The Library Meets Many Needs

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

My earliest memories of the Lawrence County Public Library date back to middle school, when some friends and I walked over in the afternoons from E.O. Coffman. First, we fueled up on burgers and ice cream at the Pyramid (a landmark restaurant between the Library and Coffman) and probably weren’t the best-behaved library patrons. I’m glad Library Director Teresa Newton, who also worked there then, doesn’t hold it against me.

I spent more time there as a seminary student in 2000, when I moved home to work and pay off some college bills. My parents didn’t have internet service but the library did, so I took online classes there that semester.  

From the desk of the County Executive, David A. Morgan

Maintaining a connection to school reminded me I had a larger goal than a career in construction, and I’m grateful to the library for that.

The library’s main branch and Loretto site still offer internet connections through onsite computers and free Wi-Fi.  Digital services continue to expand, linking us to internet-based programs available exclusively to local residents with library cards. These include:

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S., where you can borrow an unlimited number of eBooks, audiobooks, and popular magazines using the Libby app.

Hoopla, which offers eBooks, audiobooks, movies, television series, and music. Library patrons can check out up to 15 items from Hoopla each month.,,, and – four subscription services you can use at the library at no charge.

At the same time, the library provides opportunities for us to interact with one another. This year’s six-week Summer Reading Program involved a total of 381 children, (268 in Lawrenceburg, 113 in Loretto) from kindergarten to third grade. Toddler Time for younger children begins after school starts. Both programs help turn kids into readers and give parents a chance to socialize.

Adult programs include Coloring with Friends, the No Pressure Book Club and Last Thursday Book Club, Adult Crafting and Stitchin’ Time. All help participants connect with one another, and combat the isolation that the U.S. Surgeon General calls “an underappreciated public health crisis” particular to this time. During 2022-23, the library sponsored 151 programs for 2,201 attendees.

The Friends of the Library is a 501c3 offering another avenue for connection, and support for library programs funded through its annual spring and fall book sales. The Friends pay for things not covered by the library budget, including Books for Babies, the online subscriptions mentioned above, and the summer reading program.

The Friends also helped develop the Library Green, created on formerly neglected property on Gallaher Street behind the Library. It now features a beautiful lawn, picnic tables, new trees, and charging stations. The Leadership Lawrence County Class of 2022, which I am proud to be a part of, helped create this park-like setting that expands space for library programs and for patrons to relax.

The library collections are expanding, thanks to money left by those who knew its value to the community. Interest from the W.L. Gladish Family Trust provides money to purchase books and materials in any format. Interest in 2022 was approximately $30,000. In 2021, Roberta Cathey left part of her estate to the library, approximately $64,000, and stipulated that at least half of the amount must be used to purchase large print books. These funds are in addition to money Lawrence County and Lawrenceburg allocate for library materials.

I encourage you to join the 5,978 card-carrying patrons of the Lawrence County Library. Learn more about programs, hours, and locations on Facebook (@LCPL), or its website,

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