Event Audio

All Kansas City Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.

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.

  • Author Steve Coll unearths the secrects of America’s largest private corporation, tracking its role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
    Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
    Tuesday, June 4, 2013
    Central Library

    As America’s biggest private corporation, ExxonMobil has economic power and political clout exceeding that of many countries. Yet its corporate culture of secrecy and discipline makes it a mystery to most of us.

    Author Steve Coll unearths the company’s secrets in Private Empire, tracking the corporation’s role on the world stage from the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

  • The retired Supreme Court justice discusses her new book and sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that characterize the Court’s history.
    Out of Order: Sandra Day O’Connor
    Monday, June 3, 2013
    Central Library

    The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, Sandra Day O’Connor has learned firsthand the inner workings, history, evolution, and influence of the nation’s highest court.

    The retired justice now shares those insights in a discussion of her new book Out of Order. O’Connor sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that characterize the history of the Supreme Court. She also provides vivid portraits of justices such as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Thurgood Marshall, William O. Douglas, and current Chief Justice John Roberts.

  • Former Reagan budget director David Stockman explains how the American state — especially the Federal Reserve — has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts.
    The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013
    Central Library

    David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the U.S. government, but the movement was derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. Now he offers a fierce indictment of the American governmental-economic complex, reveals how the workings of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America, and exposes a surprisingly nonpartisan catalog of corrupters and defenders.

  • Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her ideas for improving public education in America and putting students first.
    Radical: Fighting to Put Students First
    Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Educator Michelle Rhee joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about her new book Radical: Fighting to Put Students First and explains her ideas for improving public education by ensuring that laws, leaders, and politics are making students – not adults – their top priority.

  • Katherine Kranz shares the stories of her fellows from the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2002, who have faced little but war since graduation day.
    In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America’s Longest War
    Sunday, May 19, 2013
    Central Library

    The first to graduate after the events of 9/11, the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2002 have faced nothing but war ever since. Katherine Kranz, herself a member of that class, presents their stories in In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America’s Longest War.

  • Author and economist John Blundell  looks at the lives of women such as Anne Hutchinson, Rosa Parks, Mercy Otis Warren, the Grimke sisters, and Alice Paul to refute the idea that women desire and benefit from big government.
    Ladies for Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in American History
    Monday, May 13, 2013
    Central Library

    From Anne Hutchinson, whose doctrinal disputes with the Puritan clergy led to her expulsion from colonial Massachusetts, to Rosa Parks, who became a Civil Rights icon by refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, women have helped shape the American experience.

  • Michael Gillette discusses the life and legacy of Lady Bird Johnson, including her marriage to Lyndon Johnson, her careers as a congressional assistant and radio magnate, and her impressions of other first ladies.
    Lady Bird Johnson
    Thursday, May 9, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Over nearly two decades Lady Bird Johnson recorded 47 oral history interviews with historian Michael Gillette and his colleagues at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Now Gillette details Johnson’s stories of marriage to a powerful man, of creating a media empire, and of encounters with first ladies like Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Bess Truman.

  • Aaron Barnhart and Diane Eickhoff present their new travel guide, which explores historic sites along the Kansas-Missouri border.
    The Big Divide
    Wednesday, April 24, 2013
    Central Library

    Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart offer a new way to appreciate local history with The Big Divide, a travel book that chronologically examines historic sites along the Kansas-Missouri border. From pre-history through the Border War, Civil War, and on to the 20th Century, this guide employs point-by-point directions, photos, and maps to explore the region’s rich past.

  • Television newsman Jim Lehrer and author Lee Banville join Library director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation that provides insight into the presidential debate moments that shaped history.
    A Conversation with Jim Lehrer
    Monday, April 22, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Television newsman Jim Lehrer has presided over 12 presidential and vice-presidential debates and written about them in his 2011 memoir Tension City. Now, MacNeil/Lehrer Production has published Debating Our Destiny, a multimedia-enhanced ebook by University of Montana journalism professor Lee Banville on the history of presidential debates.

  • Jazz expert Chuck Haddix follows the rise and fall of the Kansas City band that during the 1920s took the Midwest, and then the entire country, by storm with hits like Yes Sir, That’s My Baby and What A Girl! What A Night!
    The Coon-Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra - Chuck Haddix
    Sunday, April 21, 2013
    Central Library

    Beginning with their regular gig in the Plantation Grill at Kansas City’s Muehlebach Hotel, the Coon-Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra in the 1920s took the Midwest, and then the entire nation, by storm. UMKC jazz expert Chuck Haddix follows the rise and fall of the band that had hit recordings like “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” “When You’re Smiling,” “The Flippity Flop,” “Kansas City Kitty,” “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “Harlem Madness,” and “What A Girl! What A Night!”