Bruce Flanders, Director of Lawrence PL Responds

From comments left on my Ten Things I Know About Libraries in 2006 (A Response to “Libraries are Obsolete”) post:

I am commenting in my role as Lawrence Public Library Director. The Lawrence Public Library is stagnant? The management and librarians don’t care? On the contrary, the Lawrence Public Library Board of Trustees, administrative team and staff are passionate about continually improving library service, and we have made huge strides in the past decade. We have set record levels for the circulation of library materials and user visits during the past eight years. This year, we will hit one million items circulated for the first time. We are continually adding new services and upgrading our collections, technology and the library facility. Our library programming has been recognized as outstanding. Most impressively, we are doing all this on a budget that ranks 8th out of the 10 largest communities in Kansas — a point we have made to our local funding authorities. (Our local funding is, for example, 17 percent of that received by the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, even though Lawrence is half the size of Topeka.) Though starved of funding, the Lawrence Public Library is, by any measure, significantly better than it was a decade ago, and we look forward to expanding the library facility in downtown Lawrence in the next several years in order to provide even better service. The Lawrence Public Library is progressive, and is operated a staff of dedicated and talented librarian overachievers. Lawrence Public Library just plain rocks!

Bruce Flanders, Director
Lawrence Public Library