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

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour of Lexington's Historic Lexington Cemetery. 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 approximately 1.5 miles.

Please note: You will be walking on paths also used by cars. Please take special care to watch and listen for approaching vehicles.

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/

Join us for a walking tour of Lexington's Historic Lexington Cemetery. 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.

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic LGBTQ+ places. 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 1.6 miles.

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic LGBTQ+ places. 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.

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s African American Heritage Sites. 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 1.7 miles.

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/

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s African American Heritage Sites. 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.

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour Lexington's Gratz Park Historic District. 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 0.4 miles.

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/

Join us for a walking tour Lexington's Gratz Park Historic District. 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.

Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic sites. 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 1.1 miles.

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/

Join us for a walking tour of Downtown Lexington’s historic sites. 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.

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.
 
Digital Archives - Collection - Group
Fayette County History

Fayette County, Kentucky, has changed enormously since it was created in 1792. This collection contains government documents for the city of Lexington, for Fayette County, and for the merged Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, as well as funeral notices, club directories, scrapbooks, image collections and a history of Lexington Public Library.

 

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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.

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.
 
Digital Archives - Collection

The Lexington History Museum began in 1999, and opened its doors in the Old Courthouse in 2003. Its purpose is to educate Fayette County about its rich history, and preserve pieces of that history for future generations. The Old Courthouse closed in 2012 for extensive renovations. The History Museum still creates exhibits and works on school and film collaborations to create an understanding and appreciation of local history.

The History Museum's Community Collections currently contains part of the exhibit "Our Fair City: The 1999 Lexington Fairness Ordinance," which was displayed in the summer of 2019 at the Lexington Public Library, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ordinance's passage.

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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

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.

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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