Community Partner Spotlight: Louisville Free Public Library
MK Eagle wants you to get lit – at the library!
The program is a throwback to the Summer Reading Programs of your grade school days – but for adults. Aimed at encouraging young adults to get back in touch with their inner bibliophile, and rediscover the library, Get Lit® Lou gives you digital badges and the chance to win great prizes for reading books and attending library programs.
“We really wanted to get ourselves out of our buildings and meet people where they are already. Get Lit® Lou started with bouncing ideas around with [programs co-supervisor] Hannah. We often don’t see a lot of people in our age group coming to library programs. If you’re 20 or 30 and you don’t have kids, you don’t necessarily know what all the library has to offer,” MK says.
And boy does the library have so many programs to offer!
Aside from their large collection of physical books, magazines, archived photos & documents, with a library card you can also access e-books, subscriptions to online magazines, streaming services, and online video course services like Lynda.com and Treehouse.
In fact, MK says, “Many people access many of our services and never have to actually walk in the door if they don’t want to.”
But more than that, LFPL has programs for just about everyone in the community. Part of MK’s job is creating programs around education and tech outreach.
This includes an ESL/GED program that loans iPads out to participants, and Read 20 to Your Bunny, which is a reading program acknowledging the importance of parents reading to their newborns. Another fun program? Celebrating Harry Potter’s Birthday last year at the downtown branch – complete with a Diagon Alley and access to the real “restricted section” in the stacks of the Library’s Main Branch downtown (pictured below)!
But one of the programs that most inspires MK is an outreach program with the Jefferson County Youth Center; “We recently started working with JCYC (some people know it as the youth detention center). We’ve been bringing robots, iPads, books – and it’s been really, really rewarding. I think most people might think of them as a challenging group to work with, but they’re so engaged and respectful! One day, we went in and all 8 of those young ones shook our hands before we left. It just makes me want to bring more of stuff.”
And MK isn’t a stranger to working with high school students; before moving to Louisville, MK worked in high school libraries in Boston, Massachusetts. Experience with teen and youth programming has helped MK bring great ideas to the current role and programs, “Just in general, I don’t think people realize how much we have – we’re bringing robots to kids and doing skateboard builds!”
And if your mind wasn’t blown enough by all the programs the library offers, we barely scratched the surface. Make sure you visit the Library’s website for a full list.
Plus, there are a few other cool things you may not know about the Louisville Free Public Library system’s history.
“I don’t know if everyone knows that the Main Branch is one of the original Carnegie libraries, and that the Western Branch was the first public library for African Americans in this country. It opened shortly after this 1908 building opened downtown, so it has some great archives there.”
In short, what are you waiting for? Dust off your library card and stop by your local LFPL branch (or visit the library online)!
Don’t forget about the last two Pop-Up Library events happening this month in our stores! Stop by and check out a book from the curated selection of coffee/tea books, sign up for a library card, ask a question, or sign up for the Get Lit® Lou rewards program:
Friday, February 17
10:00am – 12:00pm
Friday, February 24
10:00am – 12:00pm