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Louisville Free Public Library director shares security updates at budget meeting

While the director talked about safety and money needed for the Louisville Free Public Library system, librarians also expressed some needs for the Parkland branch.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The scenes have been troubling for Louisville Free Public Library employees and guests wanting quiet and study time.

Fights, attacks and threats; WHAS11 has reported on several incidents at the library.

Library Director Lee Burchfield answered questions and gave Metro Council members security updates at their budget meeting on Wednesday.

"Do you have it in the plans to enhance security there so the patrons will feel safe going and coming," Councilwoman Donna Purvis asked.

Burchfield said they signed a contract with a new security vendor, and so far security cameras have been added to five branches.

"LMPD has exterior cameras and we now have interior cameras," he said in reference to the Shawnee branch.

Due to an increase in the number of incidents at Shawnee, another security guard was also added back to that branch.

Additionally, he looks to expand the security position to focus on other safety measures like managing the card swipe system.

But heightened security is not the only concern.

A librarian shared her thoughts on Tuesday about the reopening of the Parkland Library.

"We want new books, a bigger space, and access to databases, similar services available to other Louisville Free Public [Libraries]," librarian Fannie Cox said.

However, Burchfield said there is still major funding needed to complete construction at the Parkland, Portland and Fern Creek libraries in order for them to open.


"We're about $8 million dollars from where we need to be; the library foundation is committed to helping us close that gap and raise the rest of the money," he said.

He also wanted funding to increase after-school programming for youth at the Newburg and Shawnee branches.

But the council members still had questions.

"The friends with Parkland came...we talked about whether that was funded, not fully funded," Councilman Rick Blackwell said.

Burchfield said he meets with a deputy mayor weekly to brainstorm opportunities to partner with other community organizations.

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