Archive for Monday, January 7, 2013

Lawrence Public Library provides fun and discounts for big move

Khoi Pham, left, and Michael Drier, both with Beltman Group, of Lenexa, roll book carts into a moving truck on Monday. The move to the former Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire streets will take about two weeks.

Khoi Pham, left, and Michael Drier, both with Beltman Group, of Lenexa, roll book carts into a moving truck on Monday. The move to the former Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire streets will take about two weeks.

January 7, 2013


When you're about to spend a couple weeks hauling heavy boxes of books across town, it's important to try to keep things light.

And so, to make its stressful move easier, the Lawrence Public Library created a "fun committee" to help employees and is offering discounts at local businesses to library patrons.

Over the next two weeks, the library will be moving to the former Borders Books building, 700 New Hampshire St., which will be the temporary public library while the main library building is renovated over the next year. The library closed on Monday and will open in its temporary location around Jan. 21. In between, about 80 library employees will be loading up 225,000 books and other materials for the move.

“This is a big job for a staff,” said Kathleen Morgan, executive director of the Lawrence Public Library Foundation. “Injecting a little levity into shipping books around is something that was in order, because there’s a lot going on. If you keep it light and fun, then it’s going to go a lot more faster and be a lot more pleasant for all of us.”

The fun committee will be hosting an event each week for the library’s employees and their families. On Sunday night, the committee kicked off its move with its first event: movie night. A few employees gathered at Frank’s North Star Tavern to watch the season premiere of "Downton Abbey."

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” Morgan said. “It never hurts to laugh a little with your coworkers and have a little fun with this task. I’m excited about it. There’s some stuff cooking that sounds like it’ll be fun.”

This Friday, the fun committee promises that a special guest will entertain the employees during lunch. The committee asked that the name of the guest not be revealed, to keep the surprise for employees. The committee is also planning more events, such as additional movie nights and bowling.

The library also wants its patrons to feel the fun and excitement in spite of the library’s closed doors.

“We aren’t just shutting our doors and opening them in two weeks,” Susan Brown, the library's marketing director, said. “We want people to feel like they are part of this move. We’re really using social media to keep folks informed and engaged.”

During the move, the library is coordinating with local businesses to bring benefits to library card owners. The library’s Twitter and Facebook feeds will have instructions on how to get discounts from various merchants on certain days. For example, on the announced day, if you go into The Dusty Bookshelf and exclaim “I love to read,” you can receive a 10 percent discount. Liberty Hall, Free State Brewery, Liberty Hall Cinema, La Prima Tazza, Love Garden Sounds, Wild Man Vintage and The Dusty Bookshelf are just some of the participating businesses. The discount announcements will be available daily on Twitter at @lawrencelibrary and on

The new location is filling up quickly with the help of Beltmann Relocation Group Inc. from Lenexa. The building has significantly less space, so more than half of the adult book collection will be put into storage. The stored books will be available upon request.

Items on hold can be picked up in the auditorium of the library’s main location, 707 Vermont St., starting this Wednesday, from noon to 7 p.m., until Saturday, and Monday through Saturday next week from noon to 7 p.m. Books can still be put on hold through the online system at during the move.

The library will lose meeting space at the new location and briefly stop adult and children's programs at the temporary space. The adult programs are projected to start back up at the end of January and the children's programs should start in February. The remodeled and expanded library should be finished by April 2014. The pricetag on the renovation project is $18 million.

“We call the library ‘it’s your spot,’” Brad Allen, the library’s director, said. “We see it as being a much better community destination with a lot more space for people to be and to hang out and work together. The current space we have is pretty restricted.”

The new library will have more technology resources, such as audio and video editing labs, more meeting rooms and a larger children’s area.


irvan moore 5 years, 4 months ago

it's probably working well for those who have twitter and facebook accounts but i haven't been able to log onto the library website today, any idea when it will be operating again

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't agree. The library instead should have built branch libraries throughout the city. People wouldn't have to travel long distances, or kids, to go to the library, and bills, etc., could be paid at the branch libraries.

I will be doing a blog later on how much the library has missed by taking the present route.

I do think the facebook and twitter ideas are very good. The bus should also use these - take the bus and you will receive different discounts each week!

spirit_level 5 years, 4 months ago

Curious. Do you propose that the library then have duplicate and triplicate of their current holdings so that each branch is fully stocked? And duplicate and triplicate technology? And duplicate and triplicate staff, and overhead, etc.? And how much would all that cost? Do we have the tax base to support it? Certainly the quality of the total in a multi-branch scenario would be much less than the quality of a single location as operated now.

This is a small town. Driving distance isn't that great even from the city limits. If that's still too far for you, perhaps you could advocate for a bookmobile.

Ira Rott 5 years, 4 months ago

Meeting space, computer lab, and a small selection of core reference materials and popular items. If you want something else not available at the satellite location, you can order it and have it be sent over from the main library and put on hold at any branch location.

Joe Berns 5 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence is not a large city. You can get virtually anywhere in this town with 10-15 minutes of driving and that is on the upper limit. There is no need for more than one library.

Phil Wilke 5 years, 4 months ago

It takes 10-15 mins. to drive from the far southwest corner of town to the downtown library. I don't consider that a long distance.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

Using your comment from one of the other threads: Maybe if those people worked a little harder, they could get cars.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 4 months ago

No, you completely misunderstand what is proposed. I am thinking of, and have been for a long time (it's in my blogs) about small spaces all over town, 6 or 7 of them, with a minimum staff, including even paying of bills, just exactly what guardian owl and KRichards are speaking of below. Then you wouldn't have to send kids on a long trip via a bicycle or the bus. You are probably coming from a car, lots of free time (?) but many people don't have those possibilities - they have to work, and they don't have free time to take the kids everywhere in the car, or they have to take the bus. This is not a small town like you think it is. It is only a small town because, probably, you drive a car and have free time. But many people don't, including seniors. It can be a big problem getting to one library in town. In many other towns, they have built branches, small spaces just like guardian owl has indicated below.

These can be existing spaces, even houses, which are adapted to being a small library. There can be a space outside for children to play. They are not expensive to set up and maintain.

Knowledge can not and should not be restricted to people who have cars, time to go places, as Snakefist so well indicates. Knowledge is for everyone, and many cities Lawrence's size have done this very successfully. The fact that people can also pay bills at branches brings in additional income. There can also be bus stops at each small branch. These are only examples of what could have been done had the Library Board and Foundation listened to other ideas, but they did not.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

It takes less time to drive to the bookstore to purchase a book and support the community and the tax base. Why would anyone lawd someone that takes a basically (Tax supported) free ride on the bus to a tax supported building with free books?

SnakeFist 5 years, 4 months ago

Because access to knowledge shouldn't be limited to people who can afford cars or pay for books, and, just as importantly, because access to knowledge shouldn't be controlled by for-profit businesses that are much too eager to manipulate discourse in order to maximize profit.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

jimmy durante: "the day I read a book"

There's one day that I recall, though it was years ago.

All my life I will remember it, I know.

I'll never forget the day I read a book.

It was contagious, seventy pages.

There were pictures here and there,

So it wasn't hard to bear, The day I read a book.

It's a shame I don't recall the name of the book.

It wasn't a history. I know because it had no plot.

It wasn't a mystery, because nobody there got shot.

The day I read a book ? I can't remember when,

But one o' these days, I'm gonna do it again.

SPOKEN: Ah, lit'rature! There's nothin' like sittin' home...

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

Still say they should have planned a new Library next to the Arts Center and built the boondogle hotel on the library site. Much better locations for each function.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

But that would have been on the Fritzels' end of downtown, and Compton wants his own intersection all to himself.

Kontum1972 5 years, 4 months ago

is the city planning to transform the old building into a nightclub/bar.....? We need another one!

thepianoman 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh please. Try driving from Oskaloosa to the Lawrence Library. Now that's long distance. Yes, my choice to live where I live. I know. But if you consider 15 minutes "long distance,"...Gimme a break. LOL

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 4 months ago

Hey thepianoman, drove up to Oskaloosa last Sat. to visit some old friends and the sandwich shop was closed along with the gas station on south side of road leaving town to the west, whats going on in this nice little town, have any idea??

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