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.

  • 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!”

  • Author William Hogeland explains how debt, speculation, foreclosures, protests, and crackdowns made us a nation.
    Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    Central Library

    Arguments over taxation and “constitutional conservatism” are nothing new, William Hogeland points out. His new book brings to life the violent conflicts over economics, class, and finance that played directly into the hardball politics of forming the nation and ratifying the Constitution — conflicts that still affect our politics, legislation, and national debate.

  • In Behind the Kitchen Door,  Saru Jayaraman explores how restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America and how poor working conditions - discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens - affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables.
    Behind the Kitchen Door
    Thursday, April 11, 2013
    Central Library

    How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions — discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens — affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables?

    In Behind the Kitchen Door Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of a national restaurant workers organization, provides a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of eating out.

  • Damon Talbott examines the legacy of Duncan Hines from his career as a famous restaurant critic to the founding of the line of cake mixes that bear his name.
    From Famous Critic to Faceless Brand: The Life and Legacy of Duncan Hines
    Sunday, April 7, 2013
    Central Library

    Damon Talbott examines the legacy of Duncan Hines from his career as a famous restaurant critic to the founding of the line of cake mixes that bear his name.

    Through the shifting roles of Hines, Talbott explains how taste is neither an object to acquire nor a state of being to achieve, but instead an ongoing process, a temporary association of things considered “good.”

  • Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star moderates a panel of experts discussing whether Kansas City, Missouri, should switch from a police department run by the state to one under the direct control of the mayor and city council.
    Should Kansas City Pursue Local Control of Its Police Department?
    Thursday, April 4, 2013
    Central Library

    The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling and an expert panel discuss whether it is time for control of the Kansas City Police Department to revert from the state back to the city. Participants include former Police Commissioner Karl Zobrist, former Police Chief Jim Corwin, City Councilman Ed Ford, and Steve Glorioso, who led a campaign to change St. Louis’ police governance law.

  • Scholar Henry Adams discusses the life of his  great-great-great-great-great grandmother, who witnessed the American Revolution and left behind insightful  and sometimes ascerbic impressions of the Founding Fathers.
    Abigail Adams
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Abigail Adams, the wife of one president and the mother of a second, was significant not only for her accomplishments as a diarist and letter writer but for the influence she had on successive generations of the Adams family. Scholar Henry Adams, the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Abigail and John Adams, looks at his forbear’s life and writing, especially her often caustic impressions of the Founding Fathers.

  • James G. Basker examines the vast reservoir of early abolitionist literature from the likes of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves.
    American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation
    Tuesday, April 2, 2013
    Central Library

    Historian James G. Basker discusses his new book, a collection of writings reflecting our nation’s long, heated confrontation with that poisonous evil, slavery. This vast reservoir of abolitionist literature flowed from the pens of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, anonymous editorialists, and freed slaves. Basker is the editor of a new book, American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation, published by the Library of America.

  • Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban  in a demonstration of how poetry  can capture the power of inner- city voices.
    Urban Blue Poetry
    Thursday, March 28, 2013
    Central Library

    Think of it as a husband-and-wife tag-team poetry slam.

    Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban in a demonstration of how poetry can capture the power of inner-city voices.

    Stanley’s poetry offers city grit with a blues and jazz undertone. Janet’s poetry has city grit as well, but with an urban woman’s perspective. This African-American couple is known for firing up audiences wherever they give a reading.

  • Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.
    Why Everything You Used to Know About Travel Is Wrong
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Traveling has undergone some big changes in recent years. Now travel journalist Rudy Maxa provides tips to save money, maximize pleasure, and minimize hassles. He offers suggestions about where you should go right now, how to save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

  • Theda Skocpol conducted grassroots interviews and visited local Tea Party gatherings throughout America. In this year’s Park University Hauptmann Lecture, she discusses the past and future of the Tea Party movement and examines its dominant beliefs.
    The Tea Party and Civic Engagement in America
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Central Library

    For her book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Theda Skocpol conducted grassroots interviews and visited local Tea Party gatherings throughout America. She discusses the past and future of the Tea Party movement and examines its dominant belief that benefits like Social Security and Medicare should be reserved for “real Americans” who have paid their dues by working and paying taxes.

    Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.

    Presented as this year’s Park University Hauptman Lecture.