Library Life

The Kansas City Public Library has been selected as the Missouri stop for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2016 national tour First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Only 233 copies exist of the First Folio—the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays published in 1623—and we’re beyond excited to have the opportunity to exhibit one at our Central Library in downtown Kansas City.

Eighteen First Folio copies will circulate among the exhibit locations. They're among 233 copies of the book known to exist today, less than a third of the 750 thought to have been printed originally in 1623. A single exhibit location was selected in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Kansas State University was named in Kansas.

Published seven years after Shakespeare's death, the First Folio was the first compilation of his plays. Eighteen of the works, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It, had never appeared previously in print and otherwise would have been lost.

When the First Folio arrives in Kansas City, its pages will be opened to the most quoted line in the world: "to be or not to be" from Hamlet. Accompanying the 900-page book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities.

The Kansas City Public Library will make the four-week exhibit the centerpiece of a months-long celebration of Shakespeare, partnering with local and national scholars and an array of area institutions and organizations in offering speaking presentations, stage productions, film screenings and discussions, workshops, and other activities for children and adults.

The Kansas City Public Library will be displaying the First Folio June 6 - June 28, 2016. Other dates and locations for the 2016 exhibit are available here. More information on the exhibit available in our press release.


This exhibit has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor and by the generous support of and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf.

Partnering with the Kansas City Public Library in bringing First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare to Kansas City are the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Department of Theatre and Department of English Language and Literature, the Kansas City branch of the English-Speaking Union, the Missouri Humanities Council, and KCUR-FM.

We could all use a little help preparing our income taxes, and there are two organizations coming to the Library to assist you for free.

AARP Tax-Aid provides free tax preparation and assistance services to low- and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention given to those ages 60 and older. And VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) provides assistance to those with an income of $53,000 or less.

Representatives from both organizations will be on hand to assist patrons with your federal and state (Missouri and Kansas) income tax returns at many of our locations. No appointment is necessary.

Please bring all necessary documents with you, such as your W-2s, 1099s, and previous year’s return. A full list of recommended documents is located here.

The days and times volunteers from VITA and AARP will be available are listed below. Please call the individual Library locations you plan to visit if you have any questions.


Central Library
14 W. 10th St. - 816.701.3433

Mondays and Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
In the Multipurpose Room on the Vault Level
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p .m.
In Meeting Room 312 on the 3rd Floor

North-East Branch
6000 Wilson Rd. - 816.701.3485

Mondays, Tuesdays,
and Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Plaza Branch
4801 Main St. - 816.701.3481

Mondays, Tuesdays,
and Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Trails West Branch
11401 E. 23rd St. - 816.701.3483

Saturdays, February 7, 14, 21,
and April 4: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Waldo Branch
201 E. 75th St. - 816.701.3486

Mondays & Thursdays: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis. There are 25 slots available per day.

Southeast Branch
6242 Swope Pkwy - 816.701.3484

Wednesdays through April 1: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis. There are 20 slots available per day.

At the Library we also provide access to state and federal income tax forms, links to free online filing services, 2015 Tax Guides that are available for check out, and more. Take a look!

We're making it easier than ever to tap into the Library's vast array of electronic resources, from eBooks and audiobooks to streaming movies and television shows, magazines, newspapers, and more.

The Library now offers electronic library cards, just in time for all of you who will receive e-readers, tablets, and other new devices during the holidays. Sign up from anywhere and get immediate access to digital materials!

The Kansas City Public Library eCards are available to residents of the bi-state metropolitan area who are 13 or older and not registered for standard library cards.

"You don't have to come into the Library or wait for a card to be mailed to you," says Joel Jones, the Library's deputy director of branch and library services. "You apply, get a card number, and get access."

Already have a Kansas City Public Library card? There's no need to apply for an eCard! If you have a traditional card and live in the Kansas City metro area, you already have access to our digital resources.

The Library's entire collection of electronic resources — one of the largest and fastest growing in Kansas City — is free and likewise available to holders of standard Library cards. Among its offerings:

OVERDRIVE  |  Access more than 25,000 eBooks, 10,000 audio books, 500 videos.

FREEGAL  |  Choose from more than 7 million songs. Download (and keep) up to five a week or enjoy ad-free streaming.

HOOPLA  |  Enjoy hundreds of thousands of movies, television shows, albums, and audio books. Stream content online or temporarily download for remote viewing.

ZINIO  |  Download digital versions of 140 magazines, including Cosmopolitan, ESPN, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Harper's Bazaar.

TUMBLEBOOKS  |  Choose from a collection of nearly 900 children's story books, chapter books, non-fiction books, and more.

COMICS PLUS  |  View more than 7,000 comic strips, graphic novels, and manga.

DATABASES  |  Browse thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers, and books. Get help with homework. Prepare for a standardized test. Even create a business plan.

Registration for an eCard requires only an Internet connection. Go to to get started.

The Kansas City Public Library's board of trustees has returned to its full, nine-member complement with the recent appointment of two local business leaders, health care manager and longtime education executive Marilou Joyner and pharmacy owner and civic activist Kathryn Mallinson.

Joyner, named in November by Kansas City Mayor Sly James, took her seat with the board when it met Tuesday, December 16, at the Library's Trails West Branch. Mallinson was named in June to represent the Sugar Creek area.

Members are appointed to four-year terms by the mayors of their respective districts — the cities of Kansas City, Independence, and Sugar Creek — and oversee a Library system encompassing the downtown Central Library, Plaza Branch, and eight other neighborhood branches.

Joyner, who holds bachelor's, master's, and specialist's degrees in education from Northwest Missouri State University, an MBA from Bellevue (Nebraska) University, and a doctorate from the University of Kansas, is a former assistant commissioner in Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She spent four subsequent years as executive director of the Kansas City Higher Education Partnership, advising school districts on accreditation, and three years as president of the Blackwell Education Support Team, a Kansas City consulting firm.

She also is a member and past president of the board of Literacy Kansas City and serves on the Northwest Missouri State University Foundation board.

Mallinson has shown a similar commitment to community service. A native of Independence and graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology, she and her husband, Matthew, have owned and operated a family pharmacy in Independence since 1987. She also is active in the Independence Junior Service League, Independence Kiwanis Club, Inter-City Sugar Creek Optimist Club, and numerous other local charities and organizations.

Matthew Mallinson is the mayor of Sugar Creek, elected in April 2013.

The Mallinsons have hosted five foreign exchange students, and Kathryn helped develop the Host Homes Program for the Independence School District. Through her family businesses, she has donated hundreds books to school libraries throughout the district. And she designed and remodeled the Little Theater at Van Horn High School, where Mallinson is the alumni association's first life member.

Think of it as an early holiday present.

We are working to make our DVD collection more accessible by removing the $1 fee for feature films and limiting all DVD checkouts to one week with no renewals. The changes take effect on Friday, December 5, 2014.

“With the Library now providing free video streaming through Hoopla, it didn't make sense for us to continue charging a $1 fee for DVD checkouts that provided access to much of the same content,” said Joel Jones, the Library's deputy director of branch and library services.

The $1 fee dates back to an era when VHS was the prevailing technology, and the cost of obtaining movies, documentaries and television shows was much higher.

If you have any questions about our new DVD policy, or about your Library account, please contact us at 816.701.3400 or through our live chat. (Available Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

“That was also a time when libraries did not consider video to be a core service,” Jones said. “In recent years, the cost of acquiring DVDs has declined and patrons have come to expect libraries to include them in their collection.”

The decision to limit all DVD checkouts to one week with no renewals will make it easier for Library patrons to find something that interests them.

“This is a model we began using about a year ago with our New & Notable book collection,” Jones said. “We have found that a lot of people like to come to the Library to browse the shelves - for books or DVDs. By not allowing renewals, we can get materials back on the shelves where they can be discovered and checked out again and again.”

The Library has a collection of 39,000 DVDs. While the collection includes many mainstream films, the collections policy emphasizes the acquisition of award-winning and culturally significant titles that are difficult to find in today's retail DVD rental market. The collection also includes many popular children's and educational titles, instructional and documentary videos, and popular television shows.

Items on DVD checked out before December 5 will still be eligible for renewal. Overdue fines for DVDs will remain $1 per day and top out at $3 per item.

Join us! Youth across the world are participating in the Hour of Code. More than 15 million students in 170 countries learned some computer coding during last year’s event. This year, the goal is to reach 100 million worldwide participants.

Several of our Library locations will host Hour of Code activities. Youth are invited to join in fun, challenging, hands-on computer science lessons and activities that introduce concepts of logic, analysis, and problem solving.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own WiFi-enabled devices, however there will be shared Library devices available as well as non-tech activities.

All sessions are free. More information, including a list of locations and times, is available at Sign up for your desired sessions on Eventbrite. Questions? Contact

Each day in the month of October, our librarians have selected a book or movie from our collection to share on social media. Some are famous, some obscure, but every one of these titles is full of thrills and chills — perfect for Halloween!

Take a look at our recommendations on Twitter and Facebook (all of the items are available for checkout from the Kansas City Public Library) and let us know what your favorite scary story is.

Just use the hashtag #LibraryFrights to share with us, and have a happy and safe Halloween!

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the digital content specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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Many of you will know Phil Kirk as the man for whom we named Kirk Hall at the Central Library. Or as this generation’s downtown Kansas City real estate developer par excellence. Or a genial figure at many of our Library programs and special events.

He was much, much more. His family, and notably his father Jim, were prominent in local business and philanthropy. Jim Kirk's office furniture from Kirk Welding ended up in One North at the Central Library as part of our soft seating there. Mike Kirk, Phil's brother, has been an active supporter of the Library.

Phil's career involved guidance of DST 's redevelopment of the West Side of downtown in partnership with Kansas City Southern, Financial Holding Corporation, State Street, and many others, but the transformation was uniquely his vision.

He was a key part of the civic group that picked the First National Bank building to renovate for the Central Library, and then gave and raised substantial amounts of the Capital Campaign money, after which he was always our tireless champion and advocate.

He was also the primary supporter of our great partnership with Crossroads Academy charter school, and typical of Phil, his last charitable act was to secure funding for their building.

No individual is more responsible for the revival of downtown and the Library's central role in that. We owe him a lot and we will deeply miss him.

Crosby Kemper III
The Kansas City Public Library

A memorial service for Phil Kirk will be held Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 10 a.m. at Saint Michael and All Angels Church, 6630 Nall Avenue, Mission KS 66202. More information is available in the obituary in The Kansas City Star.


Phil Kirk, a giant in downtown Kansas City real estate, dies at age 76.  The Kansas City Star.

Downtown champion Phil Kirk has died.  Kansas City Business Journal.

Clear up your overdue fines and do good for the community! The Library is partnering with Harvesters for Food for Fines Week, October 13-19, 2014. For each non-perishable food item donated at the Library, you get a $1 credit towards your existing fines.

The most-needed items include canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and boxed meals. Non-nutritional beverages such as soda and any beverages in glass containers will not be accepted. All the details are below. You can donate at any Kansas City Public Library location through Sunday, October 19, 2014.

What is Food for Fines? Food for Fines is an annual program that allows Library patrons to trade one nonperishable food item for one dollar in existing fines on their Library accounts.

Which fines/fees are forgiven? Non-perishable food items may be used for Kansas City Public Library accounts with existing overdue fines. Only overdue fines are eligible for this program.

Which fines/fees cannot be forgiven? Referral fees, lost or damaged item fees, replacement Library card fee, video and/or DVD rental fees, printing fees, flash drives, ear buds, Friends of the Library books for sale, Friends of the Library memberships, lost items owned by Consortium Libraries, lost items that are Interlibrary Loans.

Which food items are acceptable? Non-perishable food items in cans, boxes, or plastic containers, household and personal care items that are unopened. Pet food in boxes or cans. No glass containers may be accepted. Examples of acceptable items: canned vegetables, boxed dinners, canned juices, peanut butter, soap, deodorant, shampoo, toilet tissue, facial tissues, paper towels, cleaning supplies. Ramen noodles are acceptable. 4 packages of Ramen noodles equals one dollar in fines. Items in multi-packs are acceptable at $1 per item. i.e. A four-pack of paper towels equals $4 in forgiven fines. Bottled water in 8 oz. or greater containers is acceptable. SlimFast and other diet drinks are acceptable. Government issued food, i.e. peanut butter, welfare items, etc. are also acceptable.

Which food items are not acceptable? Perishable food items; glass containers of any kind; soda pop; candy and/or gum; cardboard drink containers; drink pouches; alcoholic beverages; items in damaged/rusty/open containers; items WITHOUT a nutrition label; items with a past due expiration date; homemade or home-canned items. Travel size containers of personal care items, i.e. toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, etc.

Who gets the food? Harvesters—The Community Food Network

What is Harvesters and what does it do with the food? Harvesters is Kansas City’s only food bank and was organized in 1979. Harvesters provides essential food resources for a network of over 620 charitable agencies such as emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers and senior centers in 26 counties. Further information about Harvesters is available at or by calling 816.929.3000.

Can I donate even if I don’t have any fines? Yes.

Can the Library credit my account for future fines? No. Food for Fines is only for EXISTING fines on a Library account.

I became a “beer guy” in 1995. That was when I discovered Boulevard Wheat and my eyes were opened to the idea that there were more than two flavors of beer – regular and light. A year later I took a trip to Colorado and visited a rapidly expanding restaurant chain called Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom that advertised more than 100 different beers. At that point, there was no going back.

I have spent the last 18 years — wow, 18 years — exploring the wide world of craft beer. Boulevard was a blessing for Kansas City. It produced a fantastic product and made Kansas City a big-time player in the craft beer revolution. Unfortunately, for a long time, it was the only Kansas City player. But if you are going to have only one, it might as well be the George Brett of craft brewing, right?

In recent years, things have changed. Boulevard is still there — the anchor that ensures Kansas City will always be mentioned whenever anyone anywhere talks about great craft beer communities — but others have joined the party.

So when the Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library settled on Booktoberfest (a novel beer tasting experience) as their first fundraising activity, I was delighted. Here was a chance to promote reading, the Library, and Kansas City’s great craft beers.

Booktoberfest is not your typical beer-tasting event. There are not 50 breweries from all over the country. There will be no huge crowds. You will not pay for admission and then have to buy food.

We made a conscious decision to keep it small. We wanted the emphasis to be on showcasing the Library and the great craft beers that are being produced in our community. We partnered with four small, true micro-breweries that are doing some pretty exciting things in Kansas City.

I should point out here that I am not an expert on the subject of beer. I cannot identify types of hops by scent. I know nothing about the brewing process. I can’t even always remember the names of the styles of beer I am drinking. I’m just a guy who knows what he likes in a beer, and I like to think that I have pretty good taste.

Participating breweries include:

KC Bier Company
Located at 310 W. 79th Street in Waldo, KC Bier Company is the largest brewery featured at Booktoberfest. While many American breweries shy away from German-style beers because they’re too similar to traditional North American lagers, KC Bier Company embraces them. Much like my experience with Boulevard Wheat all those years ago, KC Bier Company is helping people realize that just because a beer looks like something you’d pour out of a domestic bottle doesn’t mean it can’t be a great craft brew.

Rock & Run Brewery
Located at 110 E. Kansas Street in downtown Liberty, Rock & Run Brewery features a combination of traditional beers, less common styles, and experimental offerings. It was here that I developed a real taste for smoked beers – the barley dried over an open flame to give it a distinctive, smokey flavor.

Cinder Block
Located at 110 E. 18th Avenue in North Kansas City, Cinder Block is one of my favorite locations. Off the beaten path, the taproom has a very industrial feel. It emanates cool. And the beer is top notch. The Block IPA is a favorite of many, but my personal favorite is Cultivate Saison, a big beer that rivals my all-time favorite in that style – Boulevard’s Tank 7.

Crane Brewing Company
While not yet open to the public (it hopes to open soon in Raytown), Crane places an emphasis on sour (another one of my favorites) and wild beers. I tried the brews from Crane for the first time in the lead-up to Booktoberfest. I was a fan of its Marcel, a dry-hopped saison, but the one that created the most buzz around the office was Ruby, an eye-catching red cream ale brewed with beets.

We hope to make Booktoberfest a more civilized beer tasting event.

The event takes place on Friday, October 10, at the Central Library (14 W. 10th Street). Free parking is available in the Library district parking garage at 10th & Baltimore. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. At that time, people will be able to check in and enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by Cosentino’s Downtown Market and pizza from Milwaukee Delicatessen.

Tickets are $35 or two for $50 and are available at Booktoberfest is co-presented by Recommended Daily.

All proceeds will benefit the Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library in support of the Library’s efforts to make Kansas City a community of readers.

We will assign every ticketholder to a small group, and at 7 p.m. a “tour guide” will escort the groups to their first tasting station. The groups will get to spend about 30 minutes at each station, sampling beers, talking about their breweries, and experiencing the beauty of the Central Library. Of course, we couldn’t do an event that night without first ensuring that attendees can follow the Royals’ American League Championship Series opener against Baltimore. It will be shown on large screens at each tasting station.

To wrap up the evening, we will congregate on the Library’s rooftop terrace for cookies from Swoon Cookies and pretzels from Farm to Market Bread Company and to watch the end of the Royals game.

I hope you can join us Friday night for an evening of books, beer, bites … and baseball.

- Steve Woolfolk, Assistant Director of Public Affairs

Alison Bechdel

Held annually in September, Banned Books Week allows libraries across the country to celebrate the freedom to read and discuss the books that have been subjected to bans or had their presence in schools, bookstores, and library collections challenged.

In Article III of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights states that “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” It’s a directive we take seriously here at the Kansas City Public Library.

In 2014, Banned Books Week focuses on comic books and graphic novels. As a medium, comics have faced increased scrutiny due to their visuals and the erroneous assumption that they are only for kids.

This is nothing new. Fredric Wertham, in his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent, asserted (through long-discredited research) that comics were encouraging juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior.

Join us as we wrap up
Banned Books Week with Celebrating the Freedom
to Read

Saturday, Sept. 27, 4pm
at the Plaza Branch

Special guests include the Collins family, who recently drew international attention to their efforts to keep a Little Free Library in their Leawood, Kansas, front yard.

This led to Senate hearings and the institution of a self-regulatory “Comics Code” to avoid government regulation. The Code wasn’t fully abandoned by publishers until 2011.

Challenges to comics continue to this day. Jeff Smith’s award-winning series Bone was the 10th-most challenged title, according to the American Library Association in 2013. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis has also faced recent bans. Last year, Chicago Public School administrators ordered that copies of the book be removed from some school libraries and classrooms, though officials quickly backpedaled after facing protests.

And recent MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Alison Bechdel often has faced attempted censorship of her work. Her graphic memoir Fun Home — winner of the Eisner Award, Lambda Literary Award, GLAAD Media Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award — was cited as one of the titles that led the South Carolina legislature to temporarily cut funding to two state colleges that had included the book in their required reading for freshman students.

So join us this week in celebrating these books, and increasing awareness of attempts to ban and remove these works of literature from bookshelves everywhere.

Banned Books Week Resources:

Books Banned or Challenged in Kansas and Missouri (KC Library Pinterest Board)
American Library Association: Banned & Challenged Books
Office for Intellectual Freedom
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Banned Books Week

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the digital content specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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Join Mozilla Hive KC for the official launch of the Kansas City Hive Learning Network.

Learning takes place anywhere and anytime. Not just in school. Therefore, Hive KC aims to connect diverse learning experiences to give kids more ways to engage, learn, share, and explore. Hive KC brings together schools, educators, cultural institutions and youth-serving organizations throughout the metro area to do just that.

On September 9th get more information about membership, innovation funding, participation strategies, and events.

Membership is open and free and geared toward leaders in K-12 Education, out-of-school programs, youth STEAM initiatives, and community and neighborhood relations. Join us to start a collaborative movement that builds a strong Hive in Kansas City.

Mozilla Hive KC Reception & Launch
September 9th 5:30 to 7pm
Central Library, 14 West 10th Street, 2nd Floor

I grew up in a family that was filled with voracious readers. From the time my brothers and sister and I were very, very young, we heard our parents reading to us and telling us stories of when they were young.

I fell in love with words and letters as far back as I could remember. I found it fascinating to watch Mom and Dad simply look down at an open book and then hear as this steady flow of words and sentences and paragraphs and stories would flow out of their mouths.

At that time, I didn’t have the necessary words I needed to describe what I was feeling, but I could see that my parents had the key to unlock this amazing mystery, and I yearned, almost ached to discover the secret so I could do the same thing.

My mom loved to tell the story about when my sister Barb and I first got our library cards.

I grew up in Boise, Idaho, and our family made regular trips to the Boise Public Library, which I later learned was one of the Carnegie libraries. It sat on the outskirts of the downtown business area, its entrance just one block west, as the crow flies, from the entrance to the church we attended. The children's department was partly below ground level, and had its own separate entrance on the south side of the building—concrete steps leading down from the sidewalk that circled from the front of the building, where the grown-up steps went up to the front entrance.

For local residents the only requirement to get a library card was to write your name on the form. (I imagine you also had to show some form of ID, but Mom’s library card apparently probably covered Barb and me.) I was about four years old and, as I’ve indicated, already deeply fascinated with letters. (We had a small framed blackboard with an attached tripod, letters surrounding the frame—probably in alphabetical order. I loved copying the letters from the frame onto the blackboard in different combinations, then asking Mom if I had written a word. As I remember, considering that I wrote random combinations, I had a fair amount of success. Perhaps I was already starting to associate the shape of letters with sound.)

After we had entered the children's department, Barb and I walked up to the circulation desk with Mom and told the children's librarian that we wanted to get our library cards. Mom filled in our address and other information, and then put the forms in front of Barb and me.

My mind was already attuning itself to the nuances of language, especially when it came to how rules were laid out. I had discussed my idea with Mom, so after the librarian told us all we had to do was write our names, she was rather surprised when Barb and I each reached into a pocket and pulled out a piece of paper upon which Mom had printed our name.

With great care I spread the paper flat on the counter and then, with painstaking focus, copied the letters of my name onto the form.

The librarian got a big, big smile and told Mom she had never known of any children who had wanted a library card as much as we did.

From then on there was no stopping us.

About the Author

Dr. John Arthur Horner of the Missouri Valley Room has a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from UC-Santa Barbara, as well as a deep love of history. He is an award-winning playwright and member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He lives in Independence with his wife, two pianos, and their multitude of books.

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Call us America’s library capital – or at least, one of them.

The Mid-Continent Public Library, whose sprawling system counts five branches in Kansas City and more than two dozen others in the surrounding area, has been named a recipient of the nation’s highest honor for libraries: the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Here here! The announcement was made Thursday, April 24, 2014, by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Kansas City Public Library was a National Medal honoree in 2008, cited for making “a significant impact on individuals, families, and communities.” The Johnson County Public Library received the award in 2005. The area is a confirmed bastion of library excellence.

Only Chicago — with three National Medal libraries in the city, itself, and another in suburban Skokie, Illinois — compares. Los Angeles has a couple. San Antonio has two, including the medical library at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Missouri has produced two other honorees since National Medals were first awarded in 1994: the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia (in ’94) and the Bootheel Youth Museum in Malden (in 2012).

In response to this year’s selections, Mid-Continent Director and CEO Steven Potter wrote on the system’s website, “This is an unbelievable honor and a testament to all the hard work and great service performed by (the) library and the team of dedicated library professionals, both past and present.”

Agreed. We thought the IMLS got it right in 2005 and 2008. It did again in 2014.

We have a winner!

Our 2014 Booketology Champion is: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle! In the final, 65% of you chose A Wrinkle in Time over Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

You can see the bracket of all the competing Booketology titles below:

Thank you to everyone who voted for their favorite books! Let us know what you thought of Booketology this year, and give us your ideas for next year. What books would you like to see battle it out?

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the digital content specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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