Lawrence, Kansas (AP) The U.S. Justice Department says it will change the name of the public library that serves its largest city from Lawrence to Aurora in light of a recent law passed by Kansas legislators.
The decision came as a surprise to Lawrence Mayor Greg Fischer, who was hoping to have a website for the city that would be more in keeping with other public libraries across the country.
The change comes less than two weeks after the city’s library board voted 4-2 to add Aurora as its new name.
The move was made in response to the passage of the law, which allows libraries in cities with fewer than 1 million residents to become their own publicly-run organization.
The Kansas law also allows libraries that serve more than 20,000 people a year to apply to be listed as an organization under state law.
The city had been considering changing the name, but Fischer said it wasn’t clear how much the new name would cost.
The city says Aurora is also its new home for the American Red Cross.
The name change is expected to take effect by Oct. 1.
The change will affect 1,500 employees and contractors at Lawrence libraries, as well as 300 people who serve as volunteers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.