Lexington Public Library

Search Our Website

Displaying results 1 - 35 of 248
Subtitle
New Versailles Road Library Branch to be named Marksbury Family Branch

Lexington, Kentucky (March 9, 2022) – Lexington Public Library and Lexington Public Library Foundation are honored to announce that the Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the library branch at the corner of Versailles Road and Village Drive.  In recognition of their generosity, the new facility will be named the Marksbury Family Branch when it opens in 2024.

Lexington, Kentucky (March 9, 2022) – Lexington Public Library and Lexington Public Library Foundation are honored to announce that the Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the library branch at the corner of Versailles Road and Village Drive.  In recognition of their generosity, the new facility will be named the Marksbury Family Branch when it opens in 2024.

The Library purchased the site in late 2020 after leasing the facility for 15 years, with plans to demolish the current building.  A new two-story facility will replace it with nearly triple the amount of space available for library services.  The new building will include community and study rooms, a dedicated classroom, makerspace, outdoor reading area, expanded adult and children’s areas, and a drive-thru window where customers can pick up and return borrowed materials.  The Library estimates that it will serve approximately 1 million visitors per year at this location.  The Library Foundation has committed to raising $5.3 million in support of this $17 million project through a public-private partnership. 

The Marksbury Family Foundation, founded by Davis Marksbury, invests in innovative projects that provide sustainable, life-changing opportunities for individuals and communities.  “We are excited to invest in this community-wide resource, which offers countless educational resources to everyone in the greater Lexington area,” said Logan Marksbury, President of the Marksbury Family Foundation.  “Our family has been very fortunate, and we love to provide new opportunities for others to succeed through our Foundation.”  The Marksbury Family Foundation has supported the University of Kentucky, Lexington Leadership Foundation’s Woodhill Community Center, Blue Grass Community Foundation’s Good Giving Challenge, and many other projects in the educational and entrepreneurial spaces.

This donation is the single largest commitment in the history of the Lexington Public Library Foundation, which has supported our public library system since 1997.  “The fundraising success of the Library Foundation speaks to the commitment of our donors and the impact of the Lexington Public Library system,” said Erin Serrate, Chair of the Library Foundation Board.  “Like the individuals it serves, the Library has unlimited potential, and our role is to ensure that the Library has the financial resources it needs to meet our community’s educational needs.” 

The Library Foundation supports new projects, capital needs, and specialty programs.  Recent investments include Destination Kindergarten (with the PNC Foundation’s signature Grow Up Great initiative), the Eastside Branch (contributing $1.3M for the project), and the Kloiber Foundation STEAM Lab, which will open later this month. 

“Our Library system thrives when our community comes together,” said Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “We are grateful for the support of the Marksbury Family Foundation and the leadership of the Lexington Public Library Foundation.  Together, we will accomplish great things to support the citizens of Central Kentucky.”  For more information about the project or to get involved, please visit www.lexpublib.org/village.

For general information on Lexington Public Library, their programs, and their partners, please visit www.lexpublib.org and their social media pages @lexpublib. Follow the Library Foundation on Facebook at @lexingtonpubliclibraryfoundation or visit www.lexpublib.org/foundation

New Versailles Road Library Branch to be named Marksbury Family Branch
Subtitle
Grand Opening set for Saturday, March 9

Lexington, Kentucky (January 17, 2024) – Lexington Public Library is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Marksbury Family Branch of the Lexington Public Library.

Festivities include a Media Day event on Friday, March 8 from 8:30-10am and a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 9 (more details coming soon). The current Village Branch will remain open through 6pm on Friday, February 23.

Lexington, Kentucky (January 17, 2024) – Lexington Public Library is proud to announce the Grand Opening of the Marksbury Family Branch of the Lexington Public Library.

Festivities include a Media Day event on Friday, March 8 from 8:30-10am and a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 9 (more details coming soon). The current Village Branch will remain open through 6pm on Friday, February 23.

The Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the former Village Branch. The new two-story facility boasts nearly triple the amount of space available for library services. The new building will include community and study rooms, a dedicated classroom, makerspace, outdoor reading area, expanded adult and children’s areas, and a drive-thru window where customers can pick up and return borrowed materials. The Library estimates that it will serve approximately 1 million visitors per year at this location. The Library Foundation has committed to raising $5.3 million in support of this $17 million project through a public-private partnership.

This donation is the single largest commitment in the history of the Lexington Public Library Foundation, which has supported our public library system since 1997.

“Our Library system thrives when our community comes together,” said Executive Director Heather  Dieffenbach. “We are grateful for the support of the Marksbury Family Foundation and the leadership  of the Lexington Public Library Foundation. Together, we will accomplish great things to support  the citizens of Central Kentucky.”

For more information about the project or to get involved, please visit www.lexpublib.org/village.  For general information on Lexington Public Library, their programs, and their partners, please visit www.lexpublib.org and their social media pages @lexpublib. Follow the Library Foundation on Facebook at @lexingtonpubliclibraryfoundation or visit www.lexpublib.org/foundation.
 

Grand Opening set for Saturday, March 9
Subtitle
Free program being offered at Northside and Village Branches

Lexington, Kentucky (December 20, 2022) – Lexington Public Library announced today that its popular LPL After School program will return in 2023, beginning January 2. 

LPL After School is a FREE drop-in program for kids aged 5-12 that takes place after regular school hours, Mondays through Fridays from 4-6pm.  The Library, in partnership with God’s Pantry, will provide snacks for all participants as well as STEAM and enrichment activities, homework help, and reading recommendations. And there’s no need to register—just show up!

Lexington, Kentucky (December 20, 2022) – Lexington Public Library announced today that its popular LPL After School program will return in 2023, beginning January 2. 

LPL After School is a FREE drop-in program for kids aged 5-12 that takes place after regular school hours, Mondays through Fridays from 4-6pm.  The Library, in partnership with God’s Pantry, will provide snacks for all participants as well as STEAM and enrichment activities, homework help, and reading recommendations. And there’s no need to register—just show up!

“Lexington Public Library is thrilled to once again offer our After School program to the community,” said Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “The Library and our partners are committed to being a resource to families here in the Bluegrass and providing a safe environment where children and youth are able to grow and thrive.” 

For more information, please visit the Lexington Public Library’s website athttps://www.lexpublib.org/afterschool and their social media pages @lexpublib. 

Free program being offered at Northside and Village Branches
Subtitle
A book club to discuss literary works by black authors

Lexington, Kentucky (January 16, 2024) – Lexington Public Library is proud to announce their new Black Voices Book Club which is dedicated to discussing literary works by black authors. The Club meets on the third Saturday of each month.

Lexington, Kentucky (January 16, 2024) – Lexington Public Library is proud to announce their new Black Voices Book Club which is dedicated to discussing literary works by black authors. The Club meets on the third Saturday of each month.

The Library invites the community to join the first discussion of the year which will take place on Saturday, January 20 from 1-3pm at the Eastside Branch located at 3000 Blake James Drive. The discussion will focus on an article from the October 2023 issue of The Atlantic magazine written by Jenisha Watts. Watts is a Lexington native and current writer for The Atlantic who recently wrote an article describing her childhood.

"I came to New York sure of one thing – that no one could ever know my past,” said Watts. After growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, Watts came to New York City as a young journalist determined to make sure that no one would ever know her past. But Watts, a senior editor at The Atlantic, now writes with remarkable candor about the heartrending circumstances of her life for the first time.


Upcoming Black Voices Book Club discussions include:

  • February 17: Let us Descend by Jesmyn Ward
  • March 16: Come and Get It by Kiley Reid
  • April 20: Thicker than Water by Kerry Washington

To learn more about the Black Voices Book Club, please contact Please contact Ashley Sipple- McGraw at asipple-mcgraw@lexpublib.org.

For more information on the Lexington Public Library, please visit please visit www.lexpublib.org and its social media pages @lexpublib.
 

A book club to discuss literary works by black authors

741.5 is written and designed by Lexington Public Library staff member Bill Widener. The inaugural issue came out in January 2017. Sub-titled The Comics & Graphic Novel Bulletin of the Lexington Public Library, its intent is to promote new arrivals to the Library's comics collections. 741.5 takes its name from the numeral designation within the Dewey Decimal System that covers comics and cartooning.

Lexington, Kentucky (April 12, 2023) – The Lexington Public Library will be Fine Free for all materials, effective immediately, following a vote at today’s regularly scheduled monthly board meeting. Lexington Public Library customers will no longer incur fines for late, damaged, or lost library materials. Additionally, the Library has forgiven all current, outstanding fines

Lexington, Kentucky (April 12, 2023) – The Lexington Public Library will be Fine Free for all materials, effective immediately, following a vote at today’s regularly scheduled monthly board meeting. Lexington Public Library customers will no longer incur fines for late, damaged, or lost library materials. Additionally, the Library has forgiven all current, outstanding fines

Lexington Public Library is making this change because overdue fines disproportionally affect children and low-income households. Late fines may create a financial barrier for people in accessing library materials. Libraries that have gone Fine Free have reported less stigma and an increased likelihood for patrons to re-engage with their library and its services as a result.

The Lexington Public Library is a center of community life that connects people of all ages with information, engages them with the world of ideas and with each other, and enriches the community by supporting learning, promoting literacy, and encouraging creativity.

“This is our way of removing any reading barrier that we can to help increase childhood literacy and improve library access in Lexington,” said Library Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Fines can potentially be an obstacle that disproportionately impact people without the means to pay. Removing these fines will allow more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment, and inspiration.”

Patrons are encouraged to return overdue items to make those materials available to others who would like to borrow them. The Library has been temporarily fine free since March 2020; today’s vote makes it a formalized policy for the benefit of all Lexington Public Library cardholders.

For more information and a full list of events, please visit www.lexpublib.org, call 859-231-5500, or follow us on social media at @lexpublib.

Lexington, Kentucky (February 1, 2024) – This February, Lexington Public Library is proud to join the nation in celebrating Black History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the achievements, contributions, and rich cultural heritage of African Americans.
 

Lexington, Kentucky (February 1, 2024) – This February, Lexington Public Library is proud to join the nation in celebrating Black History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the achievements, contributions, and rich cultural heritage of African Americans.
 
Throughout the month, the library will host a variety of events, programs, and resources that highlight the importance of Black history in our community and beyond. These offerings aim to educate, inspire, and foster a deeper understanding of the significant impact Black individuals have had on various aspects of society.
 
"Lexington Public Library proudly embarks on a journey of celebration and reflection as we honor Black History Month,” said Library Executive Director Heather Diefenbach. “Throughout February, we invite the community to join us in exploring the profound impact, rich heritage, and enduring contributions of African Americans through a diverse array of events and resources. Let us come together to learn, appreciate, and commemorate the inspiring stories that have shaped our shared history."
 
Lexington Public Library is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming space where all members of the community can come together to learn, celebrate, and reflect on the richness of Black history. By offering a diverse range of events and resources, the library aims to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of our shared history.
 
For a complete listing of Black History Month programs at the Library, please visit lexpublib.org/bhm.   For general information on Lexington Public Library, their programs, and their partners, please visit www.lexpublib.org and their social media pages @lexpublib. 

Secondary Page

All the Library Can Be

The library is essential to a thriving community, ensuring equitable access to information, education, and technology for all. We raise funds to support Lexington Public Library programs, services, and special projects that go beyond what public dollars alone can support.

Secondary Page

Friends of the Lexington Public Library provides financial, advocacy and volunteer support to the Library.  Shop at the Friends Book Cellar in the Central Library for a great selection of used books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, and vinyl records, all at discounted prices.

Primary Page

The Lexington Public Library’s Digital Archives provide open access to researchers and students to learn more about the rich history of Lexington and Fayette County. It contains a fraction of the Library’s physical holdings, which are housed and available for reference in the Kentucky Room at the Central Library. New material is being digitized and added constantly, so there's always something new to find.

The archives have a simple keyword search, and it is possible to browse the collections by subject, area, or decade. The Lexington Public Library actively reviews and labels materials in our archives with statements that indicate how you may reuse the images, and what sort of permission, if any, you need to do so. Please check the information for each image to determine its legal status.

Primary Page

Wonderful podcasts and walking tours have been created by our staff. Please enjoy!

Secondary Page

The governance of Lexington Public Library is under the direction of 7 Trustees and up to 10 Advisors who guide the long-term strategies for the Lexington Public Library, including the long range plan, annual budget cycle, advocating for the library and for library customers, and policy recommendations.

Subtitle
New facility will remain at previous location with a larger footprint and expanded offerings

Lexington, Kentucky (August 18, 2022) – The Lexington Public Library broke ground on a new, significantly larger facility in the former Village Branch location on Versailles Road to better provide for the needs of the neighborhoods it serves. The new branch will reflect the community’s vision for a state-of-the-art community hub, one that offers robust resources and a myriad of program and service offerings.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday at a media event featuring Library and City officials.

The Marksbury Family Foundation has committed the lead gift for the capital campaign to rebuild the former Village Branch and in recognition of their generosity, the new facility will be named the Marksbury Family Branch when it opens in late 2023.

“The Marksbury Family Branch will continue to serve as the cornerstone in LPL’s systemwide vision, just as the Village Branch has done since 2004,” said Lexington Public Library Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Village Branch consistently delivered rich programming, library collections, and resources from its small space, and we are excited to see how services will be expanded with a new space,” she added.

A new two-story facility will replace the former Village Branch with nearly triple the amount of space available for library services.  The new building will include community and study rooms, a dedicated classroom, makerspace, outdoor reading area, expanded adult and children’s areas, and a drive-thru window where customers can pick up and return borrowed materials.  The Library estimates that it will serve approximately 1 million visitors per year at this location. 

The Library Foundation has committed to raising $5.3 million in support of this $17 million project through a public-private partnership.  Those interested in financially supporting the project may visit www.lexpublib.org/donate

LPL began the development of a master plan in late 2018 to determine the vision and need for library space and facilities, and to provide a framework and guide for future improvements and growth.  The planning process was highly participatory, striving to include as many voices as possible in the development of the plan.  During the year-long planning process, more than 2,400 library staff, stakeholders, and community members engaged in the conversation about the vision for library facilities in Lexington-Fayette County.  Overwhelmingly, the community supported a reimaging and expansion of this site as the future of the Lexington Public Library.

“This is a great opportunity to introduce the world to Lexington as they enter our city,” remarked the Library’s Foundation Co-Chairs, Ramsey Bova and Larry Smith. “The Marksbury Family Branch will be one of the first buildings people see as they enter Lexington from this corridor. It will stand as a clear demonstration of the vibrancy and diversity of our community and the value we place on education and culture.”

For more information about the project or to get involved, please visit www.lexpublib.org/village.  For general information on Lexington Public Library, their programs, and their partners, please visit www.lexpublib.org and their social media pages @lexpublib. Follow the Library Foundation on Facebook at @lexingtonpubliclibraryfoundation or visit www.lexpublib.org/foundation

For more information please visit the Lexington Public Library’s website at www.lexpublib.org and their social media pages @lexpublib.

New facility will remain at previous location with a larger footprint and expanded offerings
Digital Archives - Collection
The Lexington Public Library opened a Carnegie library in 1905. It incorporated the collections of the former subscription Lexington Library Company (est.1801) and the former Transylvania Library (est.1795). The library became a free library in 1899, shortly before moving locations. When the city outgrew the Carnegie building, the Central Library was built and it opened in 1989.
 
The system contains six branch locations. The largest is the Central Library, located on E. Main St. The Beaumont Branch, located on Fieldstone Way just off Harrodsburg Rd., replaced the Southside Branch in 1997. The Tates Creek Branch, located on Walden Drive, replaced the Lansdowne Branch in 2001. The Village Branch, located on Versailles Rd. at Village Dr., opened in 2004, and is an English-Spanish bilingual branch, with bilingual staff. The Northside Branch, located on Russell Cave Rd., replaced the previous Northside location in 2008. The Eastside Branch, located on Blake James Dr., replaced the Eagle Creek Branch in 2016. 
 
The contents of the library's digital collection contain some images and brochures at various points in library history. The typed library history by Mary K. Bullitt was a part of the library's cornerstone collection, which was buried in 1902, during the construction of the Carnegie building. It was opened in 1989 when the library moved locations. The other images depict the construction of the Central Library from 1987-1989.
 

Thanks for your interest in joining the Lexington Public Library!  Your library card is the key to checking out books, downloading audiobooks, taking online classes, and much more.  Please check here to find out if you qualify for a library card and how to apply.

The Lexington Public Library receives most of its operating funds from an Ad Valorem property tax. By State law, the Library receives five cents for every $100 of assessed property value in Lexington and Fayette County.

The Lexington Public Library has made an effort to ensure that all of our digital collections are public domain, or that we have gotten approval from the copyright holders to display their work. Most - but not all - of these collections, to the best of our knowledge, have no known US copyright restrictions. Some items in the collection are under copyright but qualify for online display by libraries under Section 108(h) of United States Copyright Law. Some of the collections provided in the Library's Digital Archives are made available under an assertion of fair use, which does not necessarily apply to an individual's use of them.

The Lexington Public Library offers an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service which allows cardholders in good standing to borrow books and magazine articles we do not own and cannot purchase. The Lexington Public Library also lends our books to libraries both inside and outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Check for current job openings and apply to work at the Lexington Public Library.

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s public art. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops. You can pause the track while you walk between stops.

This tour covers a walking distance of 1 mile.

The music clips used in this tour are from “Walking Barefoot on Grass” by Kai Engel, and are used with a CCBY license. It is available here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/

This tour has been updated to include the new mural at Stop #5, "In-Finito".

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s public art. The full tour is available as a single MP3, or you can download individual tracks. For the single MP3, music will play between the stops.

In the summer of 2019, the Lexington History Museum exhibited a 20th anniversary timeline and historical materials exhibit titled, Our Fair City: the 1999 Lexington Fairness Ordinance. The ordinance, Local Ordinance 201-99, passed on July 8th, 1999, and added sexual orientation and gender identity as explicitly protected classes against discrimination in Fayette County employment, housing and public accommodations.
 
From June 17 - July 19, 2019, the Lexington Public Library hosted the exhibit and several community events surrounding the anniversary. The exhibit also featured a community response section titled, "What Does Fairness Mean To You?" with an opportunity for attendees to give their own response. After the exhibit, the notes were collected and digitized, and are now available for viewing.
 
To view the 3D interactive exhibit, click here.
 

The William Stamps Farish Fund Theater is a state-of-the-art facility in one of Main Street’s busiest places.

Fully renovated and updated, the theater on the Central Library’s first floor is home to theater, dance, live music, film, community events, and meetings. The Lexington Public Library makes the facility available at some of the city’s best prices, with affordable business, nonprofit, and government rates.

Destination Kindergarten

Destination Kindergarten is the library’s program aimed at preschoolers and their caregivers- trying to help them practice the skills they need to be ready for Kindergarten.  During each Destination Kindergarten event, preschoolers and their caregivers can find a specalized area in the library with fun books, take-home activities, and information about development milestones and school readiness.

See below for more information on upcoming events and take-home packets and activities.