Event Audio

All Library locations will be closed on Saturday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

To listen to an audio recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The audio file will launch the media player on your computer.

The most recent recording displays at the top. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter. Please allow 7-10 days for the recording to be posted.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle and Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle hold a public conversation on the economy.  McArdle writes about economics, finance, and government policy from a moderate libertarian (or classical liberal) perspective.
    Freeing the Economy: Megan McArdle
    Tuesday, September 17, 2013
    Central Library

    Time magazine’s David Von Drehle and Bloomberg blogger Megan McArdle discuss Freeing the Economy in the third offering of the Dateline: Washington series.

    McArdle is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist writing mostly about economics, finance, and government policy from a moderate libertarian (or classical liberal) perspective. In recent months, she has blogged about government-backed mortgages, the higher education bubble, and the labor movement.

  • Author Ann Brownfield of the Kansas City Garment District Museum discusses her new book about our city’s heyday as a clothing manufacturing center and its slow decline.
    We Were Hanging by a Thread - Ann Brownfield
    Sunday, September 15, 2013
    Central Library

    Though far from the fashion center of New York, Kansas City once boasted a large, vibrant garment manufacturing industry. During its heyday in the early-to-mid twentieth century more than 4,000 workers were engaged in the business, and one in seven American women owned a garment designed and made in Kansas City.

    Ann Brownfield, curator of the Kansas City Garment District Museum, examines this important piece of local industry in a discussion of her new book We Were Hanging by a Thread.

  • Historian Lewis L. Gould argues that Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson played a major role in the political fortunes of former President Theodore Roosevelt.
    “I Am With You Tooth and Nail” - William Rockhill Nelson & Theodore Roosevelt
    Tuesday, September 10, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Theodore Roosevelt was one of the major figures in America’s Progressive movement in the early 20th century. But key to his influence was the support of Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson. Historian Lewis L. Gould maintains that Nelson played a larger role in Roosevelt’s political fortunes than has been realized.

    Gould is visiting distinguished professor of history at Monmouth College. Among his books are Theodore Roosevelt, The William Howard Taft Presidency, and The Modern American Presidency.

  • Political scientist Carolyn N. Long examines the Warren Court decision that decided evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment could not be used in state criminal law prosecutions.
    Mapp v. Ohio: Carolyn N. Long
    Thursday, August 29, 2013
    Central Library

    When police in Ohio raided Dollree Mapp’s home looking for evidence in a bombing, all they found were some “lascivious books.” Mapp appealed her pornography conviction, leading the Supreme Court under Earl Warren to address not only the search-and-seizure question but also the “exclusionary rule” concerning the use of evidence not specified in a search warrant.

    Carolyn N. Long is associate professor of political science at Washington State University – Vancouver.

  • Author Kirstin Downey discusses her book about FDR’s Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins who implemented the forty-hour work week, child labor laws, Social Security, unemployment compensation, and other essential New Deal programs.
    The Woman Behind the New Deal: Frances Perkins
    Wednesday, August 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    She is no longer a household name, but during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration Frances Perkins was one of America’s most influential women. As the first female secretary of labor she was responsible for implementing programs that reshaped society and business and established the social safety net we enjoy today.

    Biographer Kirstin Downey examines Perkins’ life and enduring impact in a discussion of her book The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle holds a public conversation about The Future  of Space Exploration with The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach. The two will also discuss the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
    The Future of Space Exploration and the Sale of The Washington Post : Joel Achenbach
    Tuesday, August 20, 2013
    Central Library

    The August Dateline: Washington event at the Kansas City Public Library was supposed to be about outer space. Just outer space. Host David Von Drehle and The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach were to talk about the future of NASA and the American space program now that our astronauts are being launched from sites in Russia. But the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jess Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, gives special meaning to the event.

    Not only is Achenbach a current Washington Post employee, but Von Drehle is a former Post reporter. So it’s only natural that they will devote part of the evening to discussing this seismic upheaval in the world of American journalism.

  • Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation  with Gail, president and owner of Gail’s Harley-Davidson, and one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners.
    A Conversation with Gail of Gail’s Harley-Davidson
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013
    Central Library

    Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Gail of Gail’s Harley-Davidson.

    A native of Belton, Missouri, Gail worked as a teenager at her father’s motorcycle shop and entered the male-dominated white-collar business world as a Harley-Davidson finance manager. In 2000 she purchased the dealership from her parents, becoming one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners. Today Gail’s is the largest Harley dealership in the Midwest and one of the top in the country. In 2006 it was named one of the Top 10 Small Businesses in Kansas City by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

  • Author Robert Rebein discusses his new book about growing up in, leaving, and returning to Dodge City, Kansas, the iconic cowboy town molded both by its Old West heritage and a New West reality.
    Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City
    Sunday, August 4, 2013
    Central Library

    Author Robert Rebein explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic Western town of Dodge City in a discussion of his new book.

    The essays that make up Dragging Wyatt Earp range from memoir to reportage to revisionist history. Rebein contrasts his hometown’s Old West heritage with a New West reality that includes salvage yards, beefpacking plants, and bored teenagers cruising up and down Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

  • Educator Kate Walsh and Library director Crosby Kemper III hold a public conversation about a controversial new report faulting America’s colleges for being part of “an industry of mediocrity” churning out first-year teachers with inadequate knowledge and classroom management skills.
    A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Prep Programs
    Tuesday, July 30, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Library director Crosby Kemper III holds a public conversation with NCTQ President Kate Walsh about the recently released Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Prep Programs.

    Once the world leader in education, the United States has slipped well into the middle of the pack. While there is no shortage of causes for America’s educational decline - budget cutbacks, poverty, crowded classrooms, and shorter school years – a prime culprit is teacher education, according to a major new study by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

  • Seton Hall’s Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines the repercussions of the controversial 1896 Supreme Court decision that legitimized the segregation of Jim Crow America and ushered in a half-century of “separate but equal.”
    Plessy v. Ferguson: Williamjames Hull Hoffer
    Tuesday, July 23, 2013
    Central Library

    Homer Plessy—a man of seven-eighths Caucasian descent and one-eighth African descent who was nevertheless considered black under Louisiana law—boarded a train car reserved for whites and was promptly arrested. Hearing the appeal of his conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 upheld the Louisiana statute, thus ushering in a half-century of legally sanctioned segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine.

    Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines that controversial decision and its repercussions in a discussion of his book about the landmark case. Hoffer is associate professor of history at Seton Hall University.