Whether absorbed in solitary research or standing at a podium, enlightening a roomful of listeners on some aspect of local African-American history, Joelouis Mattox was a familiar -- and eternally welcome – face at the Kansas City Public Library.
What is the Ruiz Seed Library?
The Ruiz Seed Library began in 2014 and offers free fruit, vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to all library patrons.  Additionally, the Seed Library houses a special collection of gardening books, which are available for checkout, subscribes to several gardening magazines, has created gardening-related programs for children, and offers free monthly gardening workshops to gardeners of all skill levels. ­
A sequence of 10 relief prints by KCAI associate professor Laura Berman overlooks a nearby bank of computer stations in ONENORTH.

Step through the double-leaf bronze doors of the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library, and you'll encounter more than just books. Artwork adorns the walls. Sculptures lend accent.

Doctor Faustus (1967), dir. Richard Burton and Nevill Coghill, based on The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (c. 1590) by Christopher Marlowe. w/ Richard Burton (Doctor Faustus), Elizabeth Taylor (Helen), Andreas Teuber (Mephistophiles).
To Immigrants With Love postcards
On Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, Kansas Citians young and old, from all different walks of life and backgrounds, came to Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., with one common goal in mind: to show support for immigrants and refugees in the Kansas City community.

Diane Swanson gave 44 years of service to the Kansas City Public Library, including a decade and a half as director of its bustling Plaza Branch. Even after her death, the quiet, keenly intellectual librarian has continued to give – a $1 million bequest that is the largest one-time gift from an individual in the Library’s history.

It forms the new Swanson Strategic Endowment Fund, authorized by the Library’s board of trustees this week. Set up through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, it will be used to “highlight the riches of our collections and spread the word in the community about the great services provided by the Library, the kinds of things that Diane Swanson did all of her career,” Library Director Crosby Kemper III says.

The gift “helps the Library to maintain and enhance those offerings,” Kemper says.

Swanson, the daughter of former Western Auto Supply Co. president and CEO Arthur Swanson, rose through the Library’s ranks over a career that spanned from 1958 to her retirement in 2002. Most of that time was spent in management positions at the Plaza Branch, which she oversaw as director from 1985 to 2000.

Born in the Chicago area, she graduated from Northwestern University and went on to earn a graduate degree in library science from the University of Denver.

F Company, 24th Infantry, at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, 1892 (Original Image Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration)
The Missouri Valley Special Collections recently completed the processing of the Frank Schubert Buffalo Soldiers Collection, containing the research files, speeches and presentations, manuscripts and articles, and photographs compiled by historian Frank (Mickey) Schubert.
The Kansas City Public Library has revived a colorful slice of downtown history.

A reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1947 mural “Achelous and Hercules” – true to the 22-foot-long, more than five-foot high dimensions of the original – now graces the first floor of the Central Library. On permanent display outside the Genevieve Guldner Gallery, it returns an image that famously adorned the old Harzfeld’s Department Store just a few blocks away.
BookBingo2017
The Library’s yearly Adult Winter Reading Program merges with our youth-focused Summer Reading Program later in 2017 for one great reading challenge for all ages. But because the Library knows that our patrons look forward to participating in Winter Reading, we still wanted to offer a fun, bookish activity to get our passionate readers through the cold winter months. Introducing... BOOK BINGO!
A collection of everyone’s favorite 2016 YFE moments.
Jessica Kindcaid's "Heaven and Earth," created in 2006, was inspired by a dream the artist had when she was in her early teens.
Tucked amid the other amenities of the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library — the shelves of popular new books in stately Kirk Hall, the inviting environs of the children’s library and the array of resources available in the business and career center — are a couple of gleaming art galleries.
As a digital inclusion leader, the Kansas City Public Library provides many ways to engage in digital learning, including a Digital Media Lab for teens, over 300 public access computers available over a ten branch system, recurring computer classes and one-on-one tutoring through our new volunteer Tech Coach program as well as Career Online High School and a Hotspots program in partnership with the local school district.  When we discovered learning circles through Peer 2 Peer University, the doors opened to yet another exciting avenue for digital learning!

Library staff members share their best reading experiences of the past year.

Charles W. Gusewelle. Image courtesy of The Kansas City Star.

The Kansas City community lost an iconic writer this past week. Charles W. Gusewelle died Tuesday, November 15th at age 83. He wrote for The Kansas City Star for six decades. A few years ago, Gusewelle took part in the Library’s Dial-A-Story program. He recorded a child’s version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We are positing this encore reading of in celebration of Charles Gusewelle’s life.

There are three poets who really break the mold, and set the stage for the modern poetry of the 20th century – these are Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman in America, and Gerard Manley Hopkins in Britain.

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