KC Public Library Blog

Featured Authors

Interview: KU’s Marmot Man, Dr. Kenneth Armitage

Kenneth Armitage

Kenneth Armitage knows his marmots. Though he spent much of his 40-year academic career at the University of Kansas studying the yellow-bellied marmot or “rockchuck,” he’s enough of an expert on the burrowing beasts that he’s featured in the bonus materials of the 15th Anniversary Special Edition DVD of the hit ‘90s comedy Groundhog Day.

Book Reviews

Thirteen of the Best Romance Novels of 2010

Ask any romance reader, and you’ll get a long lecture on what makes a great romance novel. But what it always boils down to are these two elements. (1) Does the novel focus on the relationship between two people? (2) Does it have an emotionally satisfying happy ending?

Library Life

Know Your Librarians: Jordan Fields, Digital Librarian

Jordan Fields likes to teach, but she didn't want to be a full-time teacher. So she became a librarian. Now as the Library's digital projects manager, she is the main architect of two different online repositories of information that, when complete, will educate people about the Kansas City region's past and present.

Library Life

Plaza Branch Card Classics: It's Magic!

It’s a Friday night at the Plaza Branch, and magic is in the air in the library’s teen section – in more ways than one. A dozen or so young patrons gather around tables, swapping cards and invoking the names of otherworldly beings: Alien Telepath, Phyrexian Marauder, Fist of Ironwood.

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Librarian Ashlei Wheeler Talks Fahrenheit 451

Imagine a future where literature is outlawed, mindless hedonism is the order of the day, and firemen don’t put out fires – they start them. This is the world of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel of censorship, Fahrenheit 451. Watch Waldo librarian Ashlei Wheeler explain why it's her favorite pick in the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program.

True Grit- Teen Movie Review

From a person who doesn’t really understand the concept of a “western movie” and has probably seen a total of two westerns in his entire life, who would have guessed that two directors whose talent comes from quirky comedies, can master the art of Cowboys, damsels in distress, and good old fashioned gun fighting?

Local History

Historic Images of Winter in Kansas City

Locomobile

As winter storm season arrives in Kansas City, we can take a look at winters past to see how the blizzards of today compare with the legendary snowstorms of yesteryear. Photographs and newspapers on microfilm in the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library tell stories of a city blanketed by snow and ice, trains slowed to a halt, and the cold weather taking its toll on the nerves and bodies of Kansas Citians.

Library Life

With Help from Harvesters, Kids Café Is Open for Business at the Library

Kids Cafe photo

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving last year, the L.H. Bluford Branch had an impromptu Turkey Day feast. “It was crazy. Kids just kept coming in droves,” remembers Mary Olive Thompson, assistant branch manager and children’s librarian at Bluford. “It really felt like Thanksgiving.”

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Librarian Bernie Norcott-Mahany on The Iron Heel

Jack London is best known for books about boys and their dogs, but as L.H. Bluford Branch librarian Bernie Norcott-Mahany explains, London was also the first dystopian novelist of the 20th century. His book The Iron Heel is a complex and enriching story of a not-so-glorious future.

Local History

Paparazzi of the Past: The Kansas City Journal-Post in photos

Franklin D. Roosevelt on a 1936 campaign stop in Kansas City.

In 1997, 84-year-old former freewheeling photographer Jack Wally told the Kansas City Star what it was like shooting for the scrappy, provocative Kansas City Journal-Post in the 1930s: “In those days, you had to decide whether you wanted the prestige of The Star or the fun of working for the Journal.”

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Librarian Alicia Ahlvers on The Handmaid's Tale

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterwork, America has collapsed, the Republic of Gilead has risen, and women’s rights have been dismantled. In our latest Winter Reading Video, Waldo Branch Manager Alicia Ahlvers tells how The Handmaid’s Tale, her selection for the 2011 Winter Reading Program, influenced her life as a reader and thinker.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wolves of Andover

Colonial Massachusetts was not an easy place to survive. Strained relations with the native peoples, smallpox outbreaks, and barbaric wolves (of both the four-legged and two-legged, human varieties) devoured all who showed weakness in mind, body, or spirit. But in Kathleen Kent’s The Wolves of Andover, the most treacherous forces in 17th century America were often unseen.

Lust- Teen Book Review

Lust

Lust by Robin Wasserman

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

Harper Grace is the local It-Girl in Grace, California. Well That is until Kaia Sellers moves to town from New York City. She's beautiful and wanted, she could easily take Harper's spot as queen of Grace High School. She quickly becomes Haper's enemy and a spot on her most hated list. But numero uno would easily be Beth. Boring, bland Beth.

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Librarian Diana Hyle on The Eyre Affair

In a parallel universe where literature is pop culture and the lines between fiction and reality blur, a master criminal runs amuck in the pages of Jane Eyre, and literary detective Thursday Next is on the case. So goes The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, librarian Diana Hyle’s pick for the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program. Click “Read more” to watch the video.

Book Reviews

New Winter Reading Video: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Whatever happened to English magic? That question’s at the heart of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a Suggested Reading in the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program at the Kansas City Public Library. In the first in a series of videos highlighting books that fit the program’s Altered States theme, we talked with librarian Katie Mediatore Stover about this tale of magicians in 19th century England.