KC Public Library Blog

Railroad Reading

Take a trip on the railways. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has a new exhibition, Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960, running through January 2009 and The Kansas City Public Library has a series of three programs planned in conjunction with this exhibition: Ian Kennedy: The Impressionists and the Railroad, David Lean and the Romance of Steam Locomotion, and Dreams of Empire: Kansas City and the Railroads. In addition, the Central Library will screen a series of train-oriented films every Saturday in November. Railroads have inspired more than art, check out some of these books and films.

Eating from the Garden

On October 28, 2008 at the Central Library, Alan Branhagen, director of horticulture at Powell Gardens, discussed the new expansion there – the Heartland Harvest Garden. Also, from October 18, 2008 – January 18, 2009, the Kansas City Public Library is hosting Hungry Planet, an exhibit of photographs documenting what families around the world eat. Learn how to grow your own food in your backyard, take a peek at food traditions in Missouri, or find some new recipes with these books.

Heroes

Who do you think of when you hear the word "hero"? Someone that you know? An athlete or astronaut? Or do you think of a superhero: a special person who can fly through stormclouds, jump to the treetops, or turn invisible in the blink of an eye?

My hero is Abby the sparrow. It's not easy being a sparrow. She has to hide from hunters, such as owls, hawks, and even house cats. She defends her eggs from cowbirds, who like to lay eggs in sparrows's nests. Cowbirds want sparrows do all the work in raising the cowbird chicks! She's my hero because she's so small but so brave; she sticks up for herself against more powerful enemies. And she sings to me to cheer me up on rainy days.

Here's a list of books about heroes of all kinds, and may inspire you to be a hero, too.

Yours with snorts,

S. Will Burr signature

Where Are We? How Did We Get Here?: Current Affair Videos

Where Are We? How Did We Get Here?: A Sampling of Current Affair Videos Currently Available at The Kansas City Public Library

Darren Shan & the Demonata

Just in time for Halloween, bestselling young adult author Darren Shan discussed his many books on October 22 at the Plaza Branch. Discover Shan’s freaky worlds filled with vampires and demons.

Teen Read Week: Books with Bite

Read a few “books with bite” during Teen Read Week (October 12-18, 2008). These vampires will keep you turning the pages.

Let us now praise award-worthy Menn

The 30th Annual Thorpe Menn Award for Literary excellence was announced at a luncheon at the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library by the American Association of University Women’s Kansas City chapter.

Opening remarks were given by the Library’s CEO, R. Crosby Kemper III, who professed great admiration for all of the nominees and their work.

Pigskin?

You might not know it to look at me, but I love sports. Hedgeapple dunking, sheep bowling, and extreme hide-and-seek are my favorites. Some people might say I'm too stout to be a good athlete, but that's just part of my strategy. I'm not really fat...I'm fluffy. In a strong, superhero-pig sort of way.

Missouri Architecture

Local authors Cydney Millstein and Carol Grove discussed their new book Houses of Missouri, 1870-1940 on October 26 at the Plaza Branch. Explore the architecture of Missouri and the architects who worked here in these books and resources at the Library.

Celebrating Art Blakey

As Kansas City celebrates the legacy of jazz great Art Blakey, get in on the action with these examples of jazz on DVD available at The Kansas City Public Library.

Hispanic Heritage: Books for Kids and Teens

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with some great books for kids and teens. Read a book with your children in both Spanish and English or pick up an award-winning novel for teens.

In celebration of that other Willie Nelson

John Mark Eberhart

Anyone listening to the radio in the 1970s certainly heard a song or two by the Red-Headed Stranger. Anyone reading the local Kansas City daily newspaper anytime from 1880 to the present is familiar with the name of its founder, William Rockhill Nelson.

Floored by Gourds

Lots of things are growing on the farm where I live. Strange things. Pumpkins make me think of Halloween monsters. They grow in all sizes and many colors: reddish and warty, orange and ribbed, or smooth grayish white. I've seen gourds that look like little blue-green aliens that just hopped off of a spaceship.

What are gourds, anyway? Botanists, or people who study plants, say that gourds are fruit, like melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins.

Writing and Getting Published

Are there any aspiring writers out there? In October and November 2008, acclaimed writer Ann Hagedorn presented four talks for hopeful authors. On October 15, she provided an introduction to this four-part writing course. On October 22, she focused on the technical aspects of writing. On November 5, Hagedorn discussed storytelling and structure. Her final session on November 12 featured tips on pitching your book and finding a publisher. Get ready with these books on writing for publication and how to get published.

A Paul Newman Salute!

It’s difficult to pick only a handful of Paul Newman movies that encompass the scope and extent of his long and varied career, but these titles represent a sampling of him at his onscreen best. They’re all available on DVD at the Kansas City Public Library.