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.

  • Writer Deborah Shouse discusses her book about caring for her aging mother. She is joined by storyteller Ron Zoglin and Alzheimer’s expert  Michelle Niedens.
    Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey
    Sunday, November 10, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    During her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, Deborah Shouse explored ways to connect with her and developed new rituals to anchor holidays and other celebrations. She is joined by Ron Zoglin, a professional storyteller, and Michelle Niedens, education director of the Heart of America Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, for a discussion of her book, which offers humor and hope to family members, friends, and caregivers.

  • Financial expert Mark Skousen discusses his book Maxims of Wall Street, which includes more than 800 adages from such notable figures as Warren Buffett,  J.P. Morgan, and Steve Forbes.
    Bulls and Bears: Maxims of Wall Street
    Wednesday, November 6, 2013
    Central Library

    For nearly 30 years Mark Skousen — financial economist, university professor, and author — has been collecting the wisdom of Wall Street in the form of adages, proverbs, and legends. He discusses how interviews with financial old-timers, his reading of rare business books, and his own experiences in the markets has resulted in his new collection of pithy sayings and observations in Maxims of Wall Street: A Compendium of Financial Adages, Ancient Proverbs, and Worldly Wisdom.

  • Legendary BBC reporter Martin Bell – Britain’s answer to Walter Cronkite – discusses his life, war experiences, career in Parliament, and recent incarnation as a poet.
    Martin Bell: Conflicts, Politics, and Poetry
    Wednesday, November 6, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    In the same way that Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America,” Martin Bell represents journalistic integrity and straight talk to several generations of Britons.

    Beyond his career as a reporter, Bell is a member of the Order of the British Empire who has also been elected to Parliament, an ambassador for UNICEF, and a tireless critic of the state of journalism.

    Now Bell discusses his life, his war experiences, his brief political career, and his recent incarnation as a poet.

    Co-sponsored by the English-Speaking Union.

  • Author and funeral reform advocate Joshua Slocum examines the new movement to allow survivors a greater hand in final rites, from home burials and green burials to direct arrangements with a crematory.
    Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death
    Friday, November 1, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Abuse of consumers by the funeral industry has only worsened in the decades since Jessica Mitford’s landmark expose The American Way of Death. But a funeral consumer movement is awakening, as Joshua Slocum explains in a discussion of his book Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death.

    As with natural childbirth and hospice care, Americans are asserting their right to take charge of this major event in their lives. Many still want the help of a funeral director – but to assist, not direct. And many are handling it themselves with home burials, green burials, or direct arrangements with a crematory.

  • Martin Espada, widely recognized as “the Latino poet of his generation,” reads from and discusses his most recent award-winning collection of poems, The Trouble Ball.
    The Trouble Ball - Martin Espada
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013
    Central Library

    Martin Espada, widely recognized as “the Latino poet of his generation,” joins Angela Elam from New Letters on the Air for a reading and discussion based on his most recent collection of poems, The Trouble Ball, winner of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award, and an International Latino Book Award.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle and Washington Post reporter David Finkel explore the shocking, riveting, unflinching, and ultimately deeply humane stories of those who must live the rest of their lives with the realities of war.
    Aftermath of the Long War: David Finkel
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013
    Central Library

    Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with Washington Post reporter David Finkel on the Aftermath of the Long War, the fourth offering of the Dateline: Washington series.

    Finkel was embedded with an infantry combat team in Iraq—an experience that resulted in his book The Good Soldiers. He followed those soldiers once they returned to the States, resulting in a second volume, the just-published Thank You for Your Service.

    Finkel, a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his reporting on U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen.

  • Author Herbert Alan Johnson  examines the lasting impact of an 1824 decision that became a key moment in the ongoing tug-of-war for power between individual states and the federal government.
    Gibbons v. Ogden: Herbert Alan Johnson
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013
    Central Library

    Author-educator Herbert Alan Johnson explains how a lawsuit over a steamboat monopoly ultimately led to Congress gaining the power to regulate interstate commerce. Johnson is distinguished professor emeritus of law at the University of South Carolina.

    Legal Landmarks is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Truman Library Institute, and the Federal Court Historical Society. The series is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund with additional support provided by Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and co-sponsored by the University Press of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.

  • Christopher Leitch moderates a panel of Kansas City residents who participated in the Bracero Program (1942-1964), which brought 300,000 Mexican laborers to the U.S. to work as farmhands and railroad workers.
    Mexican Witness
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013
    Central Library

    Between 1942 and 1964, as many as 300,000 Mexican laborers—called braceros—were employed as farmhands or railroad workers in the United States. The Bracero Program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history.

    Veterans of the Bracero Program now living in the Kansas City area discuss their experiences in this panel conversation moderated by Christopher Leitch.

    The presentation complements Bittersweet Harvest, a bilingual exhibit about the Bracero Program on display through October 27, 2013, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

  • Former Royals great Willie Wilson discusses his 19 seasons as a Major League Baseball player, his record-setting career, and the drug conviction that might have ruined his life at the official launch of his new memoir, Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life.
    Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Former Kansas City Royal Willie Wilson retired from Major League Baseball with 668 stolen bases (ranking 12th all-time) and 13 inside-the-park home runs (the most of any major leaguer playing after 1950). He was also among the first active major league players to serve jail time, having pled guilty to misdemeanor drug charges in 1983.

    Now Wilson and his co-author, former Kansas City Star sportswriter Kent Pulliam, discuss his life and career as chronicled in a new memoir.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton joins Library director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about his new memoir which chronicles Skelton’s life from his boyhood and a bout with polio to his ascent to the powerful chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee.
    True Life, True Grit: Achieve the Honorable
    Tuesday, October 8, 2013
    Central Library

    Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton discusses his new memoir Achieve the Honorable in a public conversation with library director Crosby Kemper III.

    Achieve the Honorable is the story of how Skelton, a native of Lexington, Missouri, overcame boyhood polio to launch a career on Capitol Hill. Along the way, the book provides glimpses into the lives of political titans like Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, and treats readers to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd political insight.