New library opens to public in southwest Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New library opens to public in southwest Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - What was once just a dream is now reality thanks to the opening of Louisville Public Library's new Southwest Regional Library on Dixie Highway.

"This library's awesome," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Despite Sunday's chilly temperatures, hundreds attended the grand opening. The architecture is said to rival others across the country.

"And inside it's just as beautiful as it is outside," Mayor Fischer said.

The multimillion dollar building includes more than 120,000 books. That's a million dollars just in reading material. It also houses the largest children's library in Louisville.

"I usually get on the computers,” said Cole Hamilton, 11, who plans to visit every week.

Eight-year-old twins Asia and Ashton Tunstull live just right down the street.

"It's good, it's pretty good," the siblings said. "Better than the last one, more space and more DVDs and movies and all kinds of stuff."

The library has all kinds of open space, natural lighting, meeting rooms, a place just for teens and new furniture bought by donors.

"It's very modern, very upscale. Much more than I expected," one visitor said.

"Without literature, without libraries, our nation declines. It dies. We need culture," another said.

The new building also includes 100 public computers that are connected to the fastest Internet available. Plus, the construction is very eco-friendly.

"The rubber floor is made from recycled car tires,” library director Craig Buthod said. “Some of the chairs are made from pop bottles. We manage the water drainage so we don't add to the sewers, and we monitor lighting outside so we don't spend more for electric lighting than we need to."

"It's amazing," said Andrea Carter, who's visited with her 10-year-old son. She says it's a great addition to their neighborhood.

"We get a lot of car lots, a lot of fast food joints and that kind of stuff,” she said. “And this is hopefully really going to promote people to start reading and to bring their kids and get into the whole movement of reading. We've gotten away from it."

Carter says at the old branch, they'd just request books, pick them up and leave. At the new location, they actually feel like they can hang out.

"There's a lot of open space, there's a lot of little nooks and crannies to sit in," Carter said.

So, on a scale from 1 to 10?

“Oh, like a 15," Carter said. "I mean it's great. It really is, I'm excited."

The library is one of three planned for underserved parts of Louisville.

If they can raise the money, they're hoping to build the next one - the South Central Regional Library - in Okolona.

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