Back to Top


Talking Music with Booker T. Jones

Libraries have long hosted events with authors. Lawrence is a music town. We believe our community wants to hear the stories of musicians as well. Because of that, we’re talking music with GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Booker T. Jones, who will bring the stories behind his soulful funk music to Lawrence on Thursday, May 21 as he helps kick off our new “780s Series”.

In the Dewey Decimal system, 780 marks all things music, a literary reference to tie in the new speaker series that plans to bring musicians to Lawrence annually and tell the stories that influenced their music. The first in the series is made possible by a generous private donation from the Harrison Family Fund of the Douglas County Community Foundation.

Booker T. will talk about his influential modern soul music with our director Brad Allen, including classic hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot”. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and Musicians Hall of Fame in 2008, Booker T. pushed soul music’s boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream. Sound the Alarm, his latest solo album following his run with the M.G.’s, finds Booker T. laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid collaborations with some of contemporary R&B’s most gifted young voices.

The event will be held at Liberty Hall on Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. Doors are set to open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will not be distributed, as general admission seating will be available on a first come basis.

Jon Ronson Speaking at Free State Film Festival

We are excited to announce a partnership with the Free State Film Festival to bring Jon Ronson to Lawrence on Tuesday, June 23! More details on the time, location, and tickets will be announced soon. As the Free State Film Festival ramps up, visit the official festival website to see a full list of speakers in the categories of art, ideas, music, and film.

An award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker, Jon Ronson’s unique brand of intellect and comic wit has been described by comedian Jon Stewart as “satirical investigation.” He is a regular contributor to the BBC and NPR and he is the author of eight books including the bestselling The Men Who Stare at Goats. The book was originally a BBC documentary series and later a major motion picture starring George Clooney. Jon is also the author of the bestselling book The Psychopath Test, which The San Francisco Chronicle called “…no ordinary piece of investigative journalism.” In the book he explores the concept of psychopathy and how we define sanity, insanity and eccentricity in our society and in ourselves. The book was adapted into a story for NPR’s This American Life and has become one of the show’s most popular episodes of all time. Other books include Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and Them: Adventures with Extremists. Ronson wrote and directed the documentaries Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, Reverend Death, Kidneys for Jesus and he co-wrote the film Frank starring Michael Fassbender. His newest book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, was released in March 2015.

Financial Wellness Clinics

Your expertly crafted plans to win the lottery, marry rich, or inherit millions of dollars have fallen through. What now? Lawrence Public Library, in partnership with Housing and Credit Counseling Services, announce the return of its Financial Wellness Clinic. First offered in 2012, this popular program offers a series of financial literacy workshops that provides basic money management and investing information to anyone in Lawrence interested in improving his or her money IQ.

The series of five workshops begins April 7 and will continue every two weeks through June 2. All classes will be held at from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Lawrence Public Library auditorium.


April 7: Money & You: Let’s Get Started

Three local panelists launch the series by sharing their personal financial stories: Cathy Hamilton, Lawrence’s “Boomer Girl” talks about moving toward retirement, Jai Nitz, shares his story as a self-employed author and single father, Lawrence Journal World’s “Daddy Rules” columnist Dan Coleman discusses juggling part-time work and parenting. Moderated by Anju Mishra of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc.


April 21: The Good – the Bad – and Ugly in Your Credit Report

Have you claimed your free credit report this year? Your credit score can make or break your financial life. Anju Mishra of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. explains why it’s essential to keep tabs on what others are saying about your personal financial affairs.


May 5: Is it Better to Rent or Buy?

Find out the pros and cons and what you should consider when you buy and when you rent. Learn how owning can help or hurt your bottom line at tax time. Anju Mishra of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc., and Lawrence’s Realtor of the Year, Thomas Howe, present the benefits and pitfalls of renting as a student, in mid-life, and as a retiree.


May 19: Teaching Your Kids About Money

How many of us look back on our childhood and wish we would have learned more about money? Gayla Randel, education program consultant for the Kansas Department of Education, joins Anju Mishra of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. to offer constructive ideas to parents who want their children to develop good money habits for life.


June 2: Basics of Investing

That .01% interest you’re earning in your passbook savings account just isn’t cutting it. Yet you’re overwhelmed about the world of investing. Learn about the five keys to investing and how to outsmart investment fraud with Shannon Stone, Randy Mullikin, and Kenneth Becker of the Kansas Securities Commission. Moderated by Anju Mishra of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc.