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Louisville Free Public Library Shawnee Branch
3912 W Broadway
Louisville, KY 40211
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venue type: Community Center
venue style: Historic
catering: None Provided - None Allowed
max venue capacity: 50
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Venue Description

The Library's mission is to provide the people of Louisville and Jefferson County with the broadest possible access to knowledge, ideas, and information, and to support them in their pursuit of learning.

The newly remodeled and expanded Shawnee Branch features a new 6000 square foot addition, 41 touch-screen computers, a large collection of works by African-American authors, new spaces for children and teens, a computer learning lab, two study rooms, and a large meeting room available to the community.

There are no fees charged for meeting room use.  


Since the 1860's there has been a library at the 3900 block of West Broadway.

The first building was constructed of red brick and was built on land donated by Mr. Henry Garr. It served as a community meeting house and a library for with books donated by people in the neighborhood. After a controversy concerning ownership of the building, the citizens successfully sued to continue to use the site as a library. The second building was a frame building which opened to the public on February 10, 1922. In 1937, the flood which ruined so much in the City of Louisville filled the library with water up to the eaves of the building, ruining the collection and seriously damaging the building itself. The third building which was constructed by the W. P. A. of red brick and stone is the one which stands now.

To be of genuine service to its community, a library needs to be much more than bricks, books, meeting rooms, or staff. Over the years, the Shawnee Branch has presented programs and story hours for children as well as programs for adults. The Derby Fever program, held each April before the Kentucky Derby, is a special event that many West End patrons look forward to each year. In July of 1999, the Shawnee Branch opened a Computer Learning Center and began offering free computer classes to the public.

The Shawnee Branch has been central to the educational enrichment of the West End for many years. With new projects like the Computer Learning Center, enhanced information sources through access to electronic databases and the Internet, and the continuation of the "old faithful" reading emphasis, it will continue to be an important resource for our neighbors on West Broadway and throughout Jefferson County.

On September 10, 2011, the Shawnee Library re-opened after an extensive 8-month expansion and renovation project. The project included a new 6,000 square foot addition and renovation of the original 73-year-old library. The new library provides state-of-the-art technology, more study space, new teen and children’s areas, and more public computers. 

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