Event Audio

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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.

  • In a discussion of their new book, University of Kansas professors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis examine the dilemma facing today’s college graduates: They’re leaving school in deep, crippling debt.
    The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream
    Thursday, January 7, 2016
    Central Library

    College graduates last May held an unenviable distinction: They left school deeper in debt than any class before them. Those who’d taken out student loans owed, on average, a little over $35,000, more than doubling the amount of two decades earlier.

    In a discussion of their new book, William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis examine the dilemma of young people beginning their careers with a negative net worth. The two University of Kansas professors call, in part, for states and the federal government to establish savings accounts for students during their childhood rather than awarding thousands of dollars at the end of high school – a move they say would promote dramatically different behavior and saving strategies for families.

  • Johnson County, Kansas, blogger and best-selling author Jen Mann gives the holiday season her own inimitable spin in a discussion of her new book. Hint: It’s not all warm and sugary (but it’s hilarious).
    Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat - Jen Mann
    Wednesday, December 9, 2015
    Central Library

    As Jen Mann notes, her nationally popular blog is called "People I Want to Punch in the Throat" and not "Rainbows and Unicorns." So it’s no surprise that her take on Christmas isn’t all warm and sugary. But it’s drop-dead hilarious.

    The suburban Johnson County, Kansas, wife, mother, and best-selling writer gives the holiday season her inimitable spin in a discussion of her new book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers and Other Seasonal Scourges.

  • Kansas-reared Robert Day, author of the modern western classic The Last Cattle Drive, sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a wide-ranging conversation in conjunction with the launch of his second novel, Let Us Imagine Lost Love.
    Let Us Imagine Lost Love - Robert Day
    Tuesday, December 8, 2015
    Central Library

    Kansas-reared Robert Day, author of the modern western classic The Last Cattle Drive, sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a wide-ranging conversation in conjunction with the launch of his second novel, Let Us Imagine Lost Love. Day sets this story largely on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza and revolves it around a book designer reminiscing about youthful misunderstandings and secret longings for women, about experiences both beautiful and ugly, as he tries to make sense of his life.

    Raised in Merriam, Kansas, Day earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas. He taught initially at Fort Hays State University and then for 35 years at Washington College.

    He has established the Robert and Kathryn Day Endowment for the Literary Arts to benefit the Library.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators, author Jay Nordlinger spotlights the offspring of 20 notorious dictators – from Stalin and Mao to Qaddafi and Hussein.
    Children of Monsters: Jay Nordlinger
    Thursday, December 3, 2015
    Central Library

    What is it like to be the son or daughter of an absolute and ruthless dictator? To bear a name – Stalin or Mussolini, Mao or Ceausescu, Qaddafi or Hussein – that’s synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil?

    In a discussion of his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators, author Jay Nordlinger speaks with Library Director Crosby Kemper III about the offspring of 20 of the world’s most notorious despots.

  • The Library, in partnership with American Public Square, launches a series of mannerly discussions of polarizing local issues. Experts on both sides examine the future of the Kansas City International Airport. Remodel or rebuild? And how, exactly?
    KCI Up in the Air - Scott Helm, Kevin Koster, Jon Stephens, Steve Vockrodt
    Wednesday, December 2, 2015
    Central Library

    The Library, in partnership with American Public Square, launches a series of discussions of polarizing local issues – minus the incivility and invective that all too often feed polarity.

    Experts on both sides of the debate join University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and moderator Scott Helm in examining the future of Kansas City International Airport. Remodel or rebuild? Stay with multiple terminals or move to just one? The panel includes Skopos President Kevin Koster, a member of the KCI Airport Terminal Advisory Group; Rockhill Strategic President Jon Stephens, interim executive director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce; and Pitch writer Steve Vockrodt. There are fact checkers and a “civility bell.”

  • In a discussion of their new book, former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery, Hall of Fame swimming coach Peter Malone, and psychologist Andrew Jacobs examine the problems with today’s overwrought youth sports scene and how to fix them.
    Just Let ’Em Play: Guiding Parents, Coaches, and Athletes through Youth Sports
    Wednesday, December 2, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    The stories seem more prevalent and disturbing today than ever: kids being pushed in one or more sports to the point of burnout before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating their pint-sized players.

    Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery, psychologist Andrew Jacobs, and Hall of Fame swimming coach Peter Malone have seen firsthand the issues that are making youth sports increasingly difficult for all – especially the young participants.

  • In a discussion of his new book, world chess champion-turned-human rights activist Garry Kasparov discusses what he says is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s evolution from local to regional to global threat. His advice: Stand up to the bully..
    Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped - Garry Kasparov
    Wednesday, November 11, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    World chess champion-turned-human rights activist Garry Kasparov sounded his first warning about Vladimir Putin in 2001.

    He now compares the Russian president with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the Islamic State as an enemy of political liberty and the modern world order. In a discussion of his book, Kasparov examines what he says is Putin’s evolution from local to regional to global threat and advocates that the U.S. and its allies stand up to the bully rather than try to appease him.

  • There was more to General George Custer than Little Bighorn. In a discussion of his new book, Pulitzer winner T.J. Stiles reveals a complex man who helped lead the U.S. into a more modern age and then struggled to cope with that change.
    Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America - T.J. Stiles
    Monday, November 9, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Many, if not most, Americans’ understanding of Gen. George Armstrong Custer begins and ends with his demise at Little Bighorn. But that belies the complexity of a historic figure who was capable yet insecure, intelligent yet bigoted, and an individualist at odds with the institution of the military (he was court-martialed twice in six years).

  • The 16th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration opens with a Friday Night Family Fun concert and a ghost-tales session. Saturday’s Storytelling Spectacular offers an array of lively stories, anecdotes, myths, and legends.
    Storytelling Celebration
    Friday, November 6, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    The 16th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration features a lineup of lively stories, anecdotes, myths, legends, and lessons.

    Storytelling Celebration
    Friday, November 6, 2015
    Programs: 6:30 and 7 p.m.

    Opening the evening is a Friday Night Family Fun family concert in the Kids’ Corner at 6:30 p.m., offering tales for all ages.

  • Author David O. Stewart discusses the research behind his latest alternative-history novel – a sequel to The Lincoln Deception – which revolves around President Woodrow Wilson and deviousness at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.
    The Wilson Deception - David O. Stewart
    Tuesday, October 27, 2015
    Central Library

    The same fictional twosome at the center of David O. Stewart’s The Lincoln Deception delves further into alternative history, sorting through the deviousness of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, in Stewart’s latest book, The Wilson Deception.

    The lawyer-turned-author discusses the history behind his novel, centered on the months-long negotiation of the end of World War I and its Big Four participants: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, and Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando.

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