Arts and Culture Community

Louisville has a new Little Free Library, one focused on German language and culture.  

The German Little Free Library will be outside the local German restaurant Gralehaus in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood, housing books, movies, magazines and newspapers mostly in German.

Behind the little book-swap library is Bridget Klein, who also runs the Louisville German Conversation Group which has been around for more than 25 years. 

In a release, she said the idea came to her while sheltering at home for the pandemic, and people kept offering her German books. 

“I was trying to think of how to get them to the others in the group since we weren’t meeting in person at the moment — and maybe not for a while to come. A German-focused Little Free Library seemed just the ticket!’ Klein said.  

The new book exchange is registered with the Little Free Library nonprofit. According to LFL’s website, there are more than 100,000 Little Free Libraries around the globe.

With Louisville’s “rich Germanic heritage”, Klein hopes the German-focused Little Free Library will inspire more people to explore the German language and the culture of the countries in which it is spoken. 

Ken Tench, of the Bellarmine Oratorio Society, built the physical structure of the German LFL, making it to look like the original design of the building that is now home to Gralehaus. 

According to Gralehaus owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter, the building that is home to their restaurant was once owned by a German family. 

“I have seen our little local German Conversation Group blossom during these times of social distancing to a virtual event attended by fellow German speakers from not just the USA but all over the world,” Klein said. “I have realized what a deep personal connection a shared language can create with others.”

Klein will host a grand opening Sunday from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

Because of the Metro’s high rates of community spread of COVID-19, the celebration “will be short and sweet, consisting of a ribbon-cutting, donation of materials, and opening the library to all present to share in the contents.”

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts Reporter.