KC Public Library Blog

Program Notes: In America (2002)

In America movie poster

In America (2002) is a movie that worms its way into your heart and takes up residence. It moves audiences in profound ways. It feels authentic. It ought to. Many of the scenes were lifted directly from the lives of director Jim Sheridan and his daughters.

Book Reviews

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What are your “greatest hits?” What are the best moments of your life that you would like to relive over and over and over again? You might have a few that pop directly to the surface, or you might have an oddball moment that came out of nowhere.

Library Life

KC Library Goes Mobile

Your Library is now palm-sized.

Update (October 10, 2011): The mobile app is now available for iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices. Learn more.

Thanks to our brand-new mobile app, smartphone users can now access the Kansas City Public Library from anywhere. From searching the catalog to renewing items, placing holds, and downloading e-books, a bevy of services are available through this totally free app.

Movie Quiz: Comic Book Heroes

Comic Book Movies

Sometimes it seems that everything playing at the megaplex was inspired by a comic book superhero. For today’s quiz you need to match the comic book superhero with the various actors who have played him/her on screen...

Featured Authors

Behind the Exhibit: Emma Lazarus - Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience (Video + Event)

We all know Emma Lazarus for giving voice to the Statue of Liberty through her sonnet "The New Colossus" (Give me your tired, your poor). But as Esther Schor shows in her enthralling biography of Lazarus, she was a feminist, a Zionist and an internationally famous Jewish-American writer – before those categories even existed.

Book Reviews

Big Read Recap: Tom Sawyer, Chs. IX-XII

Aunt Polly

For a brief shining moment in the spring of 1969, I was Aunt Polly. The 8th grade class of St. Peter’s enacted a little play based on some scenes from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We all got to choose parts, and I petitioned long and hard (it seemed so, for there was heavy resistance) for the part of Aunt Polly.

Program Notes: Green Card (1990)

Green Card movie poster

Australian director Peter Weir is recognized for many things. Comedy is not among them. 1990's Green Card, in fact, is Weir's only true comedy in a career that spans more than 40 years. But it's a highly satisfying one.

Featured Authors

Behind the Exhibit: Mark Twain and Tom Benton (Video)

Benton illustration

One of the greatest artistic collaborations in Missouri history is on display right now at the Central Library. Our exhibit Mark Twain and Tom Benton: Pictures, Prose, and Song features illustrations Benton made for three limited edition Twain novels, along with lithographs by Benton, a record album, first edition Twain books, and portraits of both men.

A Tribute to Cliff Robertson

Cliff Robertson at the Spider-Man premier (2002), Photo by Steve Granitz/Wireimage.com

Good looking, versatile and almost impossible to pigeon hole, Cliff Robertson was the kind of actor who left himself behind when he slipped into a role.

Book Reviews

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth book cover

In The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Alexandra Robbins recounts the lives of six high school students and one new teacher. It's hard to decide which one of the students I grew most fond of: Danielle, the loner; Noah, the band geek; Eli, the nerd; Joy, the new girl; Blue, the gamer; Whitney, the “popular bitch;” or Regan, the weird girl.

Program Notes: Avalon (1990)

Avalon movie poster

Avalon is a movie about becoming an American.

It’s also about losing, little by little, the connections to their previous lives that informed the original generation of immigrants.

Off-the-Wall Preview: Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York screens free on the Rooftop Terrace, Friday, September 16, at 8:45 p.m.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a synecdoche as a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part...

Keep that in mind while watching Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York (2008).

Book Reviews

Classic Review: Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

One of my favorite quotes is: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That statement from Faulkner’s 1951 novel, Requiem for a Nun, could be said of all of Faulkner’s writing, and for Absalom, Absalom! (1936) especially.

Movie Quiz: Stage Names

Nowadays it’s OK for movie stars to embrace the names their parents gave them. But back in Hollywood’s heyday actors were given a full makeover by the studio publicity departments, a process that often entailed replacing their unpronounceable or funny-sounding (or just boring) names with snazzy new movie-star monikers.

Local History

Know Your KC History: Campy Campaneris Joins the 9-in-9 Club

On September 8, 1965, the Kansas City Times started its 98th year of publication. The biggest story that morning was how Hurricane Betsy was pounding Florida. The storm was over 600 miles across, had hit Miami Beach with 81 m.p.h. winds, and crashed 20 foot waves near Fort Lauderdale, wreaking damage to roads, homes, and businesses.