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.

  • Bon vivant Chester Alan Arthur was propelled into the presidency by an assassination and then defied the federal patronage system that had nurtured him.
    Zachary Karabell: Chester Alan Arthur
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Author Zachary Karabell examines Chester Alan Arthur, who was propelled into the presidency by the assassination of James Garfield and turned his back on the patronage system that had nurtured him.

  • Murder. Hill people. Sensational press coverage. Historian Brooks Blevins reveals how a 1929 crime forever colored public perceptions of  the Ozarks.
    Brooks Blevins: Ghost of the Ozarks
    Sunday, May 20, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Brooks Blevins examines a brutal 1929 murder and rape in the Arkansas Ozarks and demonstrates how press coverage of the ensuing trial has resulted in unfair generalizations about life in that corner of the Midwest.

    A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University. His other books include Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State and Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers and Their Image.

  • KU professors Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander examine the world of computer pioneer Alan Turing, subject of Cryptograph, an exhibit now on display at KU’s Spencer Museum of Art.
    Steve Goddard & Perry Alexander - Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing
    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    Central Library

    KU’s Steve Goddard and Perry Alexander explore the world of early computer scientist Alan Turing, the subject of Cryptograph: An Exhibition for Alan Turing now at the Spencer Museum of Art on the KU campus.

    Cryptograph examines the question that drove Turing’s research: finding meaning in patterns.

    Goddard is senior curator at the Spencer Museum and a professor of art history; Alexander is professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

  • Candice Millard, author of the best-selling Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & Murder, examines the brief presidency of James A. Garfield and the fallout from his assassination.
    Candice Millard: James A. Garfield
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President, explores the life and protracted death of James A. Garfield, who didn’t want to be president and was fatally shot just months into his first term.

  • The Harvard Business School’s Robert Kaplan poses reflective questions all leaders should ask themselves to maximize an organization’s effectiveness.
    Robert Kaplan: What to Ask the Person in the Mirror
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012
    Central Library

    Leadership is less about having all the answers than about asking the right questions. Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan says in his book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror that the challenge lies in being able to step back, reflect, and ask the key questions that are critical to your performance and your organization’s effectiveness.

  • Historian Donald R. Hickey examines the war that inspired The Star Spangled Banner, left us with the phrase “Don’t give up the ship,” and reached the Mississippi River Valley, New Orleans, and what was then considered the far west - nearby Fort Osage on the Missouri River.
    Donald R. Hickey: The War of 1812
    Sunday, May 6, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Donald R. Hickey, author of The Rockets’ Red Glare: An Illustrated History of The War of 1812, discusses that “forgotten war” which gave us some memorable military moments (Admiral Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, Andrew Jackson’s triumph at New Orleans) but also saw the British burn the White House. Moreover, the war ended not in overwhelming victory, but in a draw – which may explain why so many Americans know little about it.

  • Award-winning short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson  (Parasites Like Us, The Orphan Master’s Son) discusses his work with UMKC Writer in Residence Whitney Terrell.
    Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son
    Thursday, April 26, 2012
    Central Library

    Short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson discusses his work in a public conversation with local author Whitney Terrell. Known for his “vaguely Blade Runner–esque visions of a cluttered, anaerobic American culture,” Johnson has published the short story collection Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. His latest novel is The Orphan Master’s Son.

  • Linda Rodriguez discusses her award-winning debut mystery novel, in which a big-city cop finds that running a college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined.
    Linda Rodriguez: Every Last Secret
    Tuesday, April 24, 2012
    Central Library

    Kansas City author Linda Rodriguez discusses her debut novel Every Last Secret, a murder mystery in which big-city cop “Skeet” Banion finds that running a smalltown college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined. The book is the winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition.

  • Author Christopher B. Leinberger discusses urban environments that encourage neighborhoods where citizens can live, work, and play within easy walking distance.
    Christopher B. Leinberger: The Option of Urbanism
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    Central Library

    Author Christopher B. Leinberger describes how government policy over the last 60 years – driven by the auto and oil industry – has encouraged suburban sprawl with its strip malls and isolated housing developments. The result: decline of community, urban decay, pollution, and a rise in obesity and asthma. But there’s a new approach (or perhaps it’s an old approach) in which citizens live, work, and play within easy walking distance.

  • Precisely 150 years after the Battle of Shiloh, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor recreates the bloody clash that convinced Americans that the Civil War would be a long, grueling conflict.
    Gregory S. Hospodor: The Battle of Shiloh
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    Central Library

    In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

    Hospodor is an associate professor of military history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was named teacher of the year for 2011.