Lawrence Public Library


“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”

-Henry Ward Beecher

The Lawrence Public Library certainly epitomizes this conviction.  Few places in Lawrence, Kansas, touch the lives of so many people.  Over its 107-year history, the Library has offered a vast array of free services and has been a trusted and treasured gathering space.  In a community that believes information should be accessible to everyone, the Library is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can acquire new skills, experience self-improvement and enjoy literary, artistic, musical, scientific and cultural presentations.

As the need for the Library grew, private funding became more critical.  To this end, the Lawrence Public Library Foundation was established in 1997, with a mission to provide long term, stable support for the resources and services the library needs to meet the evolving educational, recreational and informational needs and interests of the community.

No major improvements had been made to the building since its construction in 1972, but by 2010, usage of the Library was nearing an all-time high.  Inspiring new stories and experiences were unfolding at the library every day, but the building itself was tired, inefficient and losing its capacity to effectively accommodate the needs of the community.  Rallied by a dedicated citizens’ group, and recognizing the value of a strong public library, Lawrence passed a bond issue that included significantly expanding and renovating the Library building.  The City Commission was clear in its directive for a public-private partnership in the endeavor. The Library Foundation embraced the challenge, firmly believing that personal investment would not only strengthen the project, but enable its community to help create a destination library for the 21stCentury.


The Foundation had a goal of raising $1 million:  to modernize the library and improve overall cost efficiency, as well as to double the size of the Children’s Room, provide more study and lounge areas in the Young Adult Center, improve Technology with more computers and eBooks and create new green spaces for community events in the Outdoor Civic Plaza.

The Foundation Board knew it needed guidance and assistance in undertaking its first major fundraising initiative. The Board also knew it was important to partner with someone who had a passion for the Library. 

Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. is proud to have partnered with The Lawrence Public Library Foundation in raising $1.3 million during its New Stories Capital Campaign.  Conducting a Feasibility Study to ensure they were fully informed and positioned, forming an excellent Steering Committee of diverse individuals united in purpose, executing a campaign that was organized yet fun and maintaining strong communications with the community during the entire campaign – all helped the Foundation surpass its fundraising goal in 11 months.  The new Library building will be ready to open in the summer of 2014, and the future opportunities generated by the campaign will benefit the Library and the community of Lawrence for years to come.

“Hiring Jeffrey Byrne + Associates was the best decision we could have made.  With Judy Keller keeping us organized and on track, we ran a very successful campaign.  And it was fun!”

 – Kathleen Morgan
Executive Director, Lawrence Public Library Foundation

Visit Lawrence Public Library