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.

  • Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III launches its second season with a conversation with Mark Twain, as portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performer George Frein.
    Meet the Past: Mark Twain
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011
    Central Library

    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III launches its second season with a conversation with Mark Twain, as portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performer George Frein.

    Mark Twain’s novels, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, established him as one of the great American writers, while some accounts (like that of Ernest Hemingway) cite him as the source of American literature.

  • Supreme Discomfort, written by Washington Post staffers  Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, tracks Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from his poor childhood to his law school years, to his rise within the Republican political establishment.
    Kevin Merida & Michael Fletcher: Supreme Discomfort
    Monday, October 17, 2011
    Central Library

    Supreme Discomfort, written by Washington Post staffers Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, tracks the odyssey of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from his poor childhood in Georgia to his law school years at Yale, to his rise within the Republican political establishment.

    The book paints a haunting portrait of a man who straddles two different worlds, uneasy in both, and whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.

  • In conjunction with the world-premiere of “The Darwin Project,” British scientist Andrew Berry demystifies the most important and misinterpreted of all biological ideas: evolution.
    Andrew Berry: Charles Darwin’s Theory Today
    Thursday, October 13, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    In conjunction with the world-premiere of “The Darwin Project,” an upcoming co-presentation of The Friends of Chamber Music and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, British scientist Andrew Berry demystifies the most important and misinterpreted of all biological ideas: evolution. A lecturer in Organismic & Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Berry’s research is dedicated to finding evidence of Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection at the DNA level.

  • Public art inspires dialogue, provides visual appeal, and engages its viewers. This panel, moderated by Porter Arneill, includes Jacqueline Chanda, Julian Zugazagoitia, and Mike Burke.
    Public Art/Civic Catalyst – A Local Perspective
    Wednesday, October 12, 2011
    Central Library

    Public art inspires dialogue, provides visual appeal, and engages its viewers. This panel, moderated by Porter Arneill, public art administrator for Kansas City includes Jacqueline Chanda, president, Kansas City Art Institute; Julian Zugazagoitia, chief executive officer, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; and Mike Burke, King Hershey, P.C., and member Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts.

    Co-sponsored by Art in the Loop, Downtown Council and Municipal Art Commission of Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Kansas City Star reporters  Eric Adler and Laura Bauer discuss a new book chronicling the paper’s coverage of the tornado that devastated Joplin and the efforts of residents and volunteers who have helped the community heal.
    Eric Adler & Laura Bauer - Joplin 5/22/11: Tragedy and Recovery in the Wake of an Epic Storm
    Sunday, October 9, 2011
    Central Library

    On May 22, 2011, a massive EF-5 tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, killing 159 people and injuring countless others.

    Reporters Eric Adler and Laura Bauer of The Kansas City Star discuss Joplin 5:41, a new book chronicling the newspaper’s coverage of the devastating tornado.

    The book celebrates the heroic efforts of Joplin residents and the thousands of volunteers who rushed to the scene to begin the healing. All royalties from sales of the book go to the Joplin Recovery Fund.

  • American Library Association President Molly Raphael discusses the current social and economic conditions facing libraries and considers some possible changes that will ensure patrons continue to value the services libraries provide.
    Molly Raphael - Libraries: Essential for Learning, Essential for Life
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    Central Library

    American Library Association President Molly Raphael explains why current social and economic conditions are forcing libraries of all types to change rapidly in order to survive.

    How can libraries be positioned not just to survive but to thrive? What difficult choices will have to be made in the next few years so that patrons continue to value the services libraries provide? How can libraries ensure that they are seen as both essential for learning and for life in the communities they serve?

  • KU professor Susan Harris examines a rarely seen political side of Mark Twain, whose questions about America’s role in the world remain as relevant in 2011 as they were in 1900.
    Susan Harris: Mark Twain and the Philippines
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011
    Central Library

    The annexation of the Philippines by the United States was a contentious issue at the turn of the last century. Supporters of annexation called the notion “benevolent assimilation,” while Mark Twain – interested by the racial and religious ideologies circulating amid the national debate – called it “hogwash” and “pious hypocrisy.”

    KU professor Susan Harris examines a rarely seen political side of Twain, whose questions about America’s role in the world remain as relevant in 2011 as they were in 1900.

    This presentation is a part of The Big Read.

  • The Social Media Club of Kansas City joins community thought leaders in a public discussion of how Google Fiber high-speed internet can impact the city’s infrastructure, economy, educational systems, and beyond.
    Building the Gigabit City: Brainstorming a Google Fiber Roadmap
    Monday, October 3, 2011
    Central Library

    In the six months since choosing Kansas City as a test market for its new fiber-optic network, Google has asked for community input in planning how this technology will be used.

  • Biographer and financial guru James Grant discusses his new biography of Thomas B. Reed, one of the most powerful House Speakers in history.
    James Grant - Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed: The Man Who Broke the Filibuster
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011
    Central Library

    Biographer James Grant discusses his new portrait of late nineteenth-century Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas B. Reed, who served with greater influence than any Speaker who came before him.

    Until 1890, members of the House would often filibuster by refusing to answer roll call – even if they were present – depriving the chamber of a quorum. During one such filibuster, Reed directed the clerk to count anyone in attendance as present.

    Grant is editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

  • From hilarious scenes from his youth to the present state his parents helped create, Frank Schaeffer asks what the leading right-wingers and the paranoid fantasies of their “echo chamber” are really about. Here’s a hint…sex.
    Frank Schaeffer: Sex, Mom, and God
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011
    Central Library

    In his New York Times best-selling book, Frank Schaeffer uses his life as a lens through which to view a larger narrative: the rightward lurch of American politics since the 1970s.

    The central character is Schaeffer’s far-from-prudish evangelical mother, who sweetly but bizarrely provides startling juxtapositions of the religious and the sensual throughout Schaeffer’s childhood.

    Schaeffer asks what the leading right-wingers and the paranoid fantasies of their “echo chamber” are really about. Here’s a hint... sex.