LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It has been 40 years since a new library has been built in Louisville, so you can understand the excitement as the new Newburg Library gets ready to open for business. But the August 4th flooding almost put a big snag in plans to open on time.
The $1.9 million library first free standing library finished since the main library on York Street was completed in 1969. It is also the city's first technology driven branch and will expand computer and multi-media accessibility to patrons. Friday morning, Mayor Jerry Abramson helped kids get acquainted with the high-tech computers, but they taught the mayor a few things too.
"The technology is so sophisticated we had to bring in 12 and 13 yr olds yesterday to show us how to use it," said Craig Buthod, director of the Louisville Free Public Library.
Thanks to the flash flooding, the computers at the Newburg Library are not the originals.
"Less than two weeks ago, we had nearly three dozen computers that were destined to be in the library. They were stored in the basement of the main library. You know how that turned out. They were still there. They we're just floating on about 5-6 feet of water," said Abramson.
Fortunately for the city, the Library Foundation contributed $50,000 to replace those damaged computers. But this new library is much more than just high-tech, it is also eco-friendly.
"All the way from the electric eye on this light fixture that constantly helps us adjust the light to respond to the daylight outside, to the all-natural materials in the flooring in front of you, to the carpet made out of recycled water bottles to the high windows that aloow daylight in without glare to the natural wood materials to the heavily insulated roof, eventually to add solar panels, we hope, if the federal stimulus grant comes through," said Buthod.
The 8,000 square foot facility also has special areas for teens, a glass enclosed study area and a large community meeting room.
The Newburg library will open for business Saturday.