Lawrence Public Library

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Lawrence Public Library
Lawrence Public Library official logo.png
Lawrence Public Library entrance.jpeg
The Lawrence Public Library
CountryUnited States
Established1854 (Subscription)
1904 (Public)
Location707 Vermont Street
Lawrence, Kansas  66044-2371
Coordinates38°58′14″N 95°14′15″W / 38.97056°N 95.23750°W / 38.97056; -95.23750Coordinates: 38°58′14″N 95°14′15″W / 38.97056°N 95.23750°W / 38.97056; -95.23750
Size201,040 (2015)[1]
Access and use
Circulation1,367,223 (2015)[1]
Members75,000 (2015)[1]
Other information
DirectorBrad Allen
Phone number+1 (785) 843-3833

The Lawrence Public Library is a public library in Lawrence, Kansas.

History[change | change source]

1800s[change | change source]

The first library in Lawrence was built in October 1854. It cost $1 per year to be a member. People could pay $25 to be a member for their life. Amos A. Lawrence brought many books to Lawrence in 1855.[2]

In 1863, the library burned in Quantrill's Raid. A new library was built in 1866.[2][3]

In the first two years of the library, 75 volumes were purchased, and 150 volumes were donated. The city took control of the library in September 1871. They moved it into the Lawrence National Bank building. It took up three rooms on the second floor.[3][4]

1900s[change | change source]

Carnegie Library[change | change source]

The original Carnegie Library

The old library was getting too many books, so they needed to build a bigger library. They had 6,000 volumes. $1 per year was not enough money to build a new library.[3] One resident, Peter Emery, asked philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to give money for a new library. Carnegie said yes, and he gave $27,500 for a new library. He said he would only give this money if Lawrence made the new library free to use, and if they spent $2,750 per year to maintain it.[2][3] It was put to a vote, and the city voted yes by a lot. The library officially opened to on December 26, 1904.[3]

Growing[change | change source]

After the the Carnegie library opened, the Lawrence Public Library grew a lot. By 1922 children liked the library so much that a new room was added to for the children to use.[5] By 1936, 40% of all people in Lawrence had a library card. In 1937, they had to make their storage bigger. They made the library better in 1957. They wanted to make it more modern.[2]

New building[change | change source]

The Carnegie Library didn't have enough space for the amount of books they had. Lawrence had an idea to make a new building. They decided that the new building would be close to the old building. In 1970, a vote in the city for $1,575,000 to be used for a new building passed easily.[6] This building opened in August 1972. The Carnegie building became the location for the Friends of the Library association.[2][7]

2000s[change | change source]

On November 10, 2010 an $18 million budget was proposed by the Library Board of Trustees. They said that since 1972, the number of people who used the library more than doubled.[8][9][10] This proposal was accepted by voters in 2010. Construction finished in July 2014.[11][12]

After the new building opened, the Lawrence Public Library won the AIA/ALA Library Building Award in 2016.[13][14][15] Elle Decor said the library was 16th in the top "50 Best Libraries in America".[16]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Lawrence Public Library 2015 Report to the Community" (PDF). Lawrence Public Library. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Library History". Lawrence Public Library. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Lawrence Public Library" (Volume LXI, No. 172). The Lawrence Daily Journal-World. July 19, 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  4. Armitage, Katie H. (2010). Lawrence: Survivors of Quantrill's Raid. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-7385-7799-9. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  5. "Many Children Are Regular Readers at City Library" (Volume LXVI, No. 219). Lawrence Daily Journal-World. September 23, 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. "Race for Space". Digital Douglas County History. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  7. "DIVERSIFYING LIBRARY". Digital Douglas County History. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  8. Lawhorn, Chad (November 2, 2010). "Lawrence voters approve $18 million library expansion". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  9. "Lawrence Public Library Proposal" (PDF). Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  10. Lawhorn, Chad (April 7, 2010). "Downtown merchants group supports library expansion, still mulling $18 million cost". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  11. Lawhorn, Chad (October 2, 2012). "Library project moves forward". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  12. Schulz, Madison M. (April 9, 2015). "NEW RENOVATIONS MAKE LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY IMPORTANT ASSET DOWNTOWN". KU Journalism. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  13. "2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Award winners announced". ALAnews. American Library Association. May 20, 2016. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  14. Weller, Chris (January 9, 2017). "The most beautiful library in every US state". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  15. Madsen, Deane (April 12, 2016). "AIA and American Library Association Announce 2016 Library Building Awards". Architect. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  16. "The Most Beautiful Library In Every State". ELLE Decor. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2018.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Lawrence Public Library at Wikimedia Commons