Back to Top


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.


Teen Zone Expanded: Button-Making!

We’re pulling out the button machine!

On WednesdayFEB 28 from 2-5 PM, head to the Readers’ Theater and design your own kindness-themed buttons to on your favorite book bag or “Canadian tuxedo” (insert laugh-cry emoji).

Supplies and friendship provided!

Read Across Lawrence welcomes anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez

After first being bullied as a child in school for looking different and later online as a teenager when she discovered a YouTube video labeling her ‘The World’s Ugliest Woman,’ Lizzie Velasquez, who was born with a rare genetic condition that prevents her from gaining weight, became an advocate for victims of bullying the world over.

Lizzie will deliver our 2018 Read Across Lawrence keynote address. Her message of self-acceptance aligns beautifully with the themes in Wonderour 2018 Read Across Lawrence book pick about a young boy named Auggie with a facial anomaly.

Lizzie’s family-friendly event will resonate with all ages, but will be especially powerful for teens and kids who have experienced bullying themselves.

“Lizzie Velasquez is a wonderful capstone to our Read Across Lawrence events surrounding R.J. Palacio’s Wonder,” said Brad Allen, Lawrence Public Library executive director. “Her anti-bullying advocacy and message of kindness and acceptance are very much needed in the world right now.”


An Afternoon with Lizzie Velasquez
SUN | Mar 11 | 3:30 PM | Lied Center | All ages
1600 Stewart Drive, Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-2787

Thanks to a generous gift from BNSF, this event is free and open to the public. General admission; no ticket required.


In December 2013, Lizzie Velasquez took the stage at the inaugural TEDxAustinWomen and gave a talk titled, How Do You Define Yourself? that has garnered over 13 million views across the web. Her story has been featured on Katie Couric, The Today Show, The View, Huffington Post, the Associated Press, and many other national and international media outlets. Her YouTube channel has over 793,668 subscribers.

Lizzie’s latest book, Dare to Be Kind, will be available for sale and a book signing will follow her talk.

FEB 10 – MAR 17

Read Across Lawrence is an annual, community-wide reading event that encourages everyone in Lawrence to read and discuss the same book. We’ll host book discussions and activities for all ages that explore R.J. Palacio’s themes of kindness and acceptance in her debut novel, Wonder. The Lawrence Schools Foundation and Lawrence Public Library Foundation teamed up and received a grant from the Douglas County Community Foundation to supply 1,000 copies of the book to students, teachers, and classrooms all over Lawrence.

BNSF logo
2017 RAL Partners Header Media Release

You Up for the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

Write a novel in a month! Track your progress! Get pep talks and support! Meet fellow writers online and in person!

Every Saturday in November, join us for snacks, caffeine, and camaraderie as you make your journey through the 50,000-word marathon that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel, so get ready for a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

We’ll meet up from 4-6 PM in Meeting Room C — Teens and Adults welcome!

Turn Growing Pains into Gains

Are you a teen or new adult navigating a world of new responsibility? We’re here to help.

Starting Tuesday, OCT 24 from 7-8 PM in Meeting Room B, our How to Adult 4-part series will show you how to pay your taxes, manage money, rent an apartment, and buy a car!

BONUS: We’re offering sweet door prizes at each event — everyone who attends all four sessions will get a prize. Offered in partnership with Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. and Kansas Legal Aid.

Totally free, just register: 785-843-3833.

SCHEDULE (Click links for details)

10/24 | Taxes 101
Learn the ins and outs of filing your taxes for the first time with help from Kansas Legal Aid.​

11/14 | 15 Things to Know Before You Leave Home: A Student Survival Guide
High school and college students learn what they need to know to live independently. This class covers how to develop a budget, track spending and keep personal finances healthy and safe.

11/28 | On My Own: Finding and Renting Your First Apartment
Need an apartment, but don’t know the first thing about renting? Thinking about having a roommate? Signing a rental lease can be scary and confusing. What exactly are you responsible for? Find out details you should know before moving into your first apartment. You’ll be glad you did.

12/12 | Try It, Drive It: Buying Your First Car
Time for new wheels? Learn how to: accurately calculate the amount you can comfortably spend on a vehicle, plan ahead for which periodic vehicle-related expenses are important, and determine if your next vehicle should be new, used, or leased.

Families + Autism: A Research Update

KU Autism researchers, Doctors Nancy Brady and Steve Warren from the University of Kansas’ Lifespan Institute, will be here to talk about issues affecting teens and their families on MON, Mar 27 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

Bring your questions and learn more about recent developments in this field of study.

For more info, email Gwen at ggeigerwolfe@lplks.orgNOTE: This is incorrectly listed in our March paper calendar as THU, Mar 27.


All-Ages Winter Reading for Prizes

Defrost your brain and beat the winter blues through reading!

From December 1–January 31, cozy up with your favorite book and blanket, and compete for prizes!

Adults who read 3 books (or listen/read for 15 hours) can fill out this online form and claim your prizes after December 16th. Pick up a Winter Reading booklet at any desk starting December 1! Questions? Email Kate!

Embrace the winter break and cozy up with some great books. Bring in a favorite quote from the book you’re reading, or write a 3-4 sentence review, and drop it off in the Teen Zone to be entered into a weekly prize drawing for free books or other prizes. Questions? Email Miriam!

Read with us this winter! Ages 0-11 (or birth to 5th grade) can pick up a reading log at the children’s desk. Read 10 books or 10 hours and turn in your log from 12/12/16-1/31/17 for some high-fives and prizes. You’ll also need to fill out the kids’ finisher form when you’re finished with your log. Make sure to stop by the children’s area to see how the librarians are challenging themselves to read more this winter! Questions? Email Jenny!

Teen Mock Election

6th–12th graders! Come cast your vote in all the elections on Tuesday, Nov 8 from 2:30–9 PM in the Teen Zone. We’ll compare how teens voted with the results from the city, state, and country.

Drop in anytime between Nov 1-7 to get details on the ballot for Lawrence, Kansas, and the U.S.

Ouran High School Book Club

Do you call yourself an otaku and argue endlessly with your friends over who’s the best waifu/husbando?

Let’s geek out on Saturday, Oct 1 from 1-2 PM over the latest in manga, anime, and Japanese culture with the Teen Zone’s Ben. See who’s going!

Meet up in the Reader’s Theater.

We Have A Date!


On Friday, September 9 at 11:25 AM, we have a once-in-a-lifetime, 10-minute date with astronaut Takuya Onishi on the International Space Station!

Doors to the auditorium will open at 10:30 AM.

Anyone can attend, but we’re handing the radio over to teens to ask some all-important (and fun) questions. While awaiting contact you can check out local organizations sharing their space and science knowledge AND we’ll be launching paper rockets on the lawn. Watch our Facebook event page for up to date information and fun facts about the ISS.

ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio. Made possible with help from the Douglas County Amateur Radio Club and Lawrence Creates Makerspace.

ARISS_logo   WOUK   LawrenceCreates_2014logo_transparent-400w   Logo_US Bank