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Community Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing Information

Thanks for participating in our Yarn Bombing project, made possible by the generous donation of 300 skeins of yarn from our friends at Yarn Barn (yay!). Here’s some quick information on why we’re doing the project and some directions to make this organized street art installation a bit easier.

Why are we doing this? Each year for Read Across Lawrence, we choose a book that we encourage everyone in the community to read during the month of February and then come together at a variety of events to talk about it. This year, the adult book is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The book revolves around a society that controls women and oppresses them into specific roles. Being a handmaid is one of those roles, and these women are only valuable as child-bearing individuals for their masters. The handmaids are required to wear red, and can only leave their houses once a day to go to the market. They are not allowed to read or work, among other restrictions. However, some of the women in the book take to knitting scarves, which may not ever get used but give the women an outlet to feel like their work matters. It is a way to create even under an oppressive society, but knitting is still viewed by society as a purely feminine task.

To build on this theme of the book, we’re sending out a call to Lawrence knitters to yarn bomb trees around the library and their own homes using red yarn. The red yarn symbolizes the red outfits worn by the handmaid’s, and the street art project will bring both awareness to the book and show the beauty and culture of knitting.

How can I participate? There’s two ways you can participate:

  1. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 14, sign up at the library to yarn bomb one of the 25 trees surrounding the library. We’ll give you dimensions and a map of where your tree is located. Once you’re assigned a tree, you’ll get up 2 skeins of red yarn (for free!) to start knitting. On Sunday, Jan. 25, we’ll all install our yarn bombs at once.
  2. Want to use the trees in your own yard? You can still get up to 5 skeins of red yarn to use in your installation. Stop by the library to let us know you’re participating and get your free yarn (first come, first serve starting Jan. 14). Once it’s up, take photos of your trees and tag us on social media:
    1. Twitter and Instagram: @lawrencelibrary   -or-   Facebook: Lawrence Public Library

Community Installation: Sunday, Jan. 25, 12:00-4:00pm
*Yarn will be up at the library until the end of February


Yarn Bombing Directions

How do I get started? The easiest way to start is to knit a rectangle that’s the width of the circumference of the tree. The height of your knitted rectangle is whatever portion of the trunk you want to cover. For example, if you measure the tree around the trunk, and it’s about 10 inches around, and you want to cover from the bottom of the trunk to the first branch (which measures 5 feet), your rectangle would be 10in wide x 5ft tall. It can be all one color or you can include stripes, patterns, etc. within the rectangle. Be as intricate or simple as you like! It’s actually better to make the rectangle a bit smaller in width as the yarn will stretch. We want the yarn to be snug around the tree (not like a droopy blanket).

Now how do I install? When you install your yarn, all you have to do is wrap your knitted yarn around the tree, and sew a seam up the back. We’re asking that you use a different color of yarn for the seam so it will be easy to detach later (while still keeping the yarn intact).

What should my tree look like? That’s up to you! There’s many examples of yarn bombing available online, that range from simple to intricate. Choose something that fits your skill level, and just have fun! It can be anywhere from just the trunk to a complicated pattern that travels into the branches!

yarn bomb

What will you do with the yarn/knitting afterwards? We want to reuse as much of the yarn and knitting after Read Across Lawrence month is finished. We will work with local knitters to make the leftover yarn and knitting into hats, scarves, and other items for local non-profit organizations that serve women and children. Please plan and construct your knitting project so that as much of your great work can continue to be enjoyed well past February.

Questions? Contact Kristin Soper ( or Jeni Daley ( at (785) 843-3833.

Huge thanks to Yarn Barn for making this project possible!

YARNBARN_bw copy

Start with a Healthy New Year

MOOCs are massive open online courses, bringing people together to learn more about a specific topic. This MOOC will focus on enhancing knowledge about healthy lifestyle changes to improve eating practices, physical activity habits, and related wellness behaviors such as sleep habits, stress management, and substance abuse. Join our first library MOOC group as we meet together for 7 weeks:
Jan. 14 – Orientation
Jan. 21 – Setting Healthy Goals
Jan. 28 – Foods and Their Nutrients
Feb. 4 – Physical and Non-Exercise Activity
Feb. 11 – Macro and Micronutrients
Feb. 18 – Planning Healthy Meals
Feb. 25 – Emotions, Stress, and Loss of Motivation

The class will gather at 1:00pm on each of those days in meeting room C. We’re asking that people register so we can get a head count (call the library at [785] 843-3833). We’ll have healthy snacks and even a raffle drawing for a Fitbit for participants of the class!

TEDx Lawrence Public Library

TEDx events are now being held at the Lawrence Public Library!
The wildly popular TED talks (short for Technology, Entertainment, and Design) are “devoted to ideas worth spreading” and inform, inspire, and entertain people around the world.

With TEDxLawrencePublicLibrary Douglas County Residents will have the opportunity to watch curated programs of TED talks, hear new talks given by members of the community, and perhaps even share their own inspirations. All programs will be free and open to the public.

The inaugural TEDxLawrencePublicLibrary event will be held on Saturday, January 24th, 2015 from 3:00-5:00pm in the Library Auditorium. We’ll be screening several different TED talks and discussing them over hot chocolate and snacks.

Then, on May 2nd, 2015 we’ll be holding an event where local teens will take center stage and share inspiring stories of achievements, wishes, and dreams. Come and learn about the amazing things our teens are doing!

Stay updated with the latest information about these and additional events by following us on Facebook ( or visit our TEDx events page at


About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at

TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at


About TEDx

In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading,” TED has created TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxLawrencePublicLibrary, where x = independently organized TED event. At TEDxLawrencePublicLibrary, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.


2014 Banned Book Trading Cards for Sale!

For the third year, we celebrated the freedom to read with our Banned Book Trading Card project. Each year, we send out a call to artists to submit their original artwork for any banned or challenged book. Of the 47 entries we received this year, 7 were chosen to be turned into limited edition trading cards. You can now purchase the entire set at our online store here, and we’ll ship it to anywhere in the world. They make great gifts, too! Our 2013 sets are also still available in our store

2014 Trading Cards from Lawrence Public Library on Square Market

Our call for submissions resulted in 47 entries from local artists of all ages and backgrounds. All of the submissions are on display here – just click on an image to read why the book was banned and the artist’s statement about the piece.

New Catalog Now Live (with Mobile App!)

Our new catalog is now live! You can try it here. Some of our favorite features include:

  • Patrons create a username (won’t have to type your barcode every time you want to place a hold!)
  • Ability to create book lists for yourself or to share, and see other people’s suggestions (great vacation reads, mysteries for middle grades, Matilda’s epic reading list, and more)
  • Can rate and review titles you like (or dislike!)
  • Add books to your shelves: “read,” “in progress,” or “for later”
  • See great staff picks
  • Better search capabilities (want to find new music? Type “new music”)
  • We now have a mobile app!
  • Plus all of the previous features of placing holds, renewing books, paying fines online, and more.

You can now download our mobile app for iPhones and Android devices. iPhone =  Android = 

We’d love to hear what you think of the new catalog or if you have any questions!

We’re Open!

Visit our new building at 707 Vermont St. to explore reading cubbies and programming space for kids, a great social and activity area for teens, study spaces for all ages, meeting rooms for community gatherings, and improved technology throughout! Stop by any time during our normal business hours:

Monday-Thursday: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm

Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00pm

Summer in the City

Summer reading for all ages is under way! Your Story Starts Here, with books + events on art, science, fitness, literature, and summer fun. We’ll take you all over town from May 23 – Aug. 18.

As always, we want you to read. A lot. And as always, reading gets you great prizes and a shot at awesome grand prizes. But this year, we’ve also partnered with some great community organizations to bring you more. Summer in the City is a totally local, totally fun way to keep your brain engaged all summer long. Here’s what you need to know:

Ready to get started?  You can pick up a reading log and calendar of events at any service desk *starting May 23.  Or download them and get started right now:

Special thanks to our 2014 Summer Reading Partners!

friends     LPLF_blk


Display Your Artwork at LPL!

Calling all local artists – want to display your work at the library? Our new building will have two spaces for local exhibits, with the potential to add more in the future. If you’re interested in submitting a proposal to the Library’s Art Committee, first read through the policies below and then download the art application.

Please attach at least three photograph examples of your artwork with your submission.

Applications can be turned in at the Info Desk (at current location; new building will be Welcome Desk) or submitted electronically to

Any questions you might have can also be answered by sending an email to

*Typically, the Library Art Committee will need at least 60 days advance notice to review applications. However, we are looking for artist(s) to display for the grand opening on July 26. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the hopes to select two exhibits to be displayed from July 26 through the month of August. 

Exhibit and Display Policy

Exhibit Application

Grand Opening Announced

An official opening date for our new library at 707 Vermont St. has been announced: July 26! Grand opening celebrations are currently in the works, so mark your calendars for the last Saturday of July to check out your new Lawrence Public Library!

National Poetry Month

April marks National Poetry Month, and all ages are welcome to celebrate with us at the library! You can participate in our children’s poetry party, the poetry slam for teens and adults, or contribute to our Pop-Up Poetry display. Check out the details of these programs that commemorate the literary art that brings rhythm, meter, and emotion together.

Poetry Party

*Ages 5-11
Wednesday, April 23
Library Event Space
Building challenges, open building time, and more. Please register at (785) 843-3833.


Poetry Slam

*Ages 13 and up
Wednesday, April 16
Library Event Space
Open to slammers ages 13 and up – first ten to sign up will compete. Ten poets will compete in the first round, five in the second round, and the top three will compete for prizes in the final round. Prizes include gift certificates to local businesses and a bag of frozen burritos! Please bring 3 poems to slam. Slammers will have 3 minutes per performance. Judges and onlookers wanted and welcome!


Pin-Up Poetry

*All ages
April 1-30
Check out the Pin-Up Poetry project, a creation of the Kansas Humanities Council. Throughout the library, we’ve scattered stations where you can write your favorite poem or poem excerpt, or create your own! Choose your theme (epic, tragedy, love, or nature) and turn it into one of the librarians at the info desk. We’ll take all of the submissions and add to a community display in our front window!