Library holds debrief with LPD’s Chief Lockhart

A message to cardholders about the shooting near the library

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Dear cardholders,

Thank you for your kind words in response to yesterday's shooting that happened across the street from the library. We are saddened and shaken that an argument between two people led to one of our community members tragically losing their life.

The library is open regular hours today through 8 PM. Some of our events have been canceled, some are continuing. Here’s a quick link, opens a new window to today’s events to make it easy to check for status updates.

At 9 AM this morning, library staff met with Police Chief Lockhart from the Lawrence Police Department (LPD) for a debrief. We talked about what happened, got updates on facts, and shared ways we can support each other and our library community moving forward. The suspect is in custody.

LPD requested that we lock the front doors yesterday to help them secure a crime scene on Vermont between 7th and 8th Streets. Library leadership closed the library for the day and staff assisted patrons out the back doors to safety on the Kentucky side of the library campus. If you were here yesterday, any feedback on how we handled this crisis is encouraged. Your safety is a top priority to us and your experience will help us evaluate our safety protocols.

As unsettling as this situation is, Chief Lockhart encouraged us to lead with compassion. He pointed out that three of the homicides in the past year were within our houseless community, which places them on the front lines of this crisis. The library is doing everything we can to respond to our neighbors experiencing trauma with empathy, while taking measures to prioritize everyone’s safety.

We'll inevitably experience more ups and downs as a community. Like many of us, you may be navigating shock and sadness, feeling unsafe and scared, and struggling with frustration and anger. We’re here for you and we'll get through this together.

Please take care,

Heather Kearns, Marketing & Patron Experience Supervisor

About Lawrence Public Library
Lawrence Public Library (LPL for short) is a community hub that believes in the power of connecting with each other through shared knowledge and resources. Located in the heart of Downtown Lawrence, Kansas, we are committed to providing a space where our community can learn, connect, create, and grow through access to our vast collections, resources, services, programs, and knowledgeable staff. The library is supported by tax dollars, record-breaking book sales and philanthropic efforts by the LPL Friends & Foundation, and the dedicated efforts of more than 300 volunteers. All are welcome.



Behavior Policy

Community Resources – Safety