According to page 10 of this PDF https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/LCD/HD44780.pdf
The HD44780 has enough DDRAM to operate an 80 character display. A 16x2 display has 32 characters meaning we have 48 characters of free DDRAM. Is there anything in the Arduino's LiquidCrystal library which allows direct access to this DDRAM space? The HD44780 datasheet says it can be used as generalised RAM.