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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 at Free State Festival

We are excited to announce a partnership with the Free State Festival to bring Jon Ronson to Lawrence on Tuesday, June 23!

Tuesday, June 23


Liberty Hall


As the Free State 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.

Teen Zone OPEN

March 30: *UPDATE* Kennedy Glass was able to clean up and secure the area with plywood. Our Teen Zone is now open again. Replacement glass will be installed as soon as possible in the coming weeks. Thank you for everyone’s support!



March 28: Unfortunately, a car ran into our Teen Zone on March 28 and shattered several panes of glass. As a result, our Teen Zone will be closed until appropriate repairs can be made. We’ll be working as quickly as possible to reopen this space for our teens.

Our young adult book collection is still available, teen librarians have set up a temporary desk to help patrons, and additional computers can be found in our computer lab downstairs. The teen study room is also still in action! Any updates will be posted here.











Edible Books Festival

Take a bite out of a book! All ages are invited to create your own edible work of art based on the title, form, or content of a book. Whether you are participating or just viewing, stop by the library during Final Friday on March 27 between 6:00 and 9:00pm to vote for your favorites!

Please register as an individual or as a team by 5:00pm on Thursday, March 26 by calling (785) 843-3833. Entries can be dropped off at the library between 4:00 and 6:00 pm on Friday, March 27.

Teddy Bear Picnic with Meadowlark Music Together

Sunday, March 8, 3:00-4:30 pm, for ages 0-7 and families. Bring your Teddy Bears or other favorite lovey and a blanket for your family to sit on. Songs, movement, snacks, and fun – with a Bear theme – led by Karen Abraham of Meadowlark Music.meadowlark music together

Nutrition Carnival

Come one, come all to a nutrition carnival for ages 4 and up! Learn all about nutrition from local organizations who will provide interactive exhibits and games to make nutrition learning fun. We’ll have veggie verses with poet Topher Enneking, proper care for your organs with the OrganWise Guys, and a hula hooping workshop by the talented gals at HoopMamas. Learn what foods can help you stay active, think better, and stay on top of your game, just in time for spring!

Saturday, March 7

11:00am to 1:00pm

Library Auditorium


Skype with John Corey Whaley

Friday, February 20

Library Auditorium

5:30-7:15 Pre-Skype Hair Styling

Come early to get your hair styled into the Lazarus cut from the book (a bright red faux hawk), or just to add a touch of red. Pick up a permission slip at the Teen Zone Desk or here: Lazarus Hairstyle Permission Slip

7:30-9:00pm Skype Session

We’ll keep the library open late for a Skype session with John Corey Whaley.  Ask at the Teen Zone in February to find out how to submit a question for our author. Don’t miss out on all the woodpecker, writing, and missing persons info!


WTCB Panel Discussion

Tuesday, February 17, 6:30-7:30pm

Library Auditorium

Dig in to the heavier side of the book with a panel of experts who will speak on suicide, abuse, and grief as it affects the characters in WTCB.

Papercut Art with Angie Pickman!

Saturday, Feb 14th from 2:00-3:30 pm in the Auditorium. Inspired by the cover of Where Things Come Back artist Angela Pickman will teach us how to create our own papercut art.

RAL for Kids-Art Detectives and Thieves

Saturday, February 14, 3:00-4:00 pm, for ages 7-11. The Spencer Museum of Art and Lawrence Public Library are gathering all you super sleuths to find art clues and uncover the secret stories of art! ralkidslogo 100w