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The Great American Eclipse of 2017

On August 21st, 2017 we will have the exciting opportunity to view the first total solar eclipse visible across the continuous United States since 1979. To help celebrate the Lawrence Public Library and KU are providing a number of different opportunities to learn about and then enjoy viewing the eclipse together.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun out entirely. The eclipse on August 21st will begin around 11:40 am and will reach it’s peak (with the moon covering the greatest amount of the sun) at about 1:07 pm. Lawrence is slightly outside the “path of totality,” or the region across the U.S. in which the sun will appear to be completely covered by the moon, but we are near enough to the path that less than 1% of the sun will remain visible.


 (photo courtesy of

Join in!

All are invited to learn more about this exciting event at 4:30p m on August 20th at the library’s “The Great American Eclipse of 2017” program. Professors from KU’s Physics and Astronomy Department will be shedding light on the science and significance of this year’s big solar event.

Then, on Monday August 21st from 11:30-1:30 pm, join fellow members of your community at the Shenk Recreational Sports Complex for “The Eclipse at KU.” This will be a family-friendly event featuring science and art activities, telescope viewing with astronomers, and food trucks.

How can I get glasses to view the eclipse?

We are happy to report that the Lawrence Public Library is one of thousands of libraries around the country to receive free solar iewing glasses thanks to  STAR Library Network – STEM Learning in Libraries and the Space Science Institute. Starting on Monday, August 7th, we will begin handing out the glasses at the Welcome Desk. As the number of glasses is limited, each person will be able to take a maximum of two.

Additional glasses will be available at the library’s “The Great American Eclipse of 2017” program at 4:30 on August 20th, and at KU’s viewing party during the eclipse itself.

What if I don’t have glasses or don’t have enough for my entire family?

There are a variety of fun ways that you can safely view the eclipse even without special glasses, and many of them are completely free. Two ideas you might want to try out are creating your own pinhole camera (you can find easy-to-follow instructions provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory here,) or simply using a colander and a piece of white paper, cloth, or light-colored wall as in the picture below.

John Lord Colander Action
(photo courtesy of John Lord)

Safety First

Please do remember that it is not safe to look at the sun directly unless you are using solar glasses, or solar viewers specifically created for such activities. Regular sunglasses will not be sufficient. For more detailed information check out NASA’s site on viewing safety.

What happens if it’s overcast?

We’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed for a bright, sunny day on August 21st, but in case of cloud cover NASA will be streaming the event online. it can be viewed at NASA’s official eclipse site, as well as through facebook and youtube.

Libby—Overdrive’s New App

Libby, the innovative, new, one-tap app is designed to make borrowing and enjoying eBooks and audiobooks from your public library easier than ever.

This free app, created by Overdrive, is available for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices.

Libby just offers a simplified, cleaner and quicker access to content. We encourage you to explore!

It’s super easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Install the Libby app from your device’s app store.
  2. Open the app and find your library. You can search by library name, city, or zip code.
  3. Browse your library’s collection and borrow a title. When prompted, sign in. You’ll need a valid library card to complete this step.
  4. Borrowed titles appear on your Shelf and download to the app automatically so you can read them while you’re offline.

From your Shelf, you can:

  1. Tap Start Reading or Start Listening to open a title.
  2. Tap the cover image, then Send to Device to send a book to Kindle.

LIBBY vs. OVERDRIVE: Libby is a more streamlined way to access the library’s digital collection. They’re just getting started with Libby and both apps will continue to be available. But, eventually Overdrive will start promoting Libby to current users of their original app. So, for now (at least) there will be two apps that you can use to get the same content.

The original Overdrive app does offer some features Libby doesn’t yet offer (accessibility, eReading Rooms, Recommend to Library, and a multilingual interface), so if you like those things, just stick with Overdrive.

Fitness Sampler Classes Every Friday on the Lawn

Back by popular demand, we’ve teamed up with area fitness instructors and gyms to bring you something new to add to your workout routine.

Every Friday through July 28, we’ll meet from 7-8 AM (before it gets unbearably hot!) for an hour of community exercise. We’ll provide water—just bring a towel so you don’t get chiggers from the grass.

Fitness Fridays Poster HK edits

Free Lunch All Summer for Kids + Teens!

Through the Lawrence Summer Food Program, kids ages 1-18 can enjoy a FREE lunch on the Library Lawn. Adults won’t be left out! They can also eat a healthy meal for $3.50. No tickets or sign ups required. Just show up at noon Monday–Friday through August 4.

This program is sponsored by Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, City of Lawrence Parks & Recreation, K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, Lawrence Public Schools Food Service Program, Just Food, Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence DG CO Health Dept., Lawrence Housing Authority, and LiveWell Lawrence

Free Lunch: Fuel Up 4 Summer!

Through the Lawrence Summer Food Program, kids ages 1-18 can enjoy a FREE lunch on the Library Lawn. Adults won’t be left out! They can also eat a healthy meal for $3.45. No tickets or sign ups required. Just show up at noon Monday- Friday.

This program is sponsored by Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, City of Lawrence Parks & Recreation, K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, Lawrence Public Schools Food Service Program, Just Food, Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence DG CO Health Dept., Lawrence Housing Authority, and LiveWell Lawrence

Your Ticket to the World’s Finest Cinema

You now have access to one of the largest and most unique film collections in the world.

With over 26,000 movies, documentaries, and indie and foreign films from over hundreds of producers, Kanopy includes The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers.

You’ll find an amazing array of foreign language films and films on race and LGBT issues as well. Even better (and a game changer for educators): Kanopy videos include public performance rights*!

Kanopy’s motto is “thoughtful entertainment” and aims to provide you with access to films of unique social and cultural (not just entertainment) value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere. Kanopy’s films are also compatible for the hearing (with captions and transcripts) and visually impaired (compatible with technologies such as JAWS).


Kanopy service is free with a library card.
Start watching now—right here at


*Viewing films in a group forum is permitted as long as the viewing is by authorized viewers and it is not for commercial benefit (i.e. no admission costs are charged and no profit is made from the screening).

2017 Kanopy poster RGB small for website

Get Unlimited Digital Access in English, 中文, and Español

10 free articles a month go pretty fast and the basic $195 annual subscription might feel impossibly out of reach. That’s why we’re excited to provide you digital access to the New York Times — in house and off site. Get breaking news, reviews, multimedia, and opinion on Washington, business, sports, movies, travel, books, jobs, education and more — here or wherever you find yourself in the world.

Access in the library (unlimited access to articles)

  • Connect to the Library’s WiFi or use a library computer
  • First-time users will need to register here (provide an email, create a password)
  • Returning users can log in at

Access off site (72 hours of unlimited access)

  • Log in (or register if it’s your first time) on your device or computer
  • Open the following URL in a new tab, then enter your library card number and 8-digit PIN for access.

Here’s a visual! New York Time how to graphic

NoveList—Your Back-up Book Squad

So, you just finished the best book ever and now you have nothing to read. Give yourself time to grieve, then get busy.

LPL librarians love to help readers find new material, but what if we’re closed, you’re out of town, or you prefer going solo and charting your own course?

NoveList connects you with read-alikes (imagine your favorite book had offspring) using the simplest of searches. Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, a bodice-ripping romance, or want to find the next book in a series, log in and watch your nightstand reading pile grow.

NoveList is accessible at all library computers. If you want to log on from your own computer, you’ll need your library card number. Hey! I need a library card!

Learn Anywhere with Lynda

Anyone with a library card can log on and start learning from, a vast collection of online software training in 3D, animation, audio, business, design, developer, home computer, photography, video, web + interactive, Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and more!

Get started here — all you need is your library card!

“ excels at helping busy professionals keep their software skills razor sharp.” —Jill Duffy,

This resource is made possible by the generosity of the Simpson Foundation.

What Happened to the LPL App?

There a new way to carry LPL in your pocket, and it’s not from an app store. We said goodbye to the LPL app in December and replaced it with something better: Bibliocommons Mobile.

Whether you’re Android or Apple, the switch is simple and takes less than 5 minutes. If you’re familiar with saving links to your home screen, jump right in.

We think you’ll be impressed:

  • Get instant access from your home screen just like the app (that’s not changing)
  • It’s faster, easier, quicker
  • It looks and works the same on all devices
  • Seamless browsing with better lists
  • Easy to bookmark
  • It’s FREE

Why are we doing this?

  • Advances in technology​ (responsive design) make mobile browsing feel like an app
  • Having both (paying for an app while having a free site do the same thing) is duplication
  • The LPL app isn’t cheap— we’ll be able to explore other products and services for you

We’ve included steps below for making the switch. If you get stuck:

  • Stop by any of our service desks for help
  • Chat with a librarian online
  • Call 785-843-3833 for assistance
  • Chat with one of our Tech Staff at the lower level Tech Desk

NOTE: “LPL Mobile” is the name we chose when saving the link to our home screen. You can call it whatever you’d like!

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 5.01.08 PM

Android users: More info here.

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Apple users: See video demo on Lifehacker for more info.