LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that Jim Blanton is leaving his post as director of Louisville Free Public Library in early November for a similar post in Asheville, N.C., to be closer to family.
“Vibrant, modern libraries are critical for a thriving city like Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Jim’s leadership has been instrumental in the phenomenal, future-leaning growth of our library system over the last three years. Under his watch, we opened the state-of-the-art South Central Regional Library in Okolona and started work on the Northeast Regional Library in Lyndon, and started online registration for Summer Reading.”
Assistant Director Lee Burchfield will serve as interim director. Burchfield has held multiple posts with LFPL since 1997, including as an assistant branch manager, electronic resources supervisor, manager of computer services, and director of strategic planning and technology. He has been assistant director since 2016.
Katie Dailinger, deputy chief of staff, will be helping guide the library through the transition. “My thanks go to Lee, for stepping up during this transition time,” Mayor Fischer said.
Next month, Blanton will become director of the Buncombe County Library in Asheville, N.C., which is closer to family. His last day with LFPL is Nov. 8.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve at LFPL these past three years,” Blanton said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished, including launching a variety of innovative programs, developing exciting community partnerships, and opening new libraries that truly represent the cutting edge of 21st century library services.”
“The hard work and dedication of the LFPL staff in making new programs, services and spaces come alive has been deeply inspiring. Their passion for providing library service to the community is the heart and soul of the system, and with more exciting milestones on the way, the future couldn’t be brighter for LFPL.”
The Mayor’s Office will consult with the Library Foundation and the Library Advisory Commission on the search for a new library director.
“I am grateful for Jim’s innovative leadership and tireless energy, and wish him the best in his new position,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our Library system has tremendous momentum, and we won’t slow down, continuing to work hard to deliver the services our community needs and deserves.”