KC Public Library Blog

Featured Authors

Cities of the Heartland

Polsinelli-Shughart office

In his preamble to the Fall 2010 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly Lewis Lapham writes, “Pericles conceived of ancient Athens as the expression of man’s humanity to man.” Though this notion seems a far shot from today’s Midwestern cityscapes, a recent battle over an old building in the heart of Kansas City shows that people feel a definite, human connection to our city’s defining places.

Library Life

Better Information, Better Health at the Bluford Branch

When it comes to finding quality health care information in Kansas City, many minority communities are underserved. It’s a problem that needs more than a figurative band-aid.

Book Reviews

Classics Reviewed: Beowulf

If your only experience of Beowulf is the 2007 3-D film, there’s one thing you know for sure – Grendel’s mom is hot! That film rather imaginatively recast the monstrous swamp mama as Angelina Jolie. I like eye candy as much as the next moviegoer, but the film’s creators were quite misleading.

Library Life

Video: Beats, Books, and Spray Paint at the North-East Branch

It takes a community to raise a mural. This past October, working with Northeast neighborhood kids and parents, the Hip-Hop Academy covered two walls outside the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library with graffiti goodness. Watch a video documentary of the project on our blog.

Library Life

Know Your Librarians: Sukalaya Kenworthy

Whether she’s teaching ESL classes to customers from Ethiopia, organizing a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, or speaking at a local school about her own Thai culture, Sukalaya Kenworthy is spreading multicultural awareness from her station at the Westport Branch.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Up from Thunder

Hattie heard the strangers approaching long before they reached her father’s tobacco farm. The groan of straining wagon wheels. The thudding of horses’ hooves on the hard Missouri dirt. And as she lay worrying and waiting for what was to come, she looked out of her upstairs window until she finally saw their shadowy shapes form at the edge of the yard.

Library Life

Connecting Teens at Trails West

The Trails West teens do not mess around. This past October 17-23, libraries around the country celebrated Teen Read Week, and at the Kansas City Public Library’s Independence branch, it was all about competing – and connecting.

Featured Authors

The Gospel of Mark Twain

If you had to pick one writer alive today whose autobiography could become a bestseller 100 years after his or her death, who would you choose? Rowling? Roth? Franzen, perhaps? It’s hard to fathom which of today’s literary celebrities might still be relevant in 2110.

Featured Authors

Mexico, 1910: You Say You Want a Revolucíon

Soldier says goodbye to his wife in the Buenavista station (1913). Agustín Víctor Casasola

In 1908, American journalist John Kenneth Turner, posing as a wealthy investor, infiltrated hemp plantations in the Yucatán peninsula. His goal: to expose the “chattel slavery” abundant Mexico under the oppressive regime of Porfirio Díaz.

Book Reviews

Book Club Pick: The River of Doubt

This past October, the Barista’s Book Club voyaged from the Plaza Branch to the darkest heart of South America via The River of Doubt, a fascinating account of Theodore Roosevelt’s exploration of the Amazon River.

Storytelling Comes to Life in Kansas City

Olga Loya

Storytelling has served a number of functions throughout history. Before the written word, it preserved the people’s history. Today, it helps people find the common connections across boundaries and is a wonderful tool for educating and enlightening minds of all ages. And a story, in the hands of a great storyteller, brings magic to the listener and teller alike.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates

If you’re looking for a book to match the dreary mood of autumn, and you aren’t afraid to look at life in fierce, intense ways, you might consider Sourland. This latest collection by the great Joyce Carol Oates gives us 16 stories that unflinchingly speak of violence – both physical and psychological. 

Storytelling Comes to Life in Kansas City

Olga Loya

Storytelling has served a number of functions throughout history. Before the written word, it preserved the people’s history. Today, it helps people find the common connections across boundaries and is a wonderful tool for educating and enlightening minds of all ages. And a story, in the hands of a great storyteller, brings magic to the listener and teller alike.

Learn Something

How to Navigate the 2010 Midterm Elections

Election Day is November 2. Do you know where your ballot box is? Because we love helping people exercise their right to participate in democracy, we thought we’d compile a short list of some resources to help you get your vote on in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Local History

Haunted Kansas City

Kansas City has its fair share of spooky lore and urban legends, many of which are associated with beloved historic buildings. These images and tales from the Missouri Valley Special Collections touch on a few of the more renowned hauntings in the Kansas City area. Whether fact or fantasy, these stories reflect the unique histories of the Kansas City buildings and personalities they involve.