Library Life

The Orphan Master's Son

The Pulitzer committee just announced the 2013 prize winners and finalists, and we are happy to say that their numbers include authors who have made recent appearances at the Kansas City Public Library.

Booketology 2013

It's hard to believe that it's already the end of Booketology. Our second annual Booketology tournament started with 64 literary characters from eight genres, each fighting for the title of Booketology Champion.

In celebration of National Library Week, we have compiled a list of books for all ages that highlight the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers.


Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library
by Don Borchert

Don Borchert writes an unvarnished and entertaining account of his time working in a suburban L.A. public library system. Libraries are no longer the ivory towers full of dusty tomes and shushing ladies that people still expect, and Borchert provides a unique perspective on the role of the modern library and librarian.


The Night Bookmobile
by Audrey Niffenegger

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

And then there were two: The Booketology Championship has come down to a battle between two iconic literary figures: Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter!

Vote now in the Booketology Championship! Voting will only be open for one day, April 8!

It was an amazing Elite 8 round for Booketology! Jane Marple fell to Huck Finn. In an upset, Princess Buttercup defeated Batman! Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet easily defeated the Hunger Games tribute Katniss Everdeen. And Harry Potter took the round against Marie Curie, with a 70 vote margin!

It's all down to the Elite 8! Our victors have won in their genres, now they face off against each other! It's Romance vs. Sci-Fi when Elizabeth Bennet battles Katniss Everdeen! Classics winner Huck Finn challenges top sleuth Jane Marple! Princess Buttercup has to defend her title against Batman! And Biography champ Marie Curie takes on Harry Potter!

Vote in the Elite 8 round here and be entered in to the drawing for four tickets to the College Basketball Experience and copies of our winners' books!

Voting for the Elite 8 will be open from April 1 through April 3. Curious how your picks did? Scroll down for the Sweet 16 results.

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The Great Gatsby

Round 2 results have been tallied, and we have entered our Sweet 16 round! The characters are now fighting for top of their genre, and for the honor of having their book become part of our Booketology Grand Prize! Did your picks survive?

There were some hard-fought victories. Lewis Carroll's Alice barely squeaked past Willy Wonka in a contentious battle, and Captain Ahab defeated Anna Karenina by only two votes! Others crushed their competition, The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan easily beat Lady Brett Ashley, and Katniss Everdeen garnered over twice the number of votes as Rick Deckard. Read more below for the complete results.

Vote in the Sweet 16 now! This round will be open from March 28 through March 31.

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Thank you everyone for an amazing Round 1 of Booketology! Are you ready for Round 2? Check the updated bracket to see if your choices made it to the second round, and vote now! Round 2 will be open from Monday, March 25 through Wednesday, March 27!

This round brings some epic match-ups: Scarlett O’Hara vs. Elizabeth Bennet! Alice in Wonderland vs. Willy Wonka! Princess Buttercup vs. Smaug! Decide who wins in Round 2!

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Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Did your favorites survive the first round of voting? Some outcomes were crushing defeats, such as when Scarlet O’Hara sent Amber St. Clare packing by a margin of 7-to-1, while others won by the narrowest of margins, like Easy Rawlins’ three vote victory over Stephanie Plum!

Round 1 Highlights:

With March Madness arrives an equally important event, Booketology, the Kansas City Public Library’s annual tournament! Last year, books fought to the bitter end. It was genre against genre, literary masterpiece vs. best seller. In the end, To Kill a Mockingbird took the championship. This year, your favorite characters are getting in on the action. Voting is closed, find out the winner here!

We have selected eight genres, and in each, eight literary characters. You decide who wins it all. From Thursday, March 21 through April 8, you can vote for your favorite champion.

Booketology Championship
See the Results Here!

You’ll also be entered into a drawing for tickets to the College Basketball Experience as well as copies of our "Elite 8" characters’ books! More information is in The Rules below.

Irish Legends by Iain Zaczek

Ireland is a country full of storytellers. It seems every citizen of the Emerald Isle was born with a golden tongue and a quick mind. KCPL has pulled together a Pinterest board of some of Ireland's most famous writers and poets. It's the Readin' O' the Green for March!

About the Author

Kaite Stover

Kaite Mediatore Stover is the Director of Readers’ Services at the Kansas City Public Library. She is a regular guest on KCUR's Book Doctors segment and moderator of The Kansas City Star’s FYI Book Club. She can tap dance, read tarot cards, and doesn’t bite.

Looking for more books about good love gone bad, bad love that feels good and love in all the wrong places?

Check out our KCPL Pinterest page, Books of Love.

Pin Winner

The Library’s latest Pinterest Contest, Christmas Books: Past, Present, and Future, is over. But before we settle down for a long winter’s read, we’d like to congratulate Kristi Bond, the winner in the drawing for the grand prize.

Christmas Books

From Dec. 3 - 10, 2012, the Kansas City Public Library invites patrons to use Pinterest to share their Christmas Books: Past, Present, and Future for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite.

Do you like giving books as Christmas presents? How about receiving them? What books remind you of holidays past?

These are the questions we want you to keep in mind as you join us on Pinterest for a celebration of giving (and receiving) the gift of reading over the holidays.

If you’ve ever read or seen A Christmas Carol, you probably noticed how we’ve adapted the book’s Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as our guiding motif. That’s no accident as we’ve been remembering Dickens this fall through our What the Dickens? series of book discussions, performances, and events.

Now, as Christmas approaches (whether you celebrate the actual holiday it or not), we want you to have fun and get practical by using Pinterest to plan your book reading, gifting, and receiving this holiday season – all for the chance to win a pretty sweet prize.

Why I Love My Library

 Why do Kansas City kids love their library? For some, it’s the books, movies, and stories that inspire and excite. For others, it’s having a safe place to let their imaginations run wild.

One thing’s clear. Kids do use – and love – their local libraries.

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 60 percent of Americans under 30 used a library in the past year for activities such as research (46%), borrowing books (38%), and reading newspapers and magazines (23%).

“The statistics are nice, but what really means something to us is the anecdotal evidence,” says Outreach Education Librarian Anna Francesca Garcia. “We wanted to collect as many stories as we could to get a sense of the impact the Library has on people.”

Over the past several weeks, our Youth Services librarians have been inviting Kansas City Public Schools students to write us telling why they love the Library. The best submissions are being honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 6 p.m. at the Plaza Branch (4801 Main St). The winners will be awarded books as their prizes


How would you like to get your hands on a brand-new Kindle that has 47 hot ebooks by the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Terry McMilan, Jodi Picoult, and many other fabulous authors already loaded on it –  completely for free?

Or how about a whodunit e-cornucopia containing the entire Millennium Trilogy alongside pulse-pounding thrillers by Lee Child, Harlan Coban, C.J. Box and dozens of others?

Or a biography smorgasbord with 57 titles from Anthony Bourdain to Edmund White?

Perhaps you’ve dreamed of having massive stacks of ebooks compressed into a single ereader to peruse on the go, but you haven’t had the cash -- or the certainty -- to buy a Kindle or Nook for yourself.

Or maybe you’re considering making the e-leap this holiday season but you’re not sure if you’ll like the feel of digital reading.

Whatever the case, get down to the Waldo Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (201 E. 75th St.) this fall, where we’re testing a new program to check out Kindles to curious and voracious patrons like you.

Each of the Library Kindles is pre-loaded with ebooks from a different genre, such as fiction, mystery, romance, history, biography, science fiction, classics, and urban fiction. Eleven Kindles are currently in circulation, with more to be added according to demand.