Learn new skills and make new connections this weekend at Lawrence library’s How-To Festival

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From meditation and folk dancing to folding origami and frosting a cake, there will be a plethora of skills on display at the library’s upcoming How-To Festival. 

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 10, nearly 40 community members will be sharing their skills at the free annual event that takes place on the Lawrence Public Library lawn and inside the lobby and auditorium. 


Among the participants is Melissa Gabel, a certified music therapist and owner of Solace and Sound. Gabel will be stationed on the lawn with a “ton of drums” that she will teach participants how to use. 

“I’ll probably do fun call-and-response exercises, and different exercises to get comfortable with the drums and the instrument,” Gabel said.

Melissa Gabel (Contributed photo)

“It’s friendly for people who have experience with music and drumming, and for people who’ve never done it before.”

Among other skills that will be on display, patrons of all ages can learn to create a mini zine, enhance their mindfulness skills, stay active in retirement, keep pet bugs and identify snakes and mushrooms. 

Showcasing local expertise, the event also aims to connect people to social clubs and volunteer opportunities. 

“The How-To Festival is a chance for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn together,” Melissa Fisher Isaacs, the library’s Information Services supervisor, said in a news release about the event. “We hope folks will make lifelong connections and discover opportunities to get more involved in our community. The festival is a celebration of learning where everyone can have some fun together.”

The event is designed to cultivate connections between community members, aligning with the library’s Summer Reading theme, “All Together Now / Todos Juntos Ahora.” People will be able to connect with several nonprofits, including Lawrence Community Shelter, Douglas County CASA, Visiting Nurses Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

On the same day, the LPL Friends & Foundation Book Sale will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the west side of the library (near the Kentucky Street entrance). 

A complete list of How-To Festival presenters can be found at

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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.

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