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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.


Congratulations, Pattie!

Our Outreach Services Coordinator is amazing.

Last week, Pattie Johnston won the ABOS John Philip Award in recognition for, “outstanding contributions and prominent leadership by an individual in Bookmobile and outreach Services.” This award honors, “dedication and tireless work, and serves as a pinnacle for all Bookmobile and Outreach staff to aspire to reach.” Even as acting President of ABOS, this came as a huge surprise to her.

Although we see Pattie daily, the extent of her contributions to our community happens off-site and isn’t always obvious. So, it was nice to slow down and learn more about the work she does and what it means to her. It’s something we should do more often.

What does this level of recognition mean to you?

Pattie Johnston: Outreach is such an eclectic mix of services that to be recognized by those who do such a variety of programming, providing resources, mobile services, community partnerships and collaborations with other library departments and many other areas was a surprise and an honor. Through ABOS, I have had the good fortune to meet and work with so many that are creative, resourceful and so clever in how they provide these services. I respect them so much. When I realized that it was me receiving the award, I was literally speechless.

Speechlessness is generally not in my nature! I generally have an answer or comment on anything, but this time, when I stepped to the podium, nothing came out. Someone laughed and said that this was the first time that she had ever seen me speechless and the audience laughed. It became a running joke for the rest of the conference.

What do you love about your job?

PJ: I love that I get the chance to go out into the community and directly meet with people. Whether they are currently a library patron or not, getting the library out into the community gives a broader sense of what the library is and can do. The community will not know what the library has to offer or what a resource for information, self-education and just plain entertainment unless we show it. Because the library has been a part of the fabric of the Lawrence community for over 100 years, folks can assume much so we have to be an active participant in the community for folks to know that libraries continue to change as the community changes. Yes, there will always be some basic things that don’t change — and they shouldn’t — but, there is so much more to the library than what folks may remember from years past.

One of the very special aspects of Outreach is that it provides services to those who used to come to the library but can no longer come due to physical limitations. We respect those patrons who supported us for many years by going out to them. We also try to let others know that even if they cannot come to us due to other situations that the library recognizes their importance and will provide tutoring, resources and storytimes where they currently reside. This is the power of Outreach Services. We do not wait or expect them to come to us, the library goes into the community to them. We know what power is available through the library. Outreach Services provides that power to all ages, circumstances and situations, wherever they are.

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.

2015 Banned Book Trading Cards for Sale

Check out our gallery of Banned Book Trading Card submissions. Huge thanks to our judges, Porter Arneill, Ben Ahlvers, Meredith Moore, Alicia Kelly, Miriam Wallen, and Heather Kearns, who had the difficult challenge of selecting only 7 pieces out of over 60 entries. Huge thanks go to all of our wonderful artists who submitted work. You blow our minds year after year!

If you’d like to purchase this year’s cards, just click below.


The 780′s Series Featuring Booker T. Jones

Did you miss our first installment of the 780′s Series with Booker T. Jones? Well, we’ve finally got it up on the interwebs for you! So kick your feet up and enjoy the stories behind the legend that is Booker T. Jones.

Meeting Room Policy Change

It’s hard to believe we’ve  had  9 months to settle into our brand new building. As we’ve settled in, some of our policies need a little tweaking so we can make our space more useful and well cared for in the years ahead. We’ve recently changed our meeting room policy to accommodate non-profits and businesses alike. There will no longer be any charge for our meeting rooms. To offset this loss of revenue, we’ve implemented a $50 per hour rental fee for our Auditorium.  This fee will also help offset some of the costs of cleaning and keeping the space as beautiful as possible for our community events.

For more information, or questions, please contact us at 785-843-3833, or you can email us at

To reserve a room, visit


Career Clinic

Jump start your job search! 

Job Assistance

In partnership with Douglas County United Way, the library will offer a weekly Career Clinic. Trained Americorps members will be available every Friday from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in the Health Spot to provide assistance with researching job opportunities, completing applications, writing resumes, dressing for success, and interview skills. No appointment is necessary, just drop in!

Career & Employability MOOC

Every Friday at 10:00 am to 11:30 am from June 5 to July 10, the library will offer a free MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on enhancing career and employability skills. Learn how to set personal career goals, discover what you have to offer, find success in the workplace, make a positive impact, and build constructive work relationships. Registration is limited. Sign up today: 785-843-3833.


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.


Online Training Software

We just added a great new resource for our community: 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:

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

Tax Time!

April 15th is just around the corner. We are one of the few places in town where you can pick up basic printed federal tax forms.  We have 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ forms. You can pick up these printed forms for free at the library, and while in our building you can utilize one of our instruction booklets for these forms.

However, starting this year, the IRS no longer sends printed specialized forms with instruction booklets to librariesWe also do not have any Kansas tax forms, as  the state of Kansas encourages all filers to use the Department of Revenue website to file electronically.  We do not offer tax help, but check out this list of free tax help spots around Lawrence.

If you’d like specialized forms and/or instruction booklets, you can get these directly from the IRS through these methods:

  1. Call the IRS directly. They will mail any form and instructions for free. They may be put on hold and it takes a little while to receive the forms. The IRS number for these forms is 1 (800) 829-3676.
  2. Order forms from the IRS online at These forms will be mailed to your home address.
  3. Download and print forms and instructions online at You can also view the instructions online and use them to prepare your forms and schedules.