KC Public Library Blog

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.

Featured Authors

John Adams: On the Best-Read Founding Father and the Woman Behind Him

What would you do if you had to build a nation? Start Googling? Download an app? When John Adams strode onto the world stage by joining the Continental Congress as a representative from Massachusetts, he had no iPhone or MacBook Air. Contemporary European books (often in their original languages) and Greek and Latin classics were his RSS and HTML.

Library Life

Book Club Profile: Mysterious Undertakings at Waldo

Welcome to the first of our KCPL Book Group profiles. Mysterious Undertakings at the Waldo Branch gladly agreed to accommodate a drop-in visitor who took copious notes and photographs. But then again, Waldo welcomes all newcomers, and on this particular night, there was more than one newbie.

Library Life

Video: It's Only Civil to Remember Missouri

Earlier this month, Kansas City Public Library Executive Director Crosby Kemper III was officially sworn in to the Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. In addition to having a tongue-twisting name, the MCWSC aims to commemorate Missouri’s historically significant yet often overlooked role in the Civil War, and to recognize how that role reverberates today. The Commission was established in April 2010 by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Library Life

And the Top Chef Is...

Our Food for Fines Week (October 18 through 24) has come to a close. And while we’re still running the numbers to see how much food Library patrons donated to our community partner Harvesters and how much we forgave in overdue fines, we’d like to recognize one person with exceptionally good taste.

Featured Authors

Garry Trudeau's Kansas City Connection

The world may have never known Doonesbury if it weren’t for Jim Andrews and John McMeel. The founders of Andrews McMeel Universal (then called Universal Press Syndicate) were headquartered in a rented house in Leawood when they discovered a young cartoonist named Garry Trudeau.