http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us
Back to Top

Shirley Braunlich

Hope for Wildlife and the History of How We Got Here

I treasure wildlife sightings. During the winter season I sometimes glimpse bald eagles soaring in the sky outside my kitchen window, and I’ve been fortunate on several occasions to see beavers swimming in the Haskell-Baker Wetlands. Last summer my East Lawrence neighbors and I were frequently serenaded by the territorial calls of barred owls. Being reminded that wildlife still thrives nearby is reassuring for the future of our environmental heritage. Read More..

Angélique Kidjo, a Joyful & Empowering Advocate

Charismatic singer-songwriter and human rights advocate Angélique Kidjo is an energetic powerhouse. She creates world-renowned eclectic, genre-complex music and works diligently to empower others.

She has championed empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007 she co-founded the Batonga Foundation, which supports girls’ education in Africa and continues the legacy of advocacy of Kidjo’s own family.

I’m currently reading her book, Spirit rising: My Life, My Music, released in 2014. This memoir is full of inspiration, heartfelt revelry, and the humor of a fascinating, talented activist. She points out we are all descended from Africa and can join together to make positive changes where needed, but we also need to recognize that the African continent is diverse and not universally impoverished. Her words resonate, acting as a powerful salve-therapy against xenophobia. Read More..

The Best Books from the Worst Year

Let’s be honest, 2016 has been kind of a hot mess. Between so many celebrity deaths (David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Prince, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel… holy cow, SO MANY) and some, uh, general upheaval, most people are ready to write this one off as a loss.

But! As much as we’d like to say goodbye and good riddance to the year as a whole, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the very good things that came from 2016; this year has offered readers a wealth of fabulous new books. Debut authors and big-hitters alike have released incredible works in 2016, and the staff of LPL would like to share a few of our favorites. If you’re looking for great gifts for bibliophiles in your life, try one of these librarian-approved reads: Read More..

Writing Where You Live: Diverse & Literary Lawrence, Kansas

(Painting of Lawrence by Brian Timmer)

Lawrence has a vibrant, diverse literary heritage. Read on to discover notable writers connected to Lawrence and learn about local author events. If you aspire to write and share your own writing, local opportunities are included as well.  Whether you’re a reader or writer, there’s useful information for everyone.   Read More..

Acclaimed Artist & Author Shares a Serendipitous Love of Letters

I have a deep sense of pride for our community’s most creative citizens; savoring local artists’ and authors’ works is often more satisfying than fine dining. Lawrence-based artist and author Stephen T. Johnson’s work is among the finest. His children’s picture books are award-winning: A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet was named one of the Best Illustrated Books of the Year by the New York Times, and Alphabet City was the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, in addition to other accolades. Read More..

Wild Adventures Grounded in the Historical Roots of Kansas

Lawrence author George Frazier celebrates the wilderness he finds in Kansas, lyrically linking the present with the past in his new book The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys Into Hidden Landscapes. Read More..

Human Rights Day

To honor Human Rights Day on December 10, here are recent acclaimed books, music, and videos to spur action to improve human rights. Human Rights Day is an initiative of the United Nations. All human beings are entitled to these rights and freedoms: civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Historical Mysteries with a Female Sleuth

If you enjoy well-written mysteries, set in a historical context, with women investigators then you may find a new favorite. These recommendations are for discerning readers who prefer to avoid explicit violence and brutal details. Each book highlighted here is the first title in the series. Find more information with this list in the catalog! Read More..

Like Try Why: Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is a novelist, essayist and poet. Her lyrical writing is character-centered, emphasizing social justice and environmental biodiversity with a strong sense of place. She has been recognized with many awards, including the National Humanities Medal and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work.

If you enjoy reading Kingsolver you may also appreciate these recent acclaimed books by like-minded authors. Read More..