Lawrence County Public Library, Chapter 3

We are blessed in Lawrence County to have two points of access to a great selection of books, magazines, DVDs, audio books, and research materials.

The Loretto branch library offers the same services and materials as the main branch in Lawrenceburg, but on a smaller scale, says Loretto librarian Judy Henkel.

The statue at the front of the Loretto Library was donated by the Loretto Lift-Up Committee.

That’s a perfect way to describe the cozy atmosphere you’ll find at the corner of South Main and Commerce Streets, directly across from M.H. Weathers Park. From the sculpture of two children reading near the front door, the message is warm and clear: book lovers will find a home here.

An impressive children’s collection, adult fiction and nonfiction, a good selection of audiobooks and DVDS are all housed at the branch that was established in 1989 to serve residents of southern Lawrence County. Two computers with internet access are available for public use.

Library patrons have access to two computers and the internet.

Lawrence County’s libraries also operate their own inter-library loan program. You can check for an item’s availability at either library or your home computer – just go to and type the name of the title you want. You’ll get results that show where the item “lives,” Loretto or Lawrenceburg. If the book you want is in Lawrenceburg and you won’t be there soon, it will be delivered to Loretto in just a few days. The same library card can be used at either location.

Remember that the public library is now in the midst of its biannual used book sale, which offers fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, DVDs, audio books, puzzles, vintage books and magazines at great prices. The sale continues through March 5 during regular library hours, and the last day is “bag day,” when you can buy a bag full of items for just $5.

It’s definitely worth the drive from south Lawrence County to the Lawrenceburg sale, but visitors to the Loretto library will find a smaller ongoing sale in its foyer. Hardbacks and paperbacks fill tables to the right and left of the entrance, and can be part of your own library for the bargain price of $1.00 and 50 cents, respectively.

50-cent paperbacks await new homes at the Loretto Library’s ongoing sale.



Sharing the love

We are blessed in Lawrence County with a library where book lovers share their interests and help our youngest residents discover the joy of reading.

Any child under age five can get a free book each month from the Imagination Library. Library Director Teresa Newton says more and more Amish parents are signing their children up for the program as well.

The Friends of the Library group sponsors the “Books for Babies” program that provides a bag of goodies to every newborn at the local hospital. It includes a first book, a handbook for parents about why reading is so important, and suggested titles for children of every age.

An application for the Imagination Library is also tucked inside that bag, making it easy for parents to sign up for the program that delivers a free, age-appropriate book each month to all Tennessee children under age five. If you know a child who isn’t participating, you can get an application at the library any time. The Lawrence County Education Foundation partners with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide those books to local children.

To support this and other projects for library patrons (including a subscription to, the Friends of the Library holds a two-week book sale each spring and fall. The spring event is coming up quickly, set for Saturday, February 20 through Saturday, March 5.

In addition to hardback, paperback, fiction and nonfiction books, the sale offers magazines (only 10 cents apiece!), DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, puzzles, children’s books and a small collection of vintage books. You can make space for new acquisitions by donating items you no longer need – simply drop them by the Library any time.

A portion of the items on sale at last fall’s Friends of the Library book sale. The spring sale is set for February 20 through March 5.

If you enjoy reading you might also like taking part in the Library’s Last Thursday Book Discussion Group, which gathers at Noon on – you guessed it – the last Thursday of each month. Library Director Teresa Newton has about 15 copies of each month’s read on hand for checkout, so you won’t have to worry about finding one. In the spotlight for February is One Mountain Away by Emilie Richards.

Eleven internet-connected computers are available for public use at the Lawrenceburg branch of the library. Eight are for general use and limited to 30 minutes if demand exists. Two, with no time limits, are set aside for job searches and resume development. Another computer in the Lawrence County Room is available for genealogical research. The Friends of the Library funds a subscription to that can be accessed free of charge from that computer.

Weekly Toddler Time is another tool that helps develop a love of reading. Any child age 18 months to three years can attend, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sessions, held at noon each Thursday, involve reading and interactive play.

The Lawrence County Library will celebrate its 75th anniversary in April. It’s come a long way from 1941, when it was located in rooms above Lawrenceburg’s first City Hall, near downtown on East Gaines Street. In addition to the main branch, there’s a location in Loretto that will be the focus of our next blog post.

The Library offers issues of Lawrence Countys newspapers, the Florence, Alabama Times Daily, Columbias Daily Herald, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. General- and special-interest magazines are available. Back issues of magazines can be checked out for a month at a time.


TOP PHOTO – from the Lawrence County Public Library’s summer reading program, from its Facebook page.