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Summer Reading

Library How-To Festival Call for Presenters

This summer, bring your passion and expertise to eager minds just itching to learn something new!


We’re looking for kids, teens, and adults to give a short demonstration or presentation (or both!) at the library and share any skills, talents, passions, or hobbies with our community.

Our first-ever How-To Festival is for anyone who is curious about learning new skills or interested in supporting or connecting with the community. Questions? Email Melissa:


Application Deadline — Sunday, APR 22

Presenters Notified — Tuesday, MAY 15

How-To Festival: Know How? Show How!
Saturday, JUN 23 | 10 AM– 3 PM | Lawrence Public Library
Lawn, Meeting Room, Atrium, or Auditorium

Teen T-shirt Design Competition

Hey, 6-12th grade artists! Wanna design our teen Summer Reading 2018 t-shirt? Imagine 800 Lawrence teens wearing your work!

The winner gets bragging rights, a $25 gift card from Downtown Lawrence Inc., a one-of-a-kind hoodie or bag with their design, and t-shirts for their immediate family members. WHAT?! Yep!

This year’s theme is Libraries Unplugged. The best way to describe the vibe is laid-back, creative, mindful, and chill — but, we’re leaving it entirely up to you visualize it.


  • Download this entry form: 2018 T-shirt Design Contest Entry Form
  • Create a design that best describes what Libraries Unplugged means to you
  • Your design can only be one color – meaning one color of ink on white paper
  • Draw your design by hand, use a computer, or any other design technique
  • The words “Lawrence Public Library Teen Zone” must be included somewhere in your design
  • Submit the entry form along with your design to the Teen Zone by Friday, April 6, 2018
  • Paper copies of the entry form are available in the Teen Zone


Based on our Summer Reading theme, we host an annual t-shirt design competition open to 6-12th grade humans, with the shirt being one of our teen Summer Reading prizes. That means that if your design is selected, more than 800 teens could be wearing it in just a few months’ time.

The winning design will be selected at the end of April by the Teen Advisory Board (made up of 6-12th graders) and library staff.


What are you reading? #SummerReading2017

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock rather than reading our phenomenal blog posts, I’m obligated to tell you that Sarah is a freaking rockstar.

She reads things, she writes about them, she spreads generally wonderful vibes, and every Sunday morning throughout Summer Reading 2017 she’s asked you: What are you reading? Read More..

Dance the Night Away at our Last Bash

We worked hard building a better world this summer and now it’s time to PARTY! As Summer Reading draws to a close, let’s celebrate in style before everyone heads back to school.

On Thursday, Aug 3 from 7-9 PM on the Library Lawn, grab your dancing shoes and bring your best moves for Mundo Nouvo, Kansas City’s Latin and Caribbean music sensation.

We’ll have free Kettle Corn, but bring some dollars for Coney Island Hot Dogs and Free State beer. There will also be a LEGO free-build for all ages and we’ll debut our Summer Reading-inspired Rube Goldberg machine.

Summer Beach Reads 2017

Last year, we put together a list of some of our most anticipated summer releases to enjoy whether you’re vacationing in the Caribbean or in your own living room. This year, we have even more unconventional beach reads that will transport you to exotic locales and will introduce you to interesting new characters. All you’ll need is a library card, and your adventure awaits.  Read More..

Summer Reading Kickoff Party

Join us on the Library Lawn, Saturday, June 3rd from 10 AM- 12 PM and Build a Better World with us this summer! Start your summer reading off with a fun morning of building with Home Depot! FREE! ALL AGES!


Dinner + A Movie on the Lawn: Storks

Hot dogs, and smoothies, and crepes, oh my!

On Thursday, May 25 from 7:30–11 PM on the Library Lawn, Downtown Lawrence Inc. and Lawrence Public Library invite you to eat some grub, listen to some music, and watch a movie. Grab dinner from local vendors at 7:30, settle in for some local music from the Beer Bellies, then at 9, we’ll push play!

We’ll watch Storks, eat popcorn, drink beer and sodas, and settle in for a lovely evening with friends and neighbors. See you there!

Game of Gnomes 2017

Starting MondayJune 5 through July 28, get ready for a summer fitness adventure into the great “ungnome”! Whether you’re House Lannister or House Stark, it’s your job to find all 21 gnomes we’ve hidden in various parks around town. Form a fellowship or strike out solo and earn some loot! Download the map here or pick one up at our Welcome Desk  starting June 5. Made possible with support from the Douglas County Community Foundation.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Visit the walking paths in the parks on the map.
  2. Each location has two gnomes. Find them, and their special names along each path.
    DeVictor Park has a bonus third gnome located in our Storywalk®.
    The gnomes at Rock Chalk are quite far apart, spanning between E 902 RD and E 1000 RD.
  3. Match the park’s number with the gnome names on your handout. Write the park’s number next to the gnome’s name in the blank provided.
  4. Find all 21 gnomes. We’ve included three “wild card” gnomes on the list to keep you on your toes (you won’t find them—they’re just decoys.)
  5. Fill out your contact info and return the sheet to our Welcome Desk to enter the raffle for your very own gnomes!

Gnomenclature GUARANTEED FINISHER PRIZES A coupon to Ad Astra Running A coupon to the Rolling Gnome Gaming Store A surprise tchotchke One of these four glorious finisher buttons — You choose! GRAND PRIZE RAFFLE To be announced… Oh, the suspense! Game of Gnomes pins small

Walking to Rivendell

From May 26 – August 19, make walking, running, or biking part of every day, keep a record of how far you travel, and then map your distance on the map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Here’s how to participate:

1. Sign up! 
Fill out the online form at giving us some basic info about yourself.

2. Record your travels. 
Use the paper log available at the library starting May 20th or an app of your choice to track how far you travel each day. We also have a small number of pedometers that will be given out at the library Welcome Desk starting Monday May 23rd.

3. Let us know how you’re doing.
You can send us an update here. Plus, every two weeks we’ll send out an email with information about your fellow travelers, suggested walks, and a simple form to send us an update on how far you’ve traveled. We’ll post this information on a giant map of Middle-earth in the library so you can check in to see how you and your fellow travelers are doing!

4. Once you’ve reached your goal distance, come to the library and collect your prize!
We’ll have you fill out another short online form to let us know you’ve finished.

5. Keep walking!

For all of the details, please check the library’s Walking to Rivendell website.
You can also follow along at the Walking to Rivendell Facebook Event page  and find riddles to solve, parks and trails to visit, and geocaching event info–all of which will earn you extra miles!

We can’t wait to see how far your furry feet can take you, and we do so hope to see you on our unexpected journey!

Kidzapalooza: Pet World is Coming!

Kids ages 5-6 and their families will meet some of the most adorable animals in the world from the coolest pet store in town at Kidzapalooza on Wednesday, July 13 at 2 PM.

Pet World animal experts will be on hand to show off their radical beasts and creatures. Petting will happen. Registration required: (785) 843-3833 or register in person at the Children’s Desk.