Last Updated: June 13th, 2023By Tags: , , ,
| Video by Abigail Chipps, West Chester University, CST Public Affairs Office

FORT KNOX, Ky. – Barr Memorial Library serves as more than a home for books. The library was opened to serve the community in June 1977. During his time as Library Director, Michael Steinmacher has worked with his staff to broaden the offerings and services of the library. 

“It’s not the library of ten years ago, it’s not even the library of five years ago,” Steinmacher said. “We are really focused on doing the best we can, again, to serve our constituents and our patrons extremely well.”

Michael Steinmacher, library director, proudly displays a poster featuring “Dog Man”, a popular children’s book at Barr Memorial library, Fort Knox, Ky. June 8, 2023. Steinmacher has been the library director for over 14 years. | Hydia Jackson, Western Kentucky University, CST Public Affairs Office

The goal of Barr Memorial Library is to provide military personnel and family members a wide variety of services, that are designed to help visitors by delivering programs that are relevant to the community.

“I like the quiet atmosphere of the library and I especially like the staff,” said Bella Bernard, library volunteer. “They [the staff] are really nice people which adds to the vibe of the library.”

The library webpage states that the dedicated staff will ensure that patrons find what they’re looking for and are able to utilize all the resources available in their facility.

“I do like to go to the library because its quieter here.” said Deiona Esaw, library patron. “The people here are really nice as well. I know if I ever need anything, they’re very welcoming and accommodating.”

A key mission of the library and its staff is to provide an environment that encourages individuals to nourish their intellectual freedom, often achieved through their various events and programs. Some of the events that are being hosted this summer are the Summer Reading Program, Reading With a Ranger and Story Time Tuesday. 

“Hosting events at the library are a great way to get people to visit the library and honestly why not do some fun educational things,” said Liz Elakkad, Patron Experience Librarian. “The community is being offered something different and just something fun to do by hosting library events.”  

In 2014, the library offered 290 programs that were attended by more than 13,500 participants. It was named Federal Library of the year in 2014 and 2020. 

”The awards themselves are great and they’re nice, I like to talk about them, but what got us the awards? That’s what it’s all about,” Steinmacher said. “It’s about those soldiers and families and that extended military community.”

Soldiers, families, veterans, DOD civilians, on-post students and contractors are all eligible to utilize the resources at the library.  

“I would put our program against the best municipal libraries in the country,” Steinmacher said. “I think of the library as the intellectual heart of Fort Knox.”

The Barr Memorial Library is open Mon, Tue, Wed, 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Fri, Sat, 9:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m. For more information visit