KC Public Library Blog

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Platinum- Teen Book Review

Platinum

Platinum by Aliya S. King

Ever wanted to know what your favorite rappers' lives are about? PLATINUM lets you into the lives of five of those rappers’ wives. Beth Saddlebroook is the wife of famous rap artist Z. Her life is perfect right? I mean with all that money and the Huge crib she has to be happy right? Wrong. Instead of living it up she's trying to save her husband from himself AND give him what he wants all at the same time. And at the same time her oldest son is trying to make a name for himself as an artist but will his abusive girlfriend and druggie father ruin his way to the top?

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart

Many of us have a time of year, a place, or a memory, which makes us feel quiet and introspective, no matter how busy our lives or our minds are spinning. Deborah Digges’ latest volume of poetry, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart, is a book which captures a piece of that feeling in a way that is warm, passionate, and calm at the same time.

Learn Something

Holiday-Themed Ad Trade Cards of 19th Century Kansas City

Before the days of TV and radio, merchants caught customers' eyes with brightly printed, alluring advertising trade cards for all kinds of products in the new, manufacturing-driven economy. The trade card explosion of the late 1800s was a short-lived but significant phenomenon, and the Missouri Valley Room holds nearly 1,000 such artifacts, including more than a few that highlight that most wonderful time of the year for advertisers – the Christmas holidays.

Learn Something

How to Check Out E-books from the Library

Update, September 2011: Since this blog entry was posted, more e-readers and devices have become available for use with Library e-books, including the Amazon Kindle. Visit our e-reader tutorial page for the latest information.

With an estimated 10 percent of adults planning to give e-readers as gifts over the holidays, the season of the e-book is truly upon us. As you prepare to wrap – or unwrap – that shiny new Nook or Kindle, check out this guide to checking out e-books from the Kansas City Public Library.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Day After Night

Most people know little about the fates of survivors and refugees of the gruesome events of World War II. But in Day After Night, Anita Diamant’s 2008 novel, little known historical events are brought to vivid life. The Barista’s Book Club at the Plaza Branch read Day After Night in November, and found it brought out a lively discussion.

Library Life

Book Club Profile: Blazing Trails in Independence

The Trailblazers book group has called the Trails West Branch of the Kansas City Public Library home for almost ten years. They started gathering to discuss reading in April of 2001 at the behest of then-branch-staffer Jackie Brown. Brown has since joined the Facilities team at the Central Library, but she left behind a loyal group of readers who have welcomed their new facilitator, Nancy Oelke.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

Dark, twisted and strange, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary is the newest offering by humorist and author David Sedaris. A collection of short stories in which all the characters are animals that personify human failings, it reads like Aesop meets Quentin Tarantino.

Video: Storytelling for Kids in the Film Vault

Jamie Mayo

The Kansas City Public Library is full of stories – narratives that walk, talk, laugh, and sometimes even fly. At least they do in the hands of a talented storyteller like our Central Youth Services Supervisor, Jamie Mayo. We recently made a video of Mayo regaling a group of visiting kids at the Central Library.

Video: Storytelling for Kids in the Film Vault

The Kansas City Public Library is full of stories – narratives that walk, talk, laugh, and sometimes even fly. At least they do in the hands of a talented storyteller like our Central Youth Services Supervisor, Jamie Mayo. We recently made a video of Mayo regaling a group of visiting kids at the Central Library.

Book Reviews

Winter Reading 2011: Staff Picks

When the Kansas City Public Library’s annual Adult Winter Reading Program returns in January 2011, it will be sporting its new Altered States theme – which has already inspired several readers amongst Kansas City Public Library staff members.

Book Reviews

Classics Reviewed: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

When we’re coming up to the Christmas season, my wife and I spend a lot of our TV time watching Christmas-themed movies – I bet we have about dozen such films we watch every Christmastime. For this month’s Classics Reviewed blog, then, I wanted to pick something that was seasonally appropriate – but not too obvious.

Library Life

Behind the Stacks: Jerry Houchins Keeps the Library Humming

Riddle us this: How many librarians does it take to change a light bulb? At the Kansas City Public Library, it takes exactly zero. That’s because we’ve got folks like Operations Manager Jerry Houchins to keep the lights on, the buildings warm, and all the facilities clean and running smoothly.

Featured Authors

Video: A Night of Mark Twain

The recent release of Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography has set the literary world ablaze. And that excitement was in the air a few weeks ago at the Central Library, when one of the editors of Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Robert H. Hirst, came to give a presentation before a crowd of nearly 450 “Twainiacs.”

Book Reviews

The 11 Best Fantasy Books of 2010

What’s fantasy, you ask? There’s no single, accepted definition, but the giveaway is usually magic. Whether it’s The Lord of the Rings or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if the world described in the book features some difference from Earth that is the result of magic or other unexplained phenomena, you’re probably holding a fantasy novel.

Featured Authors

Grandmaster Garry

How Life Imitates Chess book jacket

For Garry Kasparov, life really does imitate chess. The top-ranked chess player in the world for nearly 22 years, Kasparov retired from international competition in 2005 and took on an even more challenging career. He entered Russian politics and became the leader of the opposition movement, playing democracy’s white against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s black.