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Build a Crystal Radio

Ever wondered about the inner workings of a radio? Well, we’re giving you the opportunity to build one yourself! Next Saturday, you’ll be able to build a radio out of oat boxes and wires.

These radios, designed by Phil Anderson and Xtal Set Society, will be able to pick up local radio stations. And it doesn’t even need a battery–and we can make the whole thing from scratch.

Register at the library to reserve your spot!

Sat, Feb 13, 2-4pm


Teen Lock-In Happening Feb 26th

The grand finale of this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Teens will be a Lock-In starting at 7pm on Friday February 26th and ending at 7:00am the next morning. Anyone in 6-12th grade can participate.

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Late Night Movie

It’s that time of month once again! Next Friday, we’ll be watching a late night movie here in the library. The rest of the place will close up, and then teens will stay late to watch a movie of their choice! Come with your friends, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show!

Fri, Feb 5th, 7-9pm

Library Auditorium

In honor of our sci-fi themed Read Across Lawrence book (These Broken Stars), this month we’ll be watching a sci-fi movie. The votes have been  counted and the winner is:et--the-extra-terrestrial-movie-poster-1982-1020141470

Teen Advisory Board

Want to have a say in what happens in the library? Do you have ideas for programs or how to improve the Teen Zone? Join the Teen Advisory Board & come to our meeting! You’ll meet up with your fellow library-minded folks, start brainstorming ideas for events, & make your voice heard.

Sat, Jan 23, 4:00-5:00pm

Readers’ Theater

3… 2… 1… Blast-off! Astronauts are headed to Lawrence!

The countdown to Read Across Lawrence 2016 has officially started!

The Lawrence Public Library, in partnership with KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library, has a jaw-dropping lineup of events for February that starts with a big bang!

For Adults

Read Across Lawrence for Adults blasts off Thursday, January 28, at 7:00 PM in the Library Auditorium with free copies of The Martian by Andy Weir and an evening with science fiction authors and KU professors James Gunn, Chris McKitterick, and experimental particle physicist Philip Baringer, for a conversation about the marriage of science and technology throughout the history of the science fiction genre.

Heading into February, Barbara Anthony-Twarog, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, will lead the 110th birthday celebration of Kansan and Jayhawk Clyde Tombaugh — discoverer of Pluto — at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library (Feb 4). Lawrence’s Nerd Nite will focus on all things martian (Feb 10) and Leslie Von Holten, director of programs for the Kansas Humanities Council, will lead a discussion at The Wine Cellar about Mars, potatoes, and Matt Damon (Feb 11).

Music and movie lovers can explore the art of science fiction soundtracks with the KU Electronic Composition class, who will be scoring excerpts from the Japanese B-movie extravaganza, The Evil Brain from Outer Space (Feb 18). Bodacious bibliophile Kate Gramlich, LPL Readers’ Services Librarian, will lead a book talk about The Martian (Feb 21).

Read Across Lawrence for Adults enters its two-day grand finale at the Dole Institute of Politics on Wednesday, February 24, at 7:30 PM with award-winning 20/20 and ABC News reporter and author Lynn Sherr who will delve into her definitive biography, Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space.

On Thursday, February 25 at 7:30 PM, Lynn Sherr returns to moderate Two Astronauts, One Stellar Night, a discussion about the science behind The Martian at Liberty Hall. Her guests are KU physics and astronomy professor and former astronaut Dr. Steven Hawley, and Dr. John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for Science Mission Directorate. Doors open at 7 PM. Free tickets will be available starting February 5 at the Lawrence Public Library Welcome Desk.

To celebrate Read Across Lawrence 2016, the library is hosting an elegant, after-hours space-age fundraising party on Saturday, February 27 at 7 PM at the Lawrence Public Library. The theme is “Out of This World” and will offer food from Lawrence restaurants, music from the library’s SOUND+VISION studio, and a themed basket auction from Lawrence book clubs. Tickets and information can be found at

For Teens

Read Across Lawrence for Teens is nothing short of exceptional. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner enters Lawrence’s orbit on Wednesday, February 3 from 4-9 PM in the Library Auditorium with a book giveaway and testing of a homemade planetarium.

The library has a late-night teen movie lined up (Feb 5), a crystal radio-building afternoon (Feb 13), and a chance for teens to design their own galaxy-themed bags or shoes (Feb 20). The Kansas Cosmosphere will present Rockets: To the Moon, a program on the history of rockets through the story of Dr. Goddard — explosive demonstrations included. Teens can stick around to build their own paper rocket to launch with an air compressor. Space will be limited, so registration at the library will be key (Feb 19).

Read Across Lawrence for Teens peaks with a 12-hour Library Lock-in starting Friday, February 26 at 7:00 PM until 7:00 AM the following day. A lucky group of 25 6-12th graders will participate in the library’s own brand of space camp. A Skype interview with These Broken Stars authors Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner will start things off, then crafts, movies, and games — perhaps some sleep? — will occupy the wee hours until 7:00 AM Saturday morning. Registration and permission slips are required. Permission slips will be available starting February 3, and participants will be selected February 19.

For Kids

Read Across Lawrence for Kids kicks off in style with a pizza party provided by Papa John’s on Saturday, January 30 from 2-3 PM in the Library Auditorium. Lawrence’s youngest readers will get free copies of The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex and watch as the library reveals a time capsule to be filled throughout February and sealed at the Read Across Lawrence finale.

Kids are invited to “capture time” by creating and decorating objects to be included in the library’s time capsule with help from the folks at the Spencer Museum of Art (Feb 3), and soar through the solar system in a dance workshop presented by Ellie Goudie-Averill of the Lawrence Arts Center (Feb 10). Local artists Kent Smith and Matthew Lord will guide children through a wacky hunt to find aliens — and who knows what else — in the library (Feb 13).

On Friday, February 19 from 2-3 PM in the Library Auditorium, the Cosmosphere returns to talk with kids about life in space and what it’s like to be an astronaut. Mad Science will be at the library for an exploration of gravity, centrifugal force, and the laws of motion with a rocket-propelled car demonstration carrying one brave kid from the audience (Feb 25). The Spencer Museum of Art will investigate outer space, constellations, and planets with kids while creating art that is out-of-this-world (Feb 26).

The finale event for Read Across Lawrence for Kids will include a Skype interview with the author himself. Adam Rex, artist and writer, will answer questions about The True Meaning of Smekday and the library will seal its time capsule until Read Across Lawrence 2021!

For more information call 785-843-3833.

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IMAGE: Detail of “Library After Hours Fundraiser” invitation by Billy Pilgrim—we owe him an astronomical high-five for the wonderful design! Read Across Lawrence is an annual community-wide reading event that encourages everyone in Lawrence to read and discuss the same book. Scheduled for February 2016, Read Across Lawrence features books for children, teens, and adults that explore outer space.

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.