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Metro Newsroom

Library Begins Renovation, Construction at Shawnee Branch

Friday November 12, 2010

Project is scheduled for completion Spring, 2011

An historic library is getting new life for generations to come as Mayor Jerry Abramson and Library Director Craig Buthod today broke ground on a modern addition to the Shawnee Library. The $1.3 million project also includes extensive renovation of the original structure which was built in 1938 and is located on West Broadway in the Shawnee neighborhood.

“It’s exciting to bring the old together with the new as we expand our library services in this much beloved facility,” Abramson said. “Today we begin the process which will keep this library vibrant and relevant for generations to come.”

The project was outlined in May by Abramson as part of his budget and approved by the Metro Council in late June.

The new addition, which will add more than 3,000 square feet to the facility, will be constructed to the rear of the original building. The project will provide additional study rooms, an expanded teen space and a reading area for adults. Twenty additional public computers and a larger book collection will be added. The children’s area will be completely transformed with new collections and furnishings.

The original 7,000 square foot historic building will be renovated and interior finishes will be upgraded. Some exterior repairs are also planned, in keeping with historic preservation standards. The Shawnee branch was built as a project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression.

“Our goal is to support the children and families in this neighborhood with state-of-the-art library resources that will supplement their schoolwork and provide constructive after-school opportunities,” Buthod said.

The expansion and renovation of the Shawnee Library is being funded through a federal Community Development Block Grant — money set aside for investment in low-income neighborhoods.

“The Metro Council is committed to the continued growth of our libraries,” said Councilwoman Judith Green. “I am especially pleased because these announcements will help our children and the community with educational opportunity.”

“We are also pleased that the new construction and renovations have been developed with green building construction methods and materials as much as is possible in order to help us save on both energy and operating costs,” Buthod said.

For more information about the Louisville Free Public Library, go to

or call 502-574-1611.