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Magic Tree House Club

It’s the Jack and Annie fan club! We’re meeting on Saturday, February 10th from 3:30- 4:30 PM in the Readers’ Theater. Join us for crafts and fun with a historical twist about book  #29, A Big Day for Baseball. Program is for ages 5-8! Register for clubs at the children’s desk or call 785-843-3833.

Who Will Tell Your Story?

Our “Before You Check Out” series continues with this fun and informative class on writing your life story, including tips on creating a unique-to-you obituary.

On Tuesday, FEB 6 from 10:30-11:30 AM, former Journal World reporter and humor writer Cathy Hamilton will guide you through the process of leaving a meaningful written legacy for your family.

We’ll meet in the Auditorium.

PS — Read the rest of Harry Weathersby Stamps’ — self-proclaimed ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler — obituary here!

Diverse Dialogues Series presents Pero Dagbovie

Representations of African American history in U.S. politics and popular culture will the the focus of this round of Diverse Dialogues with Pero G. Dagbovie, on Thursday, JAN 18 from 7-8:30 PM in our Auditorium.

Dagbovie is professor of African American history and Associate Dean in The Graduate School at Michigan State University.

His research and teaching interests comprise a range time periods, themes, and topical specialties, including black intellectual history, the history of the black historical enterprise, black women’s history, black life during “the Nadir,” the civil rights-Black Power movement, African American Studies, hip hop culture, and contemporary black history.

Diverse Dialogues is an ongoing series offered in partnership with the Langston Hughes Center.

DNA for Genealogists

Have you had your DNA tested and puzzled over the results?

On Wednesday, DEC 6 from 6:30–8 PM, KU researcher Dr. Kristine G. Beaty will be here to discuss how biological anthropologists use DNA to better understand human populations, and explore the pros and cons of using your genome to understand your history, identity, and health. Meet up in the Auditorium and bring questions about your own DNA results!

Connect with Melissa for more info:


The Man from the Train: A Midwest Murder Case for the History Books

Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James’ The Man from the Train opens with the brutal murder of 8 people in the quiet town of Villisca, Iowa during the summer of 1912.

The murders rocked the tiny town and fed the newly burgeoning press scene with half truths and speculation. Though the press could be wildly unhelpful, authorities could now see a continued pattern of murders stringing along the rail lines from small town to small town in the Midwest thanks to the reporting and sharing of information across county and state lines. Read More..

All About the Book

Explore the book not simply as a container of content, but a “meaningful physical object that has shaped the way we understand the world around us.”

Starting Wednesday, NOV 8, this 4-part series focuses one of our favorite topics—books!—with insight and expertise from KU faculty and staff.

Adults and Teens welcome! Free, but registration is required for the Kenneth Spencer Research Library Special Collections Tour. Questions? Email Ian:


WED | Nov 8 | 7-8 PM | Auditorium
Dr. Anne D Hedeman: Shaping the Medieval Illuminated Manuscript

WED | Nov 15 | 7-8 PM | Auditorium
Dr. Elspeth Healey: A Past You Can Touch: History of the Book in the Collections of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

WED | Nov 29 | 7-8 PM | Auditorium
Dr. Jonathan Lamb: From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: the Typographical Revolution in Retrospect


FRI | Dec 8 | 2 PM | Kenneth Spencer Research Library Special Collections
Register with Ian:

QUOTE SOURCE: Harvard University


Maggie Herrington’s Lawrence

What was life like for kids in Lawrence 150 years ago? Find out on Wednesday, April 12 from 4-5 PM in the Readers’ Theater. Come explore the world of Maggie Herrington, a real girl whose journal is the inspiration for this hands-on history program from the Watkins Museum. Program is for ages 7-11.

Let’s Flock Together!

Beginning WED, Apr 5 at 7 PM, right in the thick of spring migration, we’ll spend the month learning some local birding basics from some of the best birders in the field!

Throughout this 4-part series, we’ll divide our time between the library and a living laboratory—the Baker Wetlands. For more info, email Jake:

All ages welcome!

Birding Basics: Part 1
WED | Apr 5 | 7 PM | Library Auditorium
Birds up close, with Prairie Park Nature Center. Get a good look at some live birds!

Birding Basics: Part 2
WED | Apr 19 | 7 PM | Library Auditorium
The Jayhawk Audubon Society will teach you how to be a better bird watcher.

Birding Basics: Part 3
SUN | Apr 23 | 7 AM | Baker Wetlands
Rise and shine! Go birding with Dr. Roger Boyd and the Jayhawk Audubon Society in one of the best locations around.

Birding Basics: Part 4
WED | Apr 26 | 7 PM | Library Auditorium
The History and Future of the Baker Wetlands, with Dr. Roger Boyd, Baker Wetlands Education Coordinator.

Web Archiving 101

The average lifespan of a webpage is estimated to be just 44 days, and this includes webpages that convey important cultural and legal information.

On Thu, Feb 23 from 6:30-7:30 PM in Meeting Room B, learn about current efforts to archive the Internet, and basic tools you can use to help. Adults and teens welcome!

Questions? Contact Melissa:

Inspiring African Americans

On Thursday, Feb 23 from 2-3 PM in the Auditorium, kids ages 5-11 are invited to an interactive event where they’ll “meet” some of the most inspiring African Americans in our country’s history, from George Washington Carver, Langston Hughes, and Rosa Parks to Oprah Winfrey and Senator John Lewis. Special guests Stefanie Bryant from 6 News will read stories and Ramona Wilson will entertain us with songs!