Local News

"Facebook Effect" Author Coming To Louisville

By Rick Howlett

The author of a new book about Facebook will be in Louisville this week to discuss his research into the social networking site and its extraordinary growth.

David Kirkpatrick is a former senior editor for Internet and technogy at Fortune magazine. The book is called The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World.       Kirkpatrick says he had the full cooperation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his key staff at the company’s California headquarters.

“I’ve worked as a business journlist for 25 years.   I’ve never had this kind of access on any story I’ve ever done before.   The book really, I think, reflects that–there are amazing stories in there that you read and think, ‘who the heck could have possibly told him that?’   These people don’t know what not to say because they’re only 25 years old,”   he said in an interview with WFPL last week.

Kirkpatrick will talk about his book Wednesday evening at the Louisville Free Public Library.     The event is free but tickets are required.

Our complete interview with Kirkpatrick is below.

Audio MP3

Arts and Humanities Local News

Library to Get Computers with Grant from E.ON U.S.

By Elizabeth Kramer

The Louisville Free Public Library’s main branch will soon be getting nearly 100 computers its purchasing with a new grant.

The $150,000 grant from E.ON U.S., which owns the Louisville Gas and Electric Company, is helping pay for the computers. They’ll be installed into three areas of the library’s main branch that were constructed after the severe damage from last summer’s flood.

Craig Buthod is the library’s director.

“We’ll be putting in touch screen, large screen, computers,” Buthod says. “They’ll go into teen library and the children’s library and they’ll be used for access to the Internet, access to homework materials.”

Buthod says computers will also equip a new adult education center.

“The adult center will have classrooms for teaching basic literacy and intermediate literacy, for GED preparation and for college-bound classes all taught by Jefferson County Public Schools,” Buthod says.

The adult education center is slated to open in October.

Local News

Public Input Sought on Fairdale Library

by Stephanie Crosby

A new library is planned for the Fairdale community and a public meeting tomorrow night will seek public comment on what should be included in the new facility.

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced last month he would include one-million dollars for a new Fairdale branch in his budget proposal, combined with another million dollars from the previous year’s budget.

Library Director Craig Buthod says the current library is cramped.

“This location has served us well for the last twelve years, but it’s a crowed space,” says Buthod. “There is limited space for public computers, we only have seven or eight computers here, we have limited space for books, all of that will be solved in the new library.”

The meeting about the new library will be held Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the existing Fairdale library.

More public meetings will be held next week for a proposed separate, southwest regional library.

Local News

Library Book Sale Is This Weekend

The Friends of the Louisville Free Public Library will have their annual book sale this weekend.

The group’s Lauren Kallmeyer says the sale will take place at Butler High School.

“The bulk of the money that we use to fund programming at the library come from this book sale, so a lot of this programming that the library does not have money available comes from the Friends of the Library.”

A preview for Friends members will be held tonight from 6:00 to 9:00.

The public sale is from 9:00am-5:00pm tomorrow and 1:00pm-5:00pm Sunday.

Local News

New Fairdale Library Proposed in Mayor's Budget

by Stephanie Crosby.

A new library and a library expansion are included in Mayor Jerry Abramson’s budget proposal, to be presented tomorrow afternoon to the Metro Council.

The two-million dollar, brand new library in Fairdale would be built on property adjacent to the existing library. Abramson says it would be paid for with one-million dollar from this year’s capital budget and one-million dollars that was set aside in last year’s budget.

Library Director Craig Buthod says the new Fairdale facility will look almost exactly like the library just constructed in Newburg.

“I expect we’ll have three times as many public computers in the new library that we have here,” says Buthod. “We’ll have at least twice, maybe three times the seating, so more students can come in at the same time. We’ll have more books and we’ll have more audio-visual materials, everything about the library will be upgraded.”

Also included in the mayor’s budget proposal is a one-point-eight million dollar expansion of the Shawnee Library. That money is proposed to come from the federal Community Development Block Grant.

The budget still must be approved by the Metro Council.

Local News

Vanderbilt Biographer To Speak In Louisville

By Rick Howlett

Pulitizer Prize winning author T.J. Stiles will speak this week at the Louisville Free Public Library.

Stiles won the 2010 Pulitzer for his biography of industry tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt.

He says he decided to pursue the project in part because there had never been a major biography written about Vanderbilt.

“The length of his life is just remarkable. He was born in 1794, during the presidency of George Washington. When he died in 1877, Grant was president, Reconstruction had come to an end and Vanderbilt had actually made deals personally with John D. Rockefeller,”  Stiles said last week in a WFPL interview.  

Stiles will speak and answer at the Louisville Free Public Library Wednesday at 7:00pm. The event is free but tickets must be obtained from the library.                 

More information about Stiles’ library appearance is here.

Click here for our complete interview with T.J. Stiles.

Local News

JCPS, Library Expanding Adult Literacy Services

The Louisville Free Public Library and Jefferson County Public Schools are expanding their adult literacy classes and services.

City and school officials announced that space on the second floor of the main library building is being renovated to to provide more classroom space and resources.

Mayor Jerry Abramson says its hoped the expansion will help more people who had their education interrupted enhance their skills for the job market.

“This space that we’re in right here will literally is being dedicated to the adults in our community who want to improve their literacy, earn their ged and take continuing education classes. The renovation work was paid for by the library foundationn and will be staffed by Jefferson County Public Schools professionals,” he said.

The classroom space is expected to be ready by fall. Repair work on the library’s lower levels damaged by flood waters last year is scheduled for completion next week.

Arts and Humanities Local News

Adovates Rally for Legislators to Up Funds for Libraries

More then 100 people braved the weather to be in Frankfort today for Kentucky Libraries Day. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

A rally in the Capitol rotunda comes after public libraries throughout the commonwealth have seen state support fall by 22 percent, or $900,000.

One of the speakers was Louisville Free Public Library Director Craig Buthod, who the Library Journal recently named its Librarian of the Year.

“The forces of public libraries are here,” he said. “Modestly and humbly, we ask your help, the elected leaders of the commonwealth, in making sure public libraries don’t crash and burn, that we don’t fall short of what our possibilities are, that we don’t sell education short in libraries across the whole commonwealth.”

The rally, organized in large part by the Kentucky Library Association, also included legislators who are part of a bipartisan caucus focused on public libraries.

State Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson is co-chair of that caucus. She says legislators need to recognize how important libraries are to Kentuckians economic survival, especially during a recession.

“In these times, services like libraries go up, the needs are greater,” she says. “And I think that we acknowledge that. We can talk about it, discuss it and hopefully, again — it’s all about prioritization.”

Library advocates also appealed to lawmakers to restore funding for the state’s 75-year-old bookmobile program, which serves some of the commonwealth’s neediest and most isolated populations.

For more on Kentucky’s bookmobiles, read or listen to Bookmobiles Weather Economic Crisis, So Far.

Arts and Humanities Local News

Renovation of Library's Main Branch Reaches Milestone

More than three months after flash floods hit Louisville, the Louisville Free Public Library has reached a milestone in its restoration efforts at its main branch. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Flood water poured into the library on York Street on August 4 and inundated the heating and cooling systems.

Since then, the branch has been functioning with temporary heating and cooling systems — marked by the huge yellow tubes snaking around the downtown building.

Library Update 010The library’s north building recently got heat and this week a chiller is being installed for air conditioning.

Melanie Lilly is the library’s assistant director.

“We’re about 50 percent of the way through [the renovation]. We got the new boilers up and running for the north building, so now we have heat,” Lilly says. “The south building’s going to take a little longer because we have to do some upgrading on some of the duct work.”

The library also reopened what it calls its Job Shop — which has employment and career resources and computer classes to improve job skills. The center was closed after the flood.

Lilly says the flood required the library to undertake $7 million in renovation costs.

“It’s one of those things were it was a horrible experience,” she says, “but we’re coming back much better off. Replacing all the HVAC equipment, we’re expecting a significant energy savings now.”

Lilly says installing this new equipment is a milestone in renovation.

“The next milestone will be getting the getting the walls rebuilt, getting the plaster in and being ready to finish it,” she says.

Lilly says those efforts will be in the south building that was constructed in 1906.

The new chiller cost about $120,000. The library won’t know how much insurance will cover until the renovation is complete. The library’s foundation has raised nearly $200,000 since the flood. Lilly says all work on the branch should be finished by the first of the year.

Photo above: Workers remove damaged equipment from the library’s main branch to install a new cooling system.

Local News

Author Sandra Brown To Visit Library

One of the country’s most popular suspense novelists is coming to the Louisville Free Public Library this week as part of its Authors at the Library series. Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown has just released a new novel, Rainwater, in which she departs from the thriller genre for a work of historical fiction.

It’s a Depression-era story inspired by her grandfather’s experiences.

Brown will speak to fans and sign books at the library Tuesday evening at 7:00.

“Writing is such a solitary occupation,” Brown said in a WFPL interview. “You spend months at a time alone in a room and then you go out on book tours, you go to an event such as this one in Louisville. That’s really when you get to hear the applause, or the criticism from your audience.”

The Louisville event is free but tickets are required.

(Photo from