was already shelved.
“We’ve had a rough couple of weeks in our library system, so getting a sneak preview of this fantastic new facility is a good reminder that our library system is strong and vibrant,” said Abramson. “This is a 21st Century library to meet the needs of a 21st Century Louisville.”
The 8,000 square foot library includes 32 computers, areas for teens and children, a glass-enclosed study space, multiple study tables, and a large community meeting room equipped for multi-media use.
“Today’s most innovative libraries are more than just storehouses for books,” said Buthod. “Today’s libraries are spaces that adapt to the community’s changing needs – as a job-search center for adults, as a study space for students, or a meeting room for a block watch. This facility is beautifully responsive to the changing role of a neighborhood library and the needs of the residents.”
This will be the first government building to strive for LEED certification, the country’s highest environmental building standard. The library’s design includes geothermal heating and cooling, a water garden to reduce stormwater runoff, and plenty of natural light.
Building the Newburg Library continues the Mayor’s commitment to expanding and improving library facilities throughout the city. This is the first new library constructed in Louisville since 1996 (when the Jeffersontown branch opened); before that, the next-newest free-standing library is the Main branch, built in 1969.
“Attendance and book borrowing numbers have been climbing every year for the past decade. More and more people depend on their neighborhood libraries,” said Abramson. “Building this branch is a high priority in the Library Master Plan, and it is an important step in expanding and improving our library system.”