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Read Across Lawrence 2016 is Out of This World!

Read Across Lawrence 2016 is Out of This World!

Lawrence Public Library, in partnership with KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library, today announced selections for the 2016 Read Across Lawrence program. This annual community-wide reading event encourages everyone in Lawrence to read and discuss the same book. Scheduled for February 2016, Read Across Lawrence will feature books for children, teens, and adults that explore outer space.

“We are over-the moon about the upcoming Read Across Lawrence program,” said Brad Allen, the library’s Executive Director. “The books will appeal to a wide audience and the programs will be phenomenal. We are so grateful to KU Libraries and the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library for their support in making it all possible.”

Free books and full program details will be provided in January. The selections are:


For Adults | The Martian by Andy Weir

(From the LPL catalog:) Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

these broken stars

For Teens | These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

(From the LPL catalog:) These Broken Stars is an epic, romantic young adult space opera about two star-crossed lovers who must fight for survival on a deserted planet: It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes — the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

true meaning of smekdayFor Children | The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

(From the LPL catalog:) When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens — called Boov — abducted her mother? In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find her mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.


ACT/SAT Practice Test

Feeling a little stressed about upcoming exams? Calm your worries by getting some practice in!

Experience both tests in less than four hours by taking Kaplan’s unique ACT/SAT Combo, which includes representative parts of both the ACT and the SAT. Taking practice tests is a great way to study for the exam, and to help you feel more confident! It’s never too early to start practicing.

This test will take place at in the Library Auditorium on Saturday, November 14th from 9:30-1:30pm, but be sure to arrive a few minutes early.

This program is limited to 50, 7th-12th grades only, and you will need to register ahead. Just like you would for the real exam, please bring pencils and a calculator (phone calculators are not allowed, as they wouldn’t be allowed in the real exam). Your results will be emailed to you a few weeks after you take the test!


Anyone can make music with AUMI

Imagine composing music using only your face! AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Instruments) is an incredible tool for anyone with limited movement to create music independently. For example, lining up your nose with the tracking box on the computer screen makes it possible to play notes on a keyboard.

Come see how on Wednesday at 6:30 PM in Meeting Room C. Here’s a quick 1-minute intro and link to more info.

ACT & SAT Test Prep Resource—And More!

Teens! Stop stressing because the test prep books are checked out. We’ve got access to LearningExpress Library which offers practice tests for these (and a ton of other) tests! Go to “All Centers” and then “College Prep Center” to start.

LearningExpress Library provides online learning and preparation — including more than 800 tutorials, practice exams, and eBooks — for a wide variety of tests, from the GED® to Military and Career testing.

“Features include learner, exam, and simulation modes. These timed and untimed practice modes, in which the user can view answers during testing, and practice in untimed mode to learn the material and in timed modes to improve test readiness, help students and adults prepare for a wide range of academic exams — such as the GED® test, COOP, HSPT® , SAT*, ACT® , AP*, PSAT/NMSQT*, ACCUPLACER® , ASSET® , and COMPASS® , career certification tests such as NCLEX-RN® , Praxis I® and II® , and more, and build skills in math, reading, writing and basic sciences.” —Rebekka Hanson/

Get on it. It’s Amazing.

All Day Friday 10/23

No school and not sure what to do with yourself? Drop in to the Teen Zone and make some creepy crawly decorations.

You’ll have the choice of helping us to give the Teen Zone a Halloween makeover, or taking what you make home with you to bring your haunted house to the next level.

All day long we’ll be making Dia de los Muertos style banners and magnetic spiders so drop in any time. If you really want to get your hands dirty, though, we’ll be making bloody hand prints and mini ghosts from 2:30-3:30 in the Readers’ Theater. Be sure to wear something that can get dirty though!


Author Visit: Sarah J. Schmitt

Join us Thursday Oct 22nd at 7:00pm for a night out with new author Sarah J. Schmitt!

As part of our Teens Read Week festivities, Schmitt  will be talking about her book “It’s a beautiful death.” Kirkus reviews calls the book  ”Fun, funny, and full of life.” Come find out all about it and learn how the book came to be written in the first place.

Then stay for a writing workshop starting at 7:45 to help you develop your own characters and plot and get your work published.

Find out more about Schmitt and her book at the author’s website.

Banned Book Speakeasy

Make your reservation for dinner with a banned book at the Banned Book Speakeasy! Open for one night only from 6:00-7:30pm in the Readers’ Theater, this nightclub caters to those who dare to read banned books and also enjoy a good slice of pizza.

September 27-October 3rd is Banned Books Week. The time of year when we all turn our attention to the issue of censorship and the importance of intellectual freedom. Over dinner at the Banned Books Speakeasy you’ll hear from a variety of characters about why they’ve been banned. Over pizza (or maybe desert) discuss banned books with your fellow diners and decide where you stand on the issue.

To reserve your space call the library at 785-843-3833 or sign up at the Teen Zone desk. Don’t forget to get the password for the door!

Vote Now for 2015 Teens’ Top Ten Award!

Voting is now open for Teens’ Top Ten Award! Choose your favorites now through October 24th, 2015. You can check out the list of titles in the catalog, then cast your votes!

Teen Social Media Ambassadors

Are you obsessed with finding and sharing stories online?

Do your friends look to you on to find out what’s going on, both in Lawrence and around the world?

Are you interested in books, music, video games, movies and TV, technology, and pop culture?

Are you comfortable using various social media platforms, like Twitter and Tumblr? Do you love the library?

Then we’re looking for you as our first ever social media ambassador!

The Teen Zone at Lawrence Public Library is an exciting space where you can hang out, use computers, find a good book, magazine, and more. We also have all kinds of events and programs that range from silly and fun to informative and educational. We want someone who will help us get other Lawrence teens interested in the library and spread the word about what the library can do for them. We realize that there’s no one better to do this Real Actual Teens.

An ideal ambassador  is someone who is familiar with social media (especially Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram), is interested in promoting the library, and can commit to spending at least an hour or two a week on the library’s social media and attend a regular meeting.

What you will potentially do:

  • Curate the new Teen Zone Tumblr, including posting submitted book reviews in a standard   format, vetting art submissions, reblogging fun and interesting content, and sharing Teen Zone related content
  • Tweet from the Teen Zone account to promote library events, other local events of interest to teens, books and other pop culture related content
  • Create photos and videos for the Teen Zone Instagram account
  • Get the word out about the library to other local teens, whether on social media or in person

What you will learn:

  • How to create a long term social media plan and marketing calendar
  • How to track social media analytics to judge the effectiveness of outreach and marketing
  • How to write for the web
  • Plenty of additional opportunities in related projects — if you’re interested, we’ll work to make it happen
  • Plus you’ll have a killer addition for your resume and college applications!

What you will need:

  • Be enrolled in 10th through 12th grades in a local high school
  • Strong communication skills, including timely replies to emails
  • Organization skills, especially an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments
  • Creativity and flexibility
  • Interest in equal access to learning resources and be a generally socially conscious individual
  • Commitment to representing the library in a positive and professional manner (but still using your voice and sense of humor)
  • Familiarity with social networking sites desired, but we will also train
  • Journalism or writing experience a plus

To apply for this volunteer position, submit the Teen Zone Social Media Ambassador Application at the Teen Zone desk or email to (and don’t forget to have your parent or guardian sign, too). 

 Questions? Contact us at 

Comic Creation on July 18

Joel from Astro Kitty will give us a crash course on creating characters and starting your own comic. Come to learn how it’s done, or bring in work you’ve already created to share and get tips.

Full event info here.