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.

  • Rebecca Solnit offers a guided tour of the Bay Area through her latest book, Infinite City, which reinvents the traditional atlas, expanding it from a mere collection of maps to a vibrant depiction of a city’s inner life.
    Rebecca Solnit - Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    Central Library

    Rebecca Solnit offers a guided tour of the Bay Area through her latest book, Infinite City, which reinvents the traditional atlas, expanding it from a mere collection of maps to a vibrant depiction of a city’s inner life.

  • Award-winning novelist and short story writer Jim Shepard reads from his works and dicusses his craft with Angela Elam of the New Letters on the Air radio program.
    Jim Shepard: You Think That’s Bad
    Monday, February 27, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Angela Elam, host of the New Letters on the Air radio program, conducts a public conversation with novelist and short story writer Jim Shepard as part of the 2012 Writers at Work series.

    Shepard has written six novels and four collections of stories including Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which won the Story Prize and was nominated for a National Book Award. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

  • The Kansas City Public Library hosts local author, J. Alexander Greenwood for a discussion about the inspiration behind his first novel, Pilate’s Cross.
    J. Alexander Greenwood: Pilate’s Cross
    Thursday, February 23, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    The Kansas City Public Library hosts local author J. Alexander Greenwood for a discussion about the inspiration behind his first novel, Pilate’s Cross.

    In 1950, a professor in tiny Peru, Nebraska, strode into his college president’s office and shot him dead. The killer then turned the gun on himself.

    Though few remember this event, it inspired Greenwood to write the acclaimed novel Pilate’s Cross and its sequel, Pilate’s Key, which will be released in February.

  • Historian of the United States Senate Donald Ritchie discusses presidential relations with Congress from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.
    Donald Ritchie - A Conflicted Legacy: Presidents and Congress from Truman to Obama
    Monday, February 20, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Historian of the United States Senate Donald Ritchie discusses presidential relations with Congress since Harry S. Truman.

    Ritchie, author of Congress and Harry S. Truman: A Conflicted Legacy, says the constitutional principle of checks and balances coupled with partisanship is a recipe for heated conflict in Washington and on the campaign trail.

  • Kansas City Star sports reporter Blair Kerkhoff discusses the history of the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City and explains why it was instrumental in the demolition of racial barriers in college athletics.
    Blair Kerkhoff: NAIA Basketball & the Civil Rights Movement
    Sunday, February 19, 2012
    Central Library

    Kansas City Star sports reporter Blair Kerkhoff explains why the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City was instrumental in the demolition of racial barriers in college athletics.

    Long before the NCAA and NIT tournaments accepted them, college basketball teams from historically black colleges and universities found a home in Kansas City. The basketball tournament of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was a fixture on the city’s sports calendar; but to African Americans around the country, it meant something special.

  • In his new memoir playwright/novelist/poet Zakes Mda recalls his coming of age under South African apartheid and his love of jazz, comic books, political discourse and writing.
    Zakes Mda: Sometimes There Is A Void
    Thursday, February 16, 2012
    Central Library

    In his memoir Sometimes There Is A Void award-winning South African author Zakes Mda chronicles his youth from boyhood in Soweto to his exile and coming of age in Basutoland (now Lesotho).

  • Filmmaker Gary Jenkins unveils his new documentary about the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape the Kansas City area to safety in the north before and during the Civil War.
    Freedom Seekers: Stories from the Western Underground Railroad
    Wednesday, February 15, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Local filmmaker Gary Jenkins unveils his new documentary about the western branch of the Underground Railroad that before and during the Civil War transported escaped slaves from the Kansas City area to freedom in the north.

    At a post-screening discussion Jenkins will be joined by Jimmy S. Johnson III, whose great- grandfather escaped a Platte County slave farm, and William O. Wagnon, who has worked to preserve Topeka’s Ritchie House, once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day: UMKC’s Jennifer Phegley provides insights into Victorian “dating” and wedding practices that continue to be embraced by modern brides and grooms…and asks if the Victorians’ ideas about romantic have left us with unhealthy expectations.
    Jennifer Phegley - Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England
    Thursday, February 9, 2012
    Central Library

    Jennifer Phegley, chair of the Department of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, examines how many of our modern marriage traditions – including wedding dresses and honeymoons – have their roots in the Victorian era.

  • Historian Adam Arenson examines the efforts of St. Louis’ intellectuals and mercantile elite to make their city the capital of a vast Western empire in the wake of the Civil War.
    Adam Arenson - The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War
    Wednesday, February 8, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Adam Arenson, assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, examines the efforts of St. Louis’ intellectuals and mercantile elite to make their city the capital of a vast Western empire in the wake of the Civil War.

    That ambitious dream was never realized, but the city grew to be a vital cultural and commercial hub. The largest city along the border between free and slave states, St. Louis became a microcosm of the dueling moral systems and competing national visions that dominated mid-19th century America.

  • Randy Roberts discusses how a 1944 college football contest played by West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen captivated an American public seeking heroism and hope.
    Randy Roberts - A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game that Rallied a Nation
    Thursday, February 2, 2012
    Central Library

    Purdue University historian Randy Roberts discusses the iconic 1944 football game between the undefeated cadets of West Point and the midshipmen of Annapolis.