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.

  • Sportscaster Roger Twibell and a panel of NFL veterans – former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, and three-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Conrad Dobler – look at the complicated issue of player health and safety from both personal and institutional points of view.
    Big Hits, Lasting Hurts
    Tuesday, December 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Players in today’s National Football League are bigger and faster than ever — and that means devastating collisions on the gridiron. The health issues confronting these Sunday gladiators — from concussions to blown-out knees, and the medical care provided them after they retire from the game — are explored by CBS Sports Network’s Roger Twibell and a panel of experts.

    Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson (now chairman of USA Football), former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, and three-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Conrad Dobler look at the complicated issue of player health from both personal and institutional points of view and discuss the sport's future in the face of these safety concerns.

  • Author Hank Phillippi Ryan discusses her latest novel, a mystery in which reporter Jane Ryland investigates a respected adoption agency that may be guilty of the ultimate betrayal: reuniting birth parents with the wrong children.
    The Wrong Girl
    Thursday, November 21, 2013
    Central Library

    Agatha Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan discusses her latest mystery, The Wrong Girl, about an investigation of a respected adoption agency that may be guilty of the ultimate betrayal: reuniting birth parents with the wrong children.

    Ryan is the creator of the Charlotte McNally series of mysteries (Prime Time, Air Time, Face Time, and Drive Time) and has won 30 Emmys for her investigative reporting for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She is also the president of Sisters in Crime, which supports women who write mysteries.

  • Biographer Terry Teachout discusses his new book about Duke Ellington, the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century — and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand.
    Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington
    Wednesday, November 20, 2013
    Central Library

    Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century – and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. Biographer Terry Teachout sheds new light on this creative genius in a discussion of his new book about the grandson of a slave who wrote such classics as “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady.”

    Teachout, a Kansas City resident from 1975 to 1983, is the author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken, and the play Satchmo at the Waldorf. For The Wall Street Journal, he is drama critic and the author of “Sightings,” a column about the arts in America. He is the critic-at-large at Commentary, and writes the blog About Last Night.

  • Filipino-American poet Patrick Rosal–who has been known to punch up his readings by strumming the guitar, playing the piano, and dancing-discusses his work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.
    A Conversation with Patrick Rosal
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013
    Central Library

    Patrick Rosal’s poetry, writes one critic, “skillfully navigates between despair and love, between violence and music, between loss and transcendence ... I’ve seen him make people cry during his readings. I’ve seen him play a guitar, play the piano, sing, and yes, dance.”

    Rosal holds a discussion about his work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.