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New director named for Louisville Free Public Library

James L. Blanton held same position at Daviess County Public Library

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 29, 2015) — Mayor Fischer has named James L. Blanton director of Louisville Free Public Library. Blanton has been director of the Daviess County Public Library in Owensboro since 2012. Before that he spent 12 years at Virginia’s Chesapeake Public Library, which has seven branches that serves 231,000 residents. He previously worked at the Lexington Public Library.

James L. Blanton
James L. Blanton

In Chesapeake, he co-developed a Job Help/Workforce Development program to offer assistance to jobs seekers and he served on the design committee for a new library branch.  He also created FantaSci, a science-fiction/fantasy festival that featured authors, artists, filmmakers and fan group. It attracted 15,000 people.

In Owensboro, Blanton co-created 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. He also oversaw the creation of a Seed Library in partnership with Western Kentucky Botanical Garden and implemented iPad and computer laptop lending programs.  He also led a design team to develop expansion plans for 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. Blanton is also the incoming Chair of the Kentucky Public Library Association, and coordinated the planning and implementation of the 2015 KPLA state conference.

Blanton earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 1995, a Master of Library Science in 2000 from UK and a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University in 2005.