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Have you used the Lawrence Public Library in the past year?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway on February 26, 2009

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Photo of Susan Leavy

“No. I buy my books. I like to keep them.”

Photo of Joni Barnes

“No, because of the location. It’s hard to get in and out of there with the traffic.”

Photo of Chris Coleman

“No, I haven’t. I can find everything out on the Internet.”

Photo of Kirby Schmelzle

“Yes, we have, for mostly children’s books.”

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ohjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I've been to the local library in the past year, but, since I unfortunately have not been in Lawrence since 2001, I'd have to answer no.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 7 months ago

Agreed Multi!! When you first walk into the library it smells of body funk.Not feet exclusively,but,mildew and armpit. You get used to it after a few minutes though.Then it is not so noticable.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 7 months ago

warm in the winter, cool in summer.... did I mention free

tyger_lily 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Joni, the traffic there was horrible. I have since moved away from Lawrence and visit the local library often.

dajudge 6 years, 7 months ago

I have a library card that never is any good whenever I go. It's usually too long between visits, so I have to get a new one each time, therefore, I don't go anymore for the hassle of it.

KansasPerson 6 years, 7 months ago

We use it just about every week. We've always got books out, and some reserved so that we can get our turn with them when others are finished. Interlibrary loan has worked well for us, too. I just finished my library book for this week and I highly recommend it! ("Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.)

BorderRat 6 years, 7 months ago

The last time I was in the library was when I got a summer job moving the books from the old building to the new one. I must say it smelled fresh and new then.

tir 6 years, 7 months ago

I often check out popular novels from the public library because I enjoy reading them but I don't really want or need to own a copy myself. It's also a good place to find how-to books or travel books. I usually put in requests for them online and pick them up from the hold shelf and check them out myself. I appreciate the reservation and self-checkout service--it means that I can get in and get out faster and don't have to stand in line.

I confess I don't like spending much time in the public library. I find it rather depressing. Lawrence could really use a new library, as the usage statistics show. I hope that eventually the city will find the funding for it.

ms_canada 6 years, 7 months ago

No, but I do visit the Highlands Library every 2-3 weeks and borrow 4-5 books. I cannot afford to buy all the books I read, which adds up to about 70 per year. I do buy some books that I want to keep. Internet, as Chris, the truck driver above says, is good for looking up stuff, but for the sheer joy of reading, there is nothing like holding a book and reading a well turned phrase. I truly marvel at the skill that some authors have with words and phrases. I would give a lot to have that ability.

schula 6 years, 7 months ago

Ms canada -- I just finished reading The Fiery Cross. It was from reading these boards that I got interested in the series. I believe you, Sunny Sue and Ceallach were discussing the series. I was intrigued and after reading Outlander, I was hooked. I am going to be visiting the library soon to find A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I thought the Fiery Cross was really good and there were several places that really touched my heart. Thanks to you, Sunny Sue and Ceallach for piquing my interest.

alm77 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I would have never read all of Amy Tan's or Sue Grafton's books if I didn't get them from the library. The kids love it too. We love to go there and get a movie to take with us when we go on a trip.

lazz 6 years, 7 months ago

Many of these comments are flabbergasting. Even disturbing. Pywacket, the rules you propose are, by and large, the rules enforced at the library; there's always (I think) a security guard on duty, and I from what I can see, they do a good job under difficult circumstances; it is, after all, a public building, so they can't be tossing out patrons just because they don't like the way they dress ... i go to the library at least three times a week, and haven't been approached or bothered by any homeless dudes that I can recall; just last night I was hit up for change in the dark alley when leaving Keno's - so does that mean I'm not going to go to Keno's or I'm going to knock it in a public forum? And the decor? 70s drab? It's a LIBRARY, not a snazzy new multinational bookstore chain, and a PUBLIC (paid for with dwindling tax money) library, at that. And they're doing a fabulous job. Those of us who use it regularly really appreciate all the effort that's gone into making it so incredibly user-friendly. Sure, renovations and satellite outlets would be nice; I've long thought an affordable solution to the space crunch would be to lease warehouse space north of the river and house the older, little-used books there, any of which could be retrieved when requested; and perhaps move the children's library into the old Carnegie Library building. At any rate, if, when discussing a library, it's at all appropriate to discuss the books, videos and music -- are they regularly updated? are they readily available? are they kept in good condition? -- and the helpfulness of the staff, rather than bathing habits of some of the patrons, then absolute praise is in order. One other thing: The cookbook selection is second-to-none. I've never seen one better.

Kelly Cline 6 years, 7 months ago

If you need to own a book, try Half Price Books on 23rd street. You can get great $1 books in their clearance section. All their other books are cheap too. This is better for me since I often have overdue books!

ms_canada 6 years, 7 months ago

shula - yeh for you! Indeed those are the best. In fact so good that I read the whole series -6 books- twice. I don't usually like to take the time to do that, but they are so good you wish the story could go on forever and ever. Another group that you might want to try by Diana Gabaldon are the Lord John ones. I have one right here in my library bag that I will get to in a couple of days. Lord John is in the Outlander series. You know, the guy that was in love with Jamie. The one I have now is Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. Should be good. If you like the historical base of books, you might want to try the Camulod Chronicle series by Canadian author Jack Whyte. Anyone to whom I have recommended these books has loved them as much as I do. Whyte also has a trilogy out on the Knights Templar. Excellent stories. Look at his website. Did you read all of the Outlander series? I believe there are 6 books in the series.

alm77 6 years, 7 months ago

sweetpea, I don't mind the fines. It's completely avoidable and if you do get a fine, well, at least it's for a good cause. :)

Corey Keizer 6 years, 7 months ago

I like the 2nd and 3rd answers. 2nd because traffic in Lawrence is soooo bad. 3rd because everything on the internet is a valid dependable source of information.

local_support 6 years, 7 months ago

"I have, but only for the free wireless. KU Libraries > Lawrence Public Library."

Maybe so but not everyone in this town is a KU student or faculty.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Frequently for books of course and movies such as the old musicals. Yep great selection.

The place is quite busy each time we're there. I say build more space, say two stories, above the parking lot.

Then build a three story parking/metered lot on the NW corner of 8th and Vermont.

The current library needs more bike lock up contraptions.

Omegatron 6 years, 7 months ago

Library's location suck, always has. Tear it down and build a new one out there by prairie park nature center.

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