KC Public Library Blog

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Program Notes: The Red Violin (1998)

The Red Violin movie poster

The Red Violin is an epic yarn, a bit of fiction inspired by real events and personalities, the 300-year story of a musical instrument described by one character as “The single most perfect acoustic machine I have ever seen.”

Local History

Elmer, A.L., and Me (Part 2)

John F. Stacey (from the M. Christine Schwartz Collection)

Dr. John Horner concludes his search for the identities of the two artists who created the portraits on display in the Guerrillas in Our Midst exhibit from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Book Reviews

Sister Queens by Julia Fox

Sister Queens

One woman as queen had several children. Her sister only gave birth to a living daughter. Both lived sad lives. Katherine of Aragon and her sister Joanna (Juana) found themselves at the mercy of others.

Program Notes: The Great Waltz (1938)

The Great Waltz movie poster

The Great Waltz is terrible history. But if you’re a lover of classical music – heck, even if you aren’t – it’s a pretty stupendous experience, a prime example of a vintage MGM musical with melodies that will be swirling around in your head for days after a viewing.

Muffin Man

Fred Wolferman

September 13, 1870: Fred Wolferman, who will lead the family Kansas City grocery store to a successful purveyor of luxury food goods (especially Wolferman's English muffins), is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Local History

Elmer, A.L., and Me (Part 1)

Portrait of Alexander Franklin (Frank) James

Dr. John Horner delves into a search for the identities of the two artists who created the portraits on display in the Guerrillas in Our Midst exhibit from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Book Reviews

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned

What would you do if suddenly one of your loved ones who had died 10, 20 or even 50 years ago stood at your door alive and well? That’s the premise of The Returned, the debut novel by Jason Mott.

Wilkins Rising

Roy O. Wilkins

August 30, 1901: Roy O. Wilkins, who will spend eight years as reporter and editor of the Kansas City Call before moving on to lead the NAACP, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Local History

New Website: Civil War on the Western Border

Civil War on the Western Border

The Kansas City area has a rich Civil War history. And now there’s a new way to discover and research the legacy of the Kansas-Missouri Border War.

Program Notes: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

The Outlaw Josey Wales movie poster

Guys who love The Outlaw Josey Wales really, really LOVE IT. There are fans who think Clint Eastwood’s oater is not only one of the best Westerns ever, but that it is one of the best films ever. Say what? More on that later.

Program Notes: Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Letter from an Unknown Woman movie poster

Possibly the most European film ever made by an American studio, Letter from an Unknown Woman is a simple story that achieves astonishing complexity thanks to two terrific lead performances and the direction of Max Ophüls.

The First Edition of the Teen Zine!

It's finally here! After months of work from our teen editorial board, Unheard Voices is finally finished!

Evacuation Day

Order No. 11 by George Caleb Bingham

August 25, 1863: Following William Clarke Quantrill’s devastating raid on Lawrence, Kansas, Union General Thomas E. Ewing issues Order No. 11, forcing thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers in Missouri to evacuate the rural areas surrounding Kansas City.

Program Notes: Ride with the Devil (1999)

Ride with the Devil movie poster

Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil is an astonishingly accurate recreation of the chaos of the Kansas-Missouri border war, a fiercely partisan conflict of ambushes, lynchings, robberies and ruthless extermination.

Learn Something

Zinio for Libraries

Zinio

Free subscriptions to your favorite magazines? It sounds too good to be true, but patrons of the Library now have full access to the “online newsstand” Zinio.