The Kansas City Public Library remains among a select group of public libraries across the country, earning a 4-star designation from Library Journal.

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Love & Profanity edited by Nick Healy

publication date: 2015
pages: 231
ISBN: 978-1-63079-021-7

The Kansas City Public Library is one of 21 nationwide recipients to receive a $100,000 grant to help launch a two-year program aimed at improving financial literacy.

We have partnered with the Women's Employment Network and other local agencies to provide a range of services, including workshops, web resources, and individual financial coaching, to residents who are looking to enhance their money-managing skills but may lack access to reliable, unbiased education opportunities and resources. The Money Matters Workshop Series is projected intended to reach hundreds of residents in areas most in need served by our North-East, Bluford, and Southeast Branches.

Currently, workshops are being held at these three locations and we are looking to expand to local area community centers, social services agencies, and religious facilities. The Money Matters Workshops will cover banking, budgeting, credit management, and protection against identity theft.

The Women's Employment Network and other financial opportunity centers will also offer free individual financial coaching sessions to workshop participants. The Money Matters Workshop Series and coaching are open to anyone but specifically targeting:

Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke

You are a writer. You may not know it, but you are. Everybody has stories. Unless you’ve been in a coma, you’ve been doing something. Even if you were in a coma, when you awaken, you have an incredible story to tell. I don’t recommend trying to fall into a coma for inspiration, though. There are a lot of methods that are far less traumatic.

Firstly, this is a library blog. The library is a resource. Sometimes, even with stories inside you, it can be challenging to get them out to the world. Where do you start? Writers’ block is a real problem, but there are exercises you can do to squelch it.

Hissing Cousins

Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer in Hissing Cousins examine the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who led parallel yet different tracks in American politics.

Get Away @ Your Library

The Metro only goes so far. Your imagination, though, is limitless. This year’s Teen Read Week theme is “Get Away @ Your Library.” We are proud of how our ten branches all have books that transport readers to other places—both real and whimsical.

To see Epic Read’s map of the United States with the setting of one young adult book representing each state, click here. For young adult books about Americans in other countries, look at Reading Underground’s map here. To see what the Kansas City Public Library has for teens set in lands that don’t really exist, click here.

No matter when you read these books, enjoy the experience of being carried away. You don’t have to stay where you are, so long as an author has brought you along for the ride.

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

publication date: 2015
pages: 517
ISBN: 978-1-250-04955-1

Carry On was another entrant in the “Chosen One” category, a la Harry Potter, Frodo, and countless other (usually YA) novels wherein a main character is given a Herculean task and, after many trials and tribulations, completes it. However, our hero in this story -- Simon Snow -- wasn’t necessarily the wizard any of us would have chosen for the job. He’s a self-proclaimed “thug” who thought more about food than magic.

In fact, Rainbow Rowell precisely and perfectly constructed characters that broke the mold of the genre. A girlfriend who was more enamored with the bad guy. A mentor who was never around to counsel because he was off raiding people’s houses in a costume and a funny mustache. A wizarding world with cars, and laptops, and smart phones.

Food For Fines 2015

Donate food items to Harvesters at any Kansas City Public Library location and for each item we'll give you a $1 credit towards your existing overdue fines.

Library Director of Strategic Initiatives Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner and Director Crosby Kemper III pose with the Library's second consecutive Emmy.

Our unique historical series Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III landed its second regional Emmy Award in as many years over the weekend.

Through the months of October and November, the Kansas City Public Library in partnership with Mid-continent Public Library is leading the Great City / Great Read initiative. In the first incarnation of this program, we are encouraging everyone in the region to revisit Lewis Carroll's 1865 classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Besides the wide variety of free programs, films, events, book discussions, and art exhibits highlighting the clever and off the wall themes of Alice, the library (of course!) wants everybody to read the book!

But what happens when you've finished Alice? What's next???

Here are some titles to satisfy your itch for tales of magical whimsy, parallel worlds, and the just plain unusual!

Why not start with the classics...

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

In 1938, Dalton Trumbo published one of the most famous anti-war novels ever written, Johnny Got His Gun. The book was hugely popular when first published.

Banned Books Week 2015

Imagine this: You hear about a book that sounds really interesting. Your friends have raved about it. You haven’t been this excited to get your hands on something to read in a long time. You go to the library to check it out. No can do. Somebody has taken all copies of those books off the shelves. Nobody will be able to borrow them for a long time. You are out of luck.

Does this sound extreme? For some people, this is life. They have experienced it. However, libraries are supposed to be places that protect our First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech. That means being able to access the information that you want and need. Those of us who work here take that very seriously.

Hoopla Logo

Did you know that the Library offers free streaming video? You can have audiobooks, TV shows, and movies on-demand. Book access is only a part of what we do.

My eight-year-old daughter watched several episodes of The Addams Family TV show from its first season in 1964. She did this on my computer for free by using the Library’s Hoopla service. Following her experience, she agreed to be interviewed for this blog.

Q: Why did you use Hoopla today?

A: I wanted to watch The Addams Family and I was bored. And I couldn’t watch Goosebumps because we didn’t have any (DVDs).

Q: Why?

A: I wanted to watch something scary. But it wasn’t really scary. It was just silly.

Q: Did you like it?

A: Yeah. Why wouldn’t I? There was a lot of kissing, though. That was gross.

Q: Would you recommend it to other people?

A: Yes. Yes I would.

Q: If so, who?

A: Everyone in the world

Q: Would you recommend using Hoopla to other people?

A: No. They may not have the right software.

I see her concern, software is a reason why others may not want to try Hoopla as well. However, it is made to be compatible across multiple platforms. Library employees are being trained on Hoopla and will gladly assist you in being able to use this service.

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Made You Up by Francesa Zappia

publication date: 2015
pages: 428
ISBN: 978-0-06-229010-6

This is a YA detective story with a twist: the sleuth, high school senior Alex Ridgemont, can't tell when a clue is real. Alex has schizophrenia, complete with detailed visual hallucinations. In order to keep her perceptions based in reality, she takes her medication and photographs everything around her, relying on the photographs to represent reality.

Alex navigates her senior year of high school at a new school, with a new crush, a new job, and a new principal who is possibly murderous. She attempts to unravel the mysteries at her new school while unraveling the hold her hallucinations have on her life.

One of the best parts of this book is that I, as the reader, simply did not know what was real. Alex is a very unreliable narrator. That adds great interest to the book and made me read carefully to make sure I didn't miss anything. However, the unreliability of the book goes beyond Alex's schizophrenic narration – the plot itself is bizarre and not what I would call realistic.

The Kansas City Public Library, in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City, is proud to present a new exhibit, Más Allá de Palabras (Beyond Words), opening Saturday, September 5, 2015, in the Genevieve Guldner Gallery, Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The exhibition highlights 34 of Mexico’s top illustrators of children’s literature, working in a variety of media.

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