KC Public Library Blog

Building A Community Of Readers

Community Builders: Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Melanie Griffey

Melanie Griffey is a petite woman with a warm presence and a ready smile. A 43 year veteran teacher of Kindergarteners, and first and second graders, on Tuesdays she offers her considerable skills at the Plaza branch.

Hotel Horror

Hyatt  Regency Hotel

July 17, 1981: One hundred fourteen people die as two skywalks collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during a tea dance.

Program Notes: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Confessions of a Nazi Spy movie poster

Whatever its merits as entertainment, 1939's Confessions of a Nazi Spy is a social and historical landmark, the first time a major Hollywood studio pulled out all the stops in attacking the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen

The Greek Coffin Mystery

In this 1932 classic mystery, an elderly and wealthy Greek art dealer dies, and his will has gone missing. Inspector Richard Queen of the NY Police is brought in to investigate.

Teen Review: Great

Book Cover Image

Great, by Sara Benincasa

Teen Reviewer: Keely McLouth

What would your life be like if your mother was famous? Most of us think Life would be amazing!, but that is not the answer for Naomi Rye. Not only are her parents divorced, Naomi has to spend a whole summer with her uptight, famous mother. In this intruiging story, Naomi is prepared for her usual summer of famous people and fake friends.

The Multiplex is Born

Stanley H. Durwood

July 12, 1963: Stanley H. Durwood, chief executive of Durwood Theaters (later American Multi-Cinema and then AMC Entertainment), builds the country's first multiplex movie theater in the Ward Parkway shopping center.

Program Notes: Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Each Dawn I Die movie poster

Warner Brothers was noted for its emphasis on films that dealt with social problems. Each Dawn I Die is a prison film pairing James Cagney with tough guy George Raft – a man with intimate knowledge of underworld characters.

Building A Community Of Readers

Community Builders: Westport Branch and Collection Development

The outside of the Westport branch, located at 118 Westport Road.

The Library is full of movers and shakers, unafraid of change, who are devoted to finding new and innovative ways to make the Library experience better. Our journey begins with the lovely people who choose which books go on the shelf—Collection Development.

Teen Review: Awaken

Book Cover Image

Awaken, by Katie Kacvinsky

Teen Reviewer: Keely McLouth

Imagine a world full of technology, but not like what we have now. Imagine something more, a lot more, different. Where people can't remember what it's like to have human contact with people other than their families. Yes, they are in each other's presence, but they aren't connecting.

Teen Review: The Chaos

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The Chaos, by Nalo Hopkinson

Teen Reviewer: Abigail Borne

The Chaos is centered on Sojourner, aka “Scotch”, who starts developing black blemishes all over her body. She dreads going to school and fears that somebody might discover her past if she’s not careful. When her parents go out of state, she and her brother Rich see a chance to be free of their overbearing parents.

Program Notes: Another Thin Man (1939)

Another Thin Man movie poster

One of the first things you realize watching 1939’s Another Thin Man is that the mystery hardly matters. Watch it for the sophisticated humor and the superb banter between stars William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Bridge to the Future

Hannibal Bridge, looking northeast from the south side of the Missouri River.

July 3, 1869: Forty thousand people gather along the banks of the Missouri to celebrate the opening of the quarter mile long Hannibal Bridge, designed by Octave Chanute, which makes Kansas City a commercial hub for the railroads that are rapidly expanding to the west.

Eli Wallach Was a Maestro, If Not a Movie Star

Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach wasn’t a movie star. He was an actor. There’s a difference.

The Tony, Emmy, and honorary Academy Award-winning Wallach this week died at age 98.

Starry, Starry Nights

Starlight Theatre

June 25, 1951: Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre kicks off its first season with a performance of The Desert Song.

Program Notes: Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever movie poster

It’s difficult for modern viewers to appreciate the immense popularity of MGM’s Andy Hardy films of the late 1930s and early ‘40s. Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever is the seventh release in the 18-film series that began in 1937 and didn’t wrap up until 1958.