KC Public Library Blog

Teen Tech Week!

The Kansas City Public Library joins libraries nationwide in celebrating Teen Tech Week from March 6 – March 12, 2011. The Teen Tech Week theme – Mix and Mash @ Your Library – brings reading together with online and wireless technologies through two tech-driven activities:

Book Blurbs: Teens who text a review of their latest reads will receive a free custom set of earbud headphones and carrying case. All Book Blurbs should use no more than 160 characters and include the title, author, and thumbs up or down verdict—plus whatever else will fit! Book Blurbs should be sent to 816.876.6637. Other submission options include e-mailing teens@kclibrary.org. (All participants will receive an electronic receipt that may be redeemed for a free set of custom earbuds at any Library location.)

Video Trailer Workshops: Teens will receive one-on-one guidance on creating their own promotional video trailer for their favorite book (or movie, game, website, or magazine). No materials needed! The Library will provide filming equipment and offer tutorials on how to use free video-editing software. Join us for these awesome Video Trailer Workshops:

Friday, March 4 @ 7 p.m. @ Sugar Creek
Thursday, March 10 @ 4 p.m. @ Waldo
Thursday, March 17 @ 4 p.m. @ Bluford
Friday, March 18 @ 5 p.m. @ Ruiz
Saturday, March 19 @ 2 p.m. @ Central

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative (coordinated by the Young Adult Library Services Association [YALSA]) aimed at teens, librarians, educators, parents, and other concerned adults that highlights nonprint resources at the library. The 2011 theme — Mix and Mash @ your library — focuses on encouraging teens to use library resources to express their creativity by developing their own unique online content and safely sharing it by using online collaborative tools.

Library Life

Video: LeVar Burton Brings Joy of Reading to the KC Library

LeVar Burton – yes, the LeVar Burton – paid a special visit to our Central Children’s Library this past Friday to read to a group of kids from the Derrick Thomas Academy. It was like an episode of Reading Rainbow come to life. But you don’t have to take our word for it! Follow the “Read More” link to see a video of LeVar in the Library with friends, including local author and musician Shane Evans.

Book Reviews

Classics Reviewed: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Talk about synchronicity. When I decided that I was going to re-read James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time for the Library’s Building Bridges Book Club, I already happened to be reading Henry Louis Gates’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, a collection of profiles of prominent African-American men.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Spectacular Now

Spectacular Now

Every now and then, we spend a little time doing something we know is wrong. Sometimes, especially if we get caught, we admit to the crime. But sometimes the crime feels a little too good to let go. Such is the case with Sutter Keely, a senior in high school on the brink of graduation. He has the world at his fingertips — and an ice-cold glass of 7&7 in his actual fingers. Constantly.

Local History

New Biography of "Frontier Feminist" Clarina Howard Nichols to Be Discussed at the Library

In the years before the Civil War, Kansas was a battleground. As Free State forces clashed with pro-slavery marauders from Missouri, a 40-something mother of four from Vermont waged a war of her own. As “Bleeding Kansas” raged around her, Clarina Howard Nichols came into her own as a champion of equal rights for women and blacks.

Library Life

Tweeting Rainbow: Win the Chance to Meet LeVar Burton at the Library!

Known to generations of book lovers as the host of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton is coming to the Kansas City Public Library. And we’re offering our followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook the opportunity to meet him in person! Find out how you can enter our contest for a chance to visit with the Emmy-winning actor and director simply by sharing your love of reading.

Book Reviews

Wicked Love: Four Stories of Valentines Gone Wrong

Love warps the mind more than a little. In every woman’s past is a tale of a love gone wrong. These tales usually make for great conversation over brunch with the gals. “What were you thinking?!” “He was never good enough for you!” “Good thing you got out of that one alive!” For readers who want to avoid all the ooey-gooey-I-love-you-tooey sentimentality of the holiday of hearts, try one of these heart-shakers.

Envy - Teen Book Review

Envy by Robin Wasserman

Welcome to Grace, California...Home of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Harper still wants Adam and Kane still wants Beth for some reason.. They each get so desperate that they ask for help from the goddess of Lust herself...Kaia. Kane still wants to try it his way before he goes THAT far. Seniors have SAT's so he enlists the help of the smartest girl he knows...Beth. Soon they’re hanging out for more than just studying. Miranda is still determined to get Kane, even while he's fawning over Beth. But how? She's nothing like his type of bimbo but hey it wouldn't hurt to try to play the part. Would it?

Library Life

It's More Than a Book Group – It's Girls' Night Out

Sometimes at the Library, our best ideas come from patrons. When I.H. Ruiz Branch regular Keishla Collins saw a need for more programs for teenage girls, she spoke up. Now every month, a group of around 20 girls and women meet to talk about books and take part in fun, beneficial activities. But stay back, fellas - this here's the Girls' Night Out Book Group.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Half-Broke Horses

After reading The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls’ best-selling memoir of her dysfunctional, impoverished childhood, you can’t help but have certain expectations of her latest book, Half-Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel. You want to know why her mother, Rose Mary Walls, turned out to be such a neglectful, bereft parent. You want to know why in the world Rose Mary would marry such a ne`er do well. Walls, however, holds these questions at bay with an almost unbelievable story of her grandmother, Lily Casey, told in first-person. 

Library Life

Let It Snow: How the Library Handled the Blizzard

At 4:30 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, February 2, 2011, most people in Kansas City were snuggled up warm in their homes. Jerry Houchins was in his office on B1 of the Central Library, watching the weather on Fox 4 news. By 5 a.m., he was on the sidewalks of 10th & Baltimore, cleaning up after a blizzard that dumped 8-12 inches of snow across the city, with drifts up to two feet tall.

Book Reviews

Inspirational Book Review: While We're Far Apart

If God is good and loving, why does He allow so much suffering? Why does God let our loved ones die but allows others to live and prosper? Why does He remain silent and leave our most urgent prayers unanswered? These are the faith-testing questions posed in Lynn Austin’s latest historical-fiction novel, While We’re Far Apart.

Book Reviews

Book Review: 1,000 Things to Love About America

Americans across the nation frequently profess their love for their country with football, hot dogs, fireworks, and country music. But the U.S. is a country known for its wide-open spaces and all-of-a-kind populace. There’s always been more to love about our home than the Super Bowl, Chevrolet, and Route 66.

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Librarian Megan Garrett Reviews The Children of Men

For her Winter Reading video book review, Megan Garrett, librarian at the Sugar Creek Branch, talks about a future where children are no longer born and society is collapsing. That's the story behind P.D. James' harrowing but hopeful dystopian novel, The Children of Men.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Terrance Hayes' Poetry

Terrance Hayes’ latest collection of poetry, Lighthead, is an exploration of past and present, lightness and dark. The poems are lithe and fresh. They draw the reader close, seductively, before introducing a grain of truth, uncomfortable or inexpressible, that can’t quite be quantified.