KC Public Library Blog

Library Life

Video: Meet Missouri Valley Man Eli Paul

Though all employees work with the catalog at one time or another, not all are actually in the catalog. Our new Missouri Valley Special Collections director, however, is a noteworthy exception. Watch a video interview with Eli Paul...

Local History

The Hyatt Regency Disaster in Photos & Headlines

At 7:05 p.m. on July 17, 1981, two walkways inside the Hyatt Regency hotel at Crown Center collapsed during a massive party. By the time the wreckage had been cleared, 114 were dead and 216 were injured. This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the disaster, and a special event at the Kansas City Public Library will explore its causes and aftereffects.

Book Reviews

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas is unsure about several things. He can’t remember where he is from, how old he is, or how he wound up in this place called “The Glade.” All he knows is that he is looking for answers, and all of the boys around him seem very unwilling to answer his questions. Where are they? Who put them here? And what are these vicious creatures known as “Grievers?”

Weekly Teen Book Review Roundup!

Every week here on the Teen Blog, we’ll be posting a roundup of the previous week’s Summer Reading book reviews submitted by our KCPL teens. To find out how you can get your reviews posted, check out the Teen Summer Reading page. And stay up with what’s going on this summer on our KC Library Teens Facebook page.

And without further ado, the latest batch of book reviews…

Outrunning the Darkness by Anne Schraff
My favorite character is Jaris. I love that he sticks up for himself and his pop. –A.S. @ Central

Featured Authors

Download an E-book Copy of Tom Sawyer for The Big Read

Astonish your school by grabbing a Tom Sawyer e-book.

The Kansas City Public Library is bringing back The Big Read this year, and you needn’t plunk down cash to buy in. You can download e-book versions of this year’s selection, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain from the Library’s website to keep and use on your e-reader free of charge. 

Book Reviews

John Ransom's Andersonville Diary

Andersonville Diary

For July, I thought something quintessentially American was called for, and as this is the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War, John Ransom’s diary of his 14 months as a P.O.W. in the Confederate prison system seemed a natural choice. 

Learn Something

10 Ways to Research the History of Your Home

Whether you hang your hat in gingerbread Victorian or a warehouse loft, the Library has the tools to help you uncover the history of your home. The Missouri Valley Special Collections contain a wealth of historical records in print, on microfilm, and online.

Book Reviews

Little Bets by Peter Sims

Last winter I experienced Disney World’s animated production It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I use the word experienced because no senses were left untouched. Wow, what imagination went into this nine-minute piece of entertainment! I walked out of the theater with all kinds of questions about creativity.

Off-the-Wall: More than Just a Game

It is a casual gesture – but when John Malkovich grabs a poker to stoke a fire warming his palatial estate, he also grabs filmgoers by issuing a sinister yet off-hand threat to Ray Winstone: "Do you want to tell me what you want, or do you want a truffling pig to find you dead in a month or two?"

Local History

Looking Back: Independence Day, 1915

KC Times flag raising

In 1915 the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday, and for this reason that year’s Independence Day celebrations were extended over a two day period, Sunday the fourth and Monday the fifth. The largest of the events on either day was a massive community celebration in Swope Park on Monday, when an estimated 90,000 people turned out to commemorate the founding of the United States.

Book Reviews

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

What happens when people fall through the cracks? The dispossessed, the crazy street people, the runaways – they have to be running somewhere. In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, we follow just such a person into just such a place

Library Life

Summer Readers, Summer Jokers at the Plaza Branch

In the summertime, the Library is more than just a place to read a book and cool off. It’s also a great place for talking gibberish. No, the heat hasn’t gotten to us quite yet – gibberish is just one of the ways theater instructor John Mulvey gets teens to think on their feet.

Learn Something

How to Learn a Foreign Language Fast Online

If you’re traveling abroad this summer, chances are pretty good that wherever you’re going, the people there speak English. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun – and improve your chances of making new friends – by learning some essential phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting.

Book Reviews

Huck by Janet Elder

For seven years Michael Elder begged his parents, Rich and Janet, for a dog. Their answer was always a predictable no. Then Janet received a surprise breast cancer diagnosis. It was a moment that changed her life forever and also her mind about having a family dog.

Book Reviews

The Desires of Her Heart by Lyn Cote

For Dorritt Kilbride, her mother, and her younger sister Jewell, a comfortable and affluent life in New Orleans high society is about to come to an end when a deceitful, irresponsible stepfather forces them to relocate to the untamed Spanish colony of Texas.