Event Audio

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.

  • Former chiefs of the Kansas City Police Department – Joseph D. McNamara, Richard D. Easley, Floyd Bartch and James D. Corwin – and current chief Darryl Forte talk about the force, its history, and the very demanding job they all shared.
    Top Cops
    Tuesday, March 26, 2013
    Central Library

    Running a big-city police force requires the instincts of a beat cop, the administrative talent of a CEO, and the public relations skills of a seasoned politician.

    Four former chiefs of the Kansas City Police Department – Joseph D. McNamara, James D. Corwin, Floyd Bartch, and Richard D. Easley – and current chief Darryl Forte talk about the force, its history, and the very demanding job they all shared.

    This Missouri Valley Special Collections program complements the original exhibit Kansas City’s Finest, currently on display at the Central Library.

  • In observation of Women’s History Month, area civil rights pioneer Julia Hill and educator Mary Ann Wynkoop hold a public conversation that looks back on Hill’s six decades of activism.
    A Celebration of Kansas City Women Making History
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Julia Hill spent nearly 60 years at the forefront of the battle for civil rights and equality. Now she participates in a public conversation with educator Mary Ann Wynkoop, discussing her own story as a Kansas City woman who made a difference.

    Hill recently retired from the board of the local NAACP, which she once led. Her history as an activist includes protesting against segregated lunch counters in downtown department stores and presiding over the Kansas City School Board.

  • Author and labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. takes on accusations that unions pamper workers with high pay and cushy benefits at the expense of the American economy.
    “They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013
    Central Library

    Unions have been blamed for budget deficits and for pampering workers with high pay and cushy benefits. Labor leader Bill Fletcher, Jr. tackles those accusations in his book “They’re Bankrupting Us!” He traces the roots of anti-union myths, examines the movement’s missteps and lists significant labor contributions like the minimum wage and 40-hour work week.

  • Journalist and historian David Von Drehle explains how in the pivotal year of 1862 President Abraham Lincoln fashioned a Civil War victory and set the blueprint for modern America.
    Abraham Lincoln
    Wednesday, March 13, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As 1862 began the U.S. government was overwhelmed, the Treasury was broke, and the Confederacy was winning on the battlefield. A year later, under the leadership of an unschooled country lawyer, the tide had turned.

    Drawing from his book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, journalist/historian David Von Drehle explains how Lincoln fashioned a victory and set the blueprint for modern America.

    Von Drehle has written for the Washington Post and Time magazine; among his books is Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith shows how over the last 40 years seismic political and economic changes have all but eliminated the idea of shared prosperity, with America losing the title of “Land of Opportunity.”
    Who Stole the American Dream?
    Tuesday, March 12, 2013
    Central Library

    In his new book Who Stole the American Dream?, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith shows how over the last 40 years seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have all but eliminated the idea of shared prosperity, with America losing the title of “Land of Opportunity.”

    Smith is a former reporter and editor for The New York Times and an Emmy Award-winning producer/correspondent for the PBS show Frontline. Among his books are The Russians, The New Russians, The Media and the Gulf War, and Rethinking America.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford discusses his new novel Canada – the story of a teenager who flees his Montana home and begins a new life on the Saskatchewan prairie after his parents are arrested for bank robbery.
    CANADA
    Thursday, March 7, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    In Canada, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford introduces us to teenager Del Parsons, who after his parents’ imprisonment for bank robbery flees his Montana home, beginning a new life on the Saskatchewan prairie.

    Ford reads from Canada and holds a conversation with UMKC Writer-in-Residence Whitney Terrell, organizer of the Writers at Work series. Ford is the author of the Bascombe novels, which include The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land.

    Co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Roundtable and the UMKC English Department.

  • Veteran White House journalist Carl M. Cannon takes a look at Michelle Obama, the first African American first lady, a Harvard-trained lawyer, and one of her husband’s most valued political mentors.  This presentation is the first in the new series Beyond the Gowns: First Ladies in American History.
    MICHELLE OBAMA
    Wednesday, March 6, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Veteran journalist Carl M. Cannon discusses the life of first lady Michele Obama on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

    Michelle Obama is the 46th first lady of the United States, caretaker of an unpaid position that nevertheless is one of the most powerful in the world. How powerful? Put it this way: Even in this rarified air, Mrs. Obama stands out for her closeness to the president.

  • Historian Leon Litwack discusses the 1963 event that gave us Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and spurred the Kennedy Administration to advance civil rights legislation.
    Leon Litwack: The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
    Thursday, February 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    In the summer of 1963 more than 200,000 demonstrators descended on the nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event was highlighted by Martin Luther King’s memorable “I Have A Dream” speech and pressured the Kennedy administration into initiating a strong federal civil rights bill.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author  Tim Weiner explains how the FBI became the most formidable intelligence force in American history and how the Bureau has spied on anyone it considers subversive ... including presidents.
    Enemies: A History of the FBI
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Its reputation is that of America’s incorruptible police force. Yet the primary mission of the FBI is secret intelligence, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Weiner. In his new book Weiner reveals how presidents have used the agency as the most formidable intelligence force in American history, and how the bureau has spied on anyone it considers subversive … including presidents.

    The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties, creating a tension that strains the very fabric of a free society.

  • Dean Young, this year’s Carolyn S. Benton Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence at UMKC, reads from his poetry and discusses his work with Angela Elam of KCUR’s New Letters on the Air.
    Dean Young: Between Reality and Imagination
    Monday, February 25, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Dean Young, this year's Carolyn S. Benton Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence at UMKC, reads from his poetry and discusses his work during a public conversation with Angela Elam of KCUR's New Letters on the Air.

    Young's poetry has been described "as entertaining as a three-ring circus and as imaginative as a canvas by Hieronymus Bosch." Using surrealist techniques like collage, he often blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination.