you belong here


A Message from the Chair

Thank you, Lawrence! In 2018, you made an extraordinary commitment to your public library. Your tax dollars, donations, volunteer hours and advocacy have made Lawrence Public Library the community’s place to learn, connect, create and grow.

Lawrence Public Library is fortunate to have great community engagement, great partnerships, great volunteer support, and offer great programs. In addition, the library is a great value, providing $5.41 in services for every $1 of taxes received.

Thanks to you, everyone in Lawrence can imagine more for their lives at the library. Together, we have created a dynamic community learning center where children learn to read, teens connect with new friends, adults change their lives, and seniors find their purpose. Everyone belongs at Lawrence Public Library.

Kevan Vick, Chair

Great communities

make libraries lively

a library and its community: Highlights from a love story

The community came out in droves, packing Liberty Hall for "Birding While Black" with Dr. J.Drew Lanham, environmental and race equality activist and birder, prompting one question we saw on Twitter:

"Why are people waiting in line on Mass Street, in the rain, to see an ornothologist?"

2018 was proof positive that libraries strengthen communities and vice-versa. It's truly a textbook example of interdependency as the public continues to support the library through tax dollars and private donations well invested, and uses its library as a vehicle for opportunities and life enrichment.

Thank you, Lawrence, for building a home for LPL in your hearts and keeping it an integral part of the community since 1856.

Below: Brad Allen, LPL Director, urging 350 audience members in attendance at the Sarah Smarsh author talk to read her book, Heartland.

Great library RELATIONSHIPs start with


In 2018, you used the library to borrow STUFF to your heart's content, and then some!


Number of items checked out in 2018


Number of items in the collection total at the end of 2018

When the community uses its library so heavily, and so regularly, our Materials Handling staff are kept very busy!

We know your likes and dislikes

Readers' Services staff routinely place book suggestions in the stacks and even in the books themselves. Their spot-on suggestions prompted this love note for Meredith, which we found inside a returned book.

take the fun

home with you

"There are all sorts of people I would have never met or known, if not for bridge."

Peg Kaplan

New in 2018, you can now check out board games from the library. Located in the Atrium, our new, all-ages collection includes both modern and popular classics that focus on strategy, role playing, and cards.


The Digital Douglas County History project, a partnership between LPL and the Watkins Museum, shows that history is relevant and ongoing.

new technology


Visits to


Computer sessions at the library in 2018

Recently upgraded: 18 computers in the Teen Zone. Fortnite, anyone?

The LPL Tech Staff has been busy prepping for upcoming changes throughout the library in 2019

  • The 10 computers outside the lab in the open space on the lower level are next up for replacement
  • 3 Early Literacy Stations in Children's will be replaced with 4 stationary iPads
  • The 3 end panel catalogs in the nonfiction stacks will soon be replaced by 3 x 12.9" iPad Pros
  • The Macs in the Studio will be upgraded with faster hard drives and more RAM

The computer situation just keeps improving for LPL patrons

Why computers + libraries is such a crucial relationship in Lawrence and across the globe

Great partnerships

This is why people say there's strength in numbers


Number of spaces booked in 2018

With more than 1,200 programs and nearly 11,000 meeting room reservations, the library is the community’s living room.

#get carded


New cardholders in 2018


Active cardholders total

Groups who used meeting rooms in 2018*

*Definitely not a full list! (That would take up too much space, no pun intended).

AARP Driving Safety Class * Audio-Reader * Audubon of Kansas * AUMI * Bert Nash * Cans for the Community * Census Bureau * Center for East Asian Studies * Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at KU * Center for Public Partnerships and Research - KU * Century School * Lawrence Chamber of Commerce * Citizen's Climate Lobby * City of Lawrence * Coalition for Homeless Concerns * Communities In Schools of Mid-America * Community Blood Center * Dads of Douglas County * Douglas County Emergency Management * Douglas County Food Policy Council * Douglas County Republican Party * Douglas County Special Olympics * Douglas County Young Democrats * Douglas County Master Gardeners * Downtown Grocery Store Committee * DREAMers KU * eXplore Lawrence * Farmer's Market * Food not Bombs * Girls Rock Lawrence *

Great events

are learning opportunities


2018 Beach Author | Nebula Award-winning novelist Nnedi Okorafor spoke about her African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism books for children and adults.

More author visits!

    • Sarah Smarsh, author of Heartland, spoke about her memoir of growing up among the working poor of Kansas.
    • J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place, presented "Birding While Black" to an audience of nearly 700 people at Liberty Hall.
    • Sloane Crosley read from her new memoir, Look Alive Out There and Sophfronia Scott from Love's Long Line

great family MEMORIES


The community voted LPL the #1 spot for family fun in Lawrence. Pictured: Youth Services staff celebrated the fact that families continue to flock to the Children's Library and Teen Zone for entertainment + fun learning opportunities.

Read Across Lawrence "Choose Kind" float at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

  • The 2018 Read Across Lawrence selection was Wonder by R J Palacio, a book families could share and learn from together. A special presentation by anti-bullying activist Lizzie Velasquez attracted 1,000 people of all ages to the Lied Center.


Number of wizards who attended Harry Potter Book Night at Abe & Jake's in 2018

Summer Reading kept thousands of kids, teens and adults reading throughout the summer months


Storytimes held in 2018


Storytime attendance in 2018


  • We served 10,918 meals to children and 387 meals to adults, for a total of 11,305 meals served
  • We served an average of 1,252 meals per week
  • We saw a 16% increase in meals served from summer 2017 (a difference of 1,873 meals)

Great value


Total Revenue: $4,683,984

Taxes: $4,345,247

Overdue and Lost Items: $155,142

Grants and State Aid: $120,946

Misc Fees and Interest: $62,649


Total Expenditures: $4,683,984

Staff Wages and Benefits: $3,255,450

Library Materials: $705,366

Operating Expenses: $342,813

Technology: $217,972

Equipment and Capital Improvements: $113,634

Programming and Marketing: $48,749

great friends lift you up


Total number of hours Friends members spent volunteering


Total Library Friends and Foundation contributions in 2018

The Friends and Foundation supported all of this last year:

  • Harry Potter Book Night
  • Library t-shirts
  • Foundation Center database
  • Mergent Intellect database
  • Name that Tune parks game
  • Lawrence Songbook Project
  • Auditorium light upgrade
  • Kansas Reads to Preschoolers books
  • KPR Advertising
  • Reusable library bags
  • ACT practice tests
  • Teen interns
  • Hall Center fellow
  • Winter Reading Prizes
  • Weave A Tale workshop


Friends of the Library

Stan Ring, Chair

Jan Conard, Vice Chair

Jane Medina Secretary

Debi Waggoner, Treasurer

Carole Crown

Annamarie Hill

Sue Hopkins

Maclyn Pettingill

Dave Ranney

Julie Trowbridge-Alford

Jenny Lattimore

David Vance

board of trustees

Kevan Vick, Chair

Judy Keller, Vice Chair

Ursula Minor, Secretary/Treasurer

Brady Flannery

Joan Golden

Sarah Goodwin Thiel

David Vance

Library Foundation

Mary Gage, Chair

Craig Penzler, Vice Chair

Jenny Gorup, Secretary

Kate Campbell, Treasurer

Fred Atchison

John Catlin

Mark Emert

Brady Flannery

Joan Golden

Alice Ann Johnston, Emeritus

Kassie Nieters

Kim Rack

Rachel Rademacher

Dan Storey

executive Director

Brad Allen

Teen Advisory Board

Shelby Thomas

Simon Williams

Tristan May

Tyler Callagy

Wyatt Whitaker

Zoe Stucky-Dorris

Rita Joseph

Maven Levon Wall

Abby Coons

Charmi Daas

Cosmo Clock

Delan Patric

Elle Martin

Murphy Lees

Nora Agah

River Dixon

Emma Applegarth

Emmaleigh Hancock

Erik Dallman

Griffin Gilmore

Janet Stefanov

Jazzy Najafizadeh

Leo Stacy

Marina Profeti