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    Last Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library in downtown Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the hiring of a new library director for the Louisville Free Public Library system. The Mayor's Twitter account stated: "Please welcome the new, innovative director of our growing library system: James L Blanton." Mr. Blanton comes to Louisville as a proven leader who currently serves as Director of the Daviess County Public Library system in Owensboro, Kentucky. Mayor Fischer cited Mr. Blanton's approach to lifelong learning as innovative, and applauded him for making libraries the center of knowledge.

    Prior to serving in his position as the Director at Daviess County Public Library, which he has held since 2012, Mr. Blanton served many roles in his twelve years at the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia. There, he was senior library manager and oversaw all aspects and operations of managing their main library.

    In a press release statement from the City, Mayor Greg Fischer said "Mr. Blanton takes a broad approach to lifelong learning and his vision for Louisville is expansive and focused on innovation. He is the right leader to take our library network to a new level." Some highlights of Mr. James Blanton's library career include:

    • Co-developing a Job Help/Workforce Development program to offer assistance to job seekers
    • Serving on the design committee for a new library branch 
    • Creating  FantaSci, a science-fiction/fantasy festival that featured authors, artists, filmmakers and fan groups that attracted 15,000 people to the program
    • Co-creating  Unscripted, a film series that features monthly screenings of independent films by local and regional artists, and which provides a film school that connects patrons with filmmakers to produce film projects
    • Overseeing the creation of a Seed Library in partnership with Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
    • Implementing an iPad and computer laptop lending program
    • Leading a design team to develop expansion plans for the library
    • Serving as the incoming chair of the Kentucky Public Library Association and coordinating much of the 2015 KPLA state conference
    • Receiving a Military Hero Award by the American Red Cross in 2014 for a World War II program series at the library

    • Recently, he launched an online program called ePublish or Bust, connecting libraries across the state in an effort to support aspiring and published independent authors. He has also been featured numerous times in American Libraries and Library Journal for his role in the development of many exciting programs in libraries where he has served.

    James Blanton began his public library career at Lexington Public Library as a library assistant. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky (1995); Master of Library Science (2000) from UK and a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University (2005). Mr. Blanton says "I’m thrilled to come on board as the Director of the Louisville Free Public Library. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of an institution with such a tradition of excellence, and a city that enthusiastically embraces education and innovation. Along with a talented staff, I look forward to charting an exciting path that redefines and surpasses expectations of how a library can serve the community."

    Stay connected with the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) via social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

    Photo courtesy of Mayor Greg Fischer's Twitter page ‏@louisvillemayor.

    Erin Nevitt's picture

    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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