KC Public Library Blog

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.

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


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.

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