Middletown Library

A young Middletown library visitor flipped through a stack of her favorite books Friday afternoon. (WDRB Photo)

MIDDLETOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Spend a few minutes at the Middletown branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, and you understand why hundreds are fighting to save it.

On a Friday afternoon, cheerful children flipped through colorful books, and older visitors did research on the libraries computers.

But the branch, which is walking distance from Eastern High School, is on the chopping block.

Mayor Greg Fischer's budget plan calls for cutting hours at libraries and closing two branches: Fern Creek and Middletown.

"It's a big mistake," said Bertie Mack, who lives in Middletown and visits the library often. "Let's make some kind of adjustments. Let's look harder at how we can shift monies."

Mack's signature is now one of hundreds on a petition to save this branch.

"The last time I checked, we had over 600 signatures," said Jerry Clark, the president of the Friends of the Middletown Branch group. "I don't know where it's gone beyond that."

Now, the tally is closer to 700, and Clark, who's group is running the petition, said the Middletown branch is too important and too busy to close.

"Over 160,000 people walked in and out of these doors," he said of last year's numbers. "In excess of 415,000 items were circulated."

Clark is hosting a town hall at the Middletown branch Saturday to collect more signatures and send a message to Metro Council, which will ultimately determine whether or not to sign off on Fischer's proposed cuts.

"We hope it demonstrates the real seriousness of all the folks out here of wanting to have the services that a library provides," Clark said.

Mary Ann Wiseman, 92, hopes the fight to save Middletown will work.

"Somebody needs to stand up for us," she said adamantly.

Her pinochle group meets at the branch each Friday.

"Where would we go?" she asked. "Somebody said something about over there in Lyndon. How would we get there?"

Petitions can be signed at the branch up until council passes a budget. The meeting runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday.

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