History of My Library

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The Louisville Public Library has seen many changes since its humble beginnings in 1924, when the newly chartered Chinook Campfire Girls and their leader began collecting books donated by Louisville residents to form the heart of a public library.

The first home of the Chinook Library was the upstairs room of the old town hall, located near the south end of the 700 block on Main Street. When the Library was not open for checking out books, the room was used for other purposes and the boxed shelves were locked.

BuildingNew Louisville Public Library, 2006

 
There were no funds for the support of the Library, so various women donated their time to supervise the circulation of books. Hours for checking out books were very limited and access to the second floor Library was difficult. Two years later, the sponsoring group of Chinook Campfire Girls had graduated from high school or left town.
 
On November 17, 1926, the members of the Saturday Study Club, formed in 1898, assumed the supervision of the Chinook Public Library. Each year, two members of the club were appointed by the president to serve a two-year term on the Library Board, which was composed of four women. A librarian was hired to open the Library one afternoon each week for the salary of 75¢ per week.
 

The Town Board of Trustees began to give financial assistance to the Library in 1929, and continued to give small cash allotments, to provide space for the Library, and to pay for utilities. The Library Board members made two trips each year to Denver to purchase books. After the fall purchase, the Saturday Study Club held a book review and silver tea to display the new books to the public. The silver tea became an annual fundraiser, which helped to fund the Library. According to the City’s new charter, adopted in March 1962, control of the Library passed from the Saturday Study Club to the City of Louisville as of October 1963. Thereafter, a City-appointed Library Board of Trustees determined policies.

The Library’s location has changed and evolved since its inception in 1924, as illustrated in the following timeline:

1924–1941

  Inhabited a few shelves on the second floor of the old town hall building on Main Street

1941–1949

  Occupied a vacated school building at 801 Grant Street

1949–1957

  Moved to a small building near the corner of Main and Spruce Streets

1957–1979

  Occupied a small room in the City Hall building at
712 Main Street

1980

  Located to the new City Hall building at 749 Main Street

1990

  Moved into the building at 950 Spruce Sreet, utilizing 10,000 square feet of an existing office and retail space
1994   Expanded approximately 3,400 square feet, taking over the entire building at 950 Spruce Street
August 7, 2006   Doors opened at the new, 32,500 square-foot library building at 951 Spruce Street

 

At 32,500 square feet, the new library building is approximately 2.4 times the size of the former library facility. In addition to the two-story library building, there is an underground parking garage with 84 parking spaces. Groundbreaking for the new library building occurred in March 2005, with completion on time and under budget in the summer of 2006.