Group hears history, future of Carnegie Library

A group at the Hopkinsville Art Guild got to learn about the history of the city’s Carnegie Library and what the plans are for its future Wednesday afternoon.

James Coursey, an interior architect who has overseen the renovations to the building that has been present in the community since 1914, gave the presentation. He says the library came here due to the all women Civic Improvement League, who was raising the money for a new library.  The funds were approved through the Carnegie Foundation.

Coursey says Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest people at that time in America and known for his strides in the steel industry and his philanthropy, wanted to bring underprivileged youth the same chance he had—to educate themselves at a library.

The Carnegie Library would serve Hopkinsville until 1976, when a new location was needed due to lack of available space. From that time until the present, the building has mostly sat empty, and fell into disrepair until the Hopkinsville Carnegie Library, Inc. was formed and renovations began.

Now, Coursey says the renovations are two-thirds done, with work to the main floor still to be done.   He says one of their main goals is to bring a tutoring course of students of all ages to the building.

They also want to create a library and museum of Kentucky and American Architecture, with the hope that it will become the number one place in the state to view that history.

Coursey says what they need now are volunteers to participate in projects and they will be raising more funds to complete the work. For information on how to donate, call 270-719-9462.