Back to Top


After Hours with Patricia Lockwood

Nationally recognized poet Patricia Lockwood will be reading from her new book, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals on Friday, Sept. 19 after hours at the library starting at 7:00pm. The subject of the book is the natural world, but their images would never occur in nature. What if a deer did porn? Is America going down on Canada? What happens when Niagara Falls gets drunk at a wedding? Is it legal to marry a stuffed owl exhibit? What would Walt Whitman’s tit-pics look like? Why isn’t anyone named Gary anymore? Did the Hatfield and McCoy babies ever fall in love?

Colloquial, incantatory, and full of control, the poems in this new collection, which have been published in publications including The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, Tin House, Fence, and The Awl, have already been generating a significant amount of attention. When “Rape Joke” appeared on The Awl in July of 2013, it went viral, receiving over 100,000 likes on Facebook. In the wake of that publication, the Guardian in England said of Lockwood that “she has casually reawakened a generation’s interest in poetry.” “Rape Joke” has also been selected for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2014 volume, which will be published later this year.

BBTC Reveal Party!

Reveal Party

Join us to unveil the winners of our 3rd annual Banned Book Trading Cards! Each year, we send out a call to artists to submit their original artwork for any banned or challenged book. Seven winners are selected, and their artwork is made into trading cards. One card is passed out on each day of Banned Books Week, Sept. 21-27. On Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:00pm, we’ll reveal the winners of this year’s cards in a fun and irreverent way! Our master of ceremonies will even include Edgar Allan Poe, channeled through the talents of KU Theater professor John Staniunas. Stop by for a celebration of the freedom to read!


Banned Books Week begins Sunday, Sept. 21 and we’re celebrating the freedom to read in a unique way – through Banned Books Trading Cards! We sent out a Call for Artists asking people in the community to submit their original artwork for any banned or challenged book. Our call for submissions resulted in 38 entries from local artists of all ages and backgrounds. All of the submissions are on display here – just click on an image to read why the book was banned and the artist’s statement about the piece.

Of these entries, seven have been selected as the 2014 Banned Books Trading Card winners. Those seven were turned into limited edition trading cards, one for every day of Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27). One limited edition Banned Book Trading Card will be available at the Lawrence Public Library each day of Banned Books Week. Stop by the library every day between Sept. 21 and 27 to complete your set!

Live out of town? Can’t stop by the library every day? Want to send a set to friends? A full set of trading cards will soon be available to purchase online! Stay tuned for more details. To purchase our 2013 set, click here.

James McBride to Visit Lawrence in October!

Reigning National Book Award winner James McBride will visit Lawrence on Wednesday, October 22, 7:30 pm at Liberty Hall, as we kick off the first annual Ross and Marianna Beach Author Series. This exciting new program brings nationally-recognized authors to the library thanks to generous grants from The Ross & Marianna Beach Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird offers a blend of humor and history. It’s McBride’s latest novel, and is an irreverent and funny fictional account of a young slave who joins John Brown’s abolitionist mission. The book won the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

Taking the stage with McBride is the Good Lord Bird Band, a gospel jazz quintet that provides a unique musical backup to the author’s readings from the novel. The evening also will include a special performance by Lawrence’s Ninth Street Baptist Church choir. Together they will provide a memorable and exuberant evening of words and music.

Free tickets to the event will be available at the library starting September 10 on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open on October 22 at Liberty Hall at 7:00pm, and the program will begin at 7:30pm. Any open seats will be available to the general public without tickets starting at 7:15pm.

Fall Book Sale

The wait is over! Mark your calendars for the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library book sale. The sale will include: adult, young adult, and children’s books; fiction and nonfiction; DVDs and CDs!

Thursday, Sept. 25

  • 5:00-9:00pm
  • Friends/Members Only

Friday, Sept. 26:

  • 10:00am-8:00pm

Saturday, Sept. 27:

  • 10:00am-4:00pm

The sale will take place on the Kentucky St. side of the library, at 707 Vermont St. Memberships to the Friends will be sold at the door for $10. 


GREAT NEWS! Donation days for October have been established and will be open to the community as well as Friends. Please make note of the following days and times for donations of up to 4 bags of books:

  • Thursday, October 2: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 9: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 19: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Donations will be accepted at the garage door of the Friends area on the lower level, Kentucky St. side of the library.