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 Wall Street Journal writer Ann Hagedorn discusses her cautionary new book about the handover of a sizable element of our national security – from combat support to police training to cyber security – to private military and security companies.
    The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security
    Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Central Library

    Thirty years ago, there were no private military and security companies. Now PMSCs, as they’re known, are a vital part of American foreign and military policy, assisting in combat operations, replacing U.S. forces after their withdrawal from combat zones, and providing maritime security, police training, drone operations, cyber security, and intelligence analysis.

    In a discussion of her new book, journalist Ann Hagedorn takes a worried look at this privatization of our national security – why it originated, how it operates, where it’s heading, and the dangers it poses.

    Hagedorn is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal. Among her books are Wild Ride, Ransom, Beyond the River, and Savage Peace.

  • KCPT-TV’s Nick Haines emcees this event, in which participants in Literacy Kansas City’s adult-learning program tell their stories. Also touting the power of reading is a group of local writers including bestselling author Candice Millard.
    The Power of Reading: A Celebration of the Written Word
    Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    An estimated 225,000 adults in Kansas City function at the lowest literacy level, denied some of the simplest and most important moments in life because they cannot read.

    The nonprofit organization Literacy Kansas City targets that issue through tutoring and other direct services, advocacy, and collaboration. Its sixth annual event at the Library, The Power of Reading: A Celebration of the Written Word, emceed by KCPT-TV’s Nick Haines, commemorates the effort and the adult learners benefitting from it. A number of them share their stories. Local writers including bestselling author Candice Millard, poet and novelist Maija Rhee Devine, journalist Brian Burnes, and human rights activist Alvin Sykes also read personal stories and original writings.

    Mayor Sly James will deliver opening remarks.

  • Popular Kansas City blogger  Jen Mann launches her witty, often biting new book on suburban life, marriage, and motherhood – People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges – with a discussion and signing.
    People I Want to Punch in the Throat - Jen Mann
    Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Central Library

    Jen Mann is, first, a suburban Johnson County, Kansas, wife and mother of two and, second, a witty, biting writer whose blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, has garnered a national following. Featured on The Huffington Post, the young parents’ online magazine Babble, and cable television’s Headline News, she has been described as Erma Bombeck – with f-bombs.

    Mann appears at the Library to launch her new book, People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges, a laugh-out-loud collection of essays on suburban life, marriage, and motherhood. Subjects range from the politics of joining a play group to the thrill of a moms’ night out at the gun range.

  • From Lincoln to Les Misérables, the movie industry soared in 2012. But production costs were up, DVD sales down, and a digital revolution was underway. Journalist Anne Thompson examines Hollywood’s watershed year with the Library’s Kaite Stover and UMKC’s Mitch Brian.
    The $11 Billion Year - Anne Thompson
    Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    The year 2012 was a watershed for the Hollywood movie industry, producing the likes of Silver Linings Playbook, Les Misérables, Lincoln, and Argo and delivering a record-breaking box office after two years of decline. But not everything was rosy. DVD sales continued to decline, production costs soared, and the digital revolution was forcing the industry to rethink how it made and marketed films.

    Journalist Anne Thompson joins the Library’s Kaite Stover and UMKC film professor Mitch Brian for a public conversation based on Thompson’s new book, The $11 Billion Year, a chronicle of that landmark year at the movies.

    Thompson writes the Thompson on Hollywood blog at Indiewire.

  • Twenty-three years after memorably accusing Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, Anita Hill visits the Library for the screening of a documentary chronicling that historic event. Following the film, she will take audience questions.
    Anita: Speaking Truth to Power - Anita Hill
    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.

    Twenty-three years after she riveted a nation – sitting before a microphone in a bright blue suit, calmly telling an all-male Senate committee that she once was subjected to sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas – Anita Hill will appear at a Kansas City Public Library event commemorating that historic event.

  • Best-selling author Frank Schaeffer doesn’t unequivocally believe in God. But moved in part by the love for his children and grandchildren, he prays every day. In a discussion of his latest book he asks: What’s wrong with that paradox?
    Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God
    Thursday, August 21, 2014
    Central Library

    Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend’s death, Frank Schaeffer found himself simultaneously not believing and believing in a higher power – an atheist turning to prayer.

    The bestselling author examines that conflict in a discussion of his latest book, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God. Schaeffer casts himself as an imperfect son, husband, and grandfather whose love of family and art trump the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist’s vision of a cold, meaningless universe.

  • Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.
    Intelligence and Espionage During World War I - Mark Stout
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Central Library

    Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.

  • Carl Weber continues the first season of the Library’s urban fiction series with a discussion of his sequel to the best-selling The Choir Director, further following the career and challenging personal life of title character Aaron Mackie.
    The Choir Director 2: Runaway Bride - Carl Weber
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    Central Library

    The behind-the-scenes lives of African American clergymen and their families make up a major sub-genre of contemporary urban fiction. To date, most of these novels have been written by women.

    Author Carl Weber offers a male point of view in books such as The Choir Director. In his latest novel, a sequel to that bestseller, title character Aaron Mackie’s nationally renowned success has him in line for a huge recording contract. But his private life comes crashing down when his fiancé leaves him at the altar with no explanation, and Mackie turns to his mentor, Bishop T.K. Wilson, for help. Unfortunately, the line Mackie asks him to cross will force the bishop to choose between friendship and faith.

  • Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.
    Missouri’s German Americans During World War I - Petra DeWitt
    Sunday, August 17, 2014
    Central Library

    Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.

  • One day shy of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal, Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about KC Southern's role in rebuilding the parallel Panama Canal Railway.
    A Man, A Plan, A Panama Canal Railway: A Conversation with Dave Starling
    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    On this date 99 years and 364 days ago, the Panama Canal opened and revolutionized maritime trade.

    It also threw the Panama Railroad and its parallel, 47-mile track into near-disuse and decay – until it was taken over in 1998 and restored by the Panama Canal Railway Company, which is 50 percent owned by Kansas City Southern. The Panama line now provides continuous Atlantic-to-Pacific freight and passenger service.

    Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling oversaw that rejuvenation during his tenure as president and director general of the Panama Canal Railway from 1999-2008. He sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a conversation coinciding with the 8½-month run of the centennial exhibit on the canal, The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal, at the Linda Hall Library.