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Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL)

Read a good book lately?

In a March 2008 USA TODAY article, NPR book commentator Nancy Pearl (author of Book Lust) shared her top ten list of favorite public libraries in the country. Number one? The Crescent Hill Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library.

The Crescent Hill library, built in 1908, is celebrating its centennial in 2008. It is one of nine area public libraries endowed by industrialist/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Also celebrating a centennial in 1908 is the library's Main Branch, on York Street. It is also a Carnegie library.

Louisville had a library as early as 1816, but it was not a free public library. In 1870 the decision was made to create a public institution for information and enjoyment where anyone could borrow books without charge.

Work on the library's Main Branch building on Broadway began in 1905 with an official opening in 1908. The success of the library led to the addition of more sites, among them the Western Branch -- the first Carnegie-housed library in the U.S. built solely for African Americans.

In 1950 the Louisville Free Public Library became the first library in the nation to put its own FM-radio station on the air - WFPL, a second station, WFPK joined it in a few years.

Additional history on the Louisville Free Public Library can be found here and historic photos seen here.

Learn more about LFPL from Director and 2010 Librarian of the Year Craig Buthod.

Program 306
Louisville Life profiles filmmaker, entrepreneur and environmentalist Gill Holland; showcases the Zoom Group's talented artists; celebrates centennial of Louisville Free Public Library. (#306)