Arts and Culture Community

Bullitt County Public Library recently opened a new 45,000-square-foot central branch in Shepherdsville, and the updated facility features an expanded “Library of Things.”

The collection includes tools, office supplies and entertainment equipment, like a karaoke machine. It launched last summer.

“Because we were really wanting to have something special to bring patrons back into the library after we had been closed for COVID,” Bullitt County Public Library associate director Jennifer Nippert said. 

Nippert sees this as a part of the library’s purpose: to provide resources that support people’s needs, whether that’s equipment aiding someone in their professional pursuits, home projects or stuff that’s fun.

“I think COVID really helped us understand that expanding our interests and learning a new thing helps us with our mental health,” she said.

That’s why the library staff went in big on creative expression items, like musical instruments.

Now, they want public input on what else to add. 

A blood pressure monitor and inspection snake camera are among the items available to check out of Bullitt County's Library of ThingsCourtesy Bullitt County Public Library

Some of the items available for check out at the Bullitt County Public Library central branch’s Library of things.

Library director Tara O’Hagan said community feedback is important.

“That’s what we’re here for is the public,” O’Hagan said. “We’re here to support, educate and assist the community of Bullitt County. That’s in our title. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

She added that libraries, broadly, are designed to eliminate economic barriers, and this collection of “things” is an extension of that. Residents don’t have to pay any additional money to get a library card and “everything that comes with a library,” she said.

“So this is another way people can access things if they don’t have the economic ability to stream or have any internet service or whatever service they need. The library is there for them,” O’Hagan said. 

People can check out the items in-person, and there’s an option to reserve them online. O’Hagan said Jefferson County residents are eligible to apply for a Bullitt County Library card as well.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.