Event Archive

Search our archive of past events at the Library! You can search by keyword - such as event title, subject, or presenter name - or by a date range. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotation marks. If you know the specific date of an event, enter the same date in both fields. Search results will only show events that match ALL entered terms.

Format: 2014-09-22
Format: 2014-09-22
  • Author Paul Tough argues that educational success has less to do with intelligence than with character traits such as perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.
    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    Why do some children succeed and others fail? Answers don’t come from the ACT, SAT, or other measures of intelligence, Paul Tough says. The author points to less calculable qualities such as perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.

    In a discussion of his best-selling book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Tough introduces us to researchers and educators who are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their experiences, he traces the links between childhood stress and achievement. He uncovers surprising ways in which parents prepare — and fail to prepare — children for adulthood. And he offers new insights into how to help youngsters growing up in poverty.

  • Lawyer Kevin Underhill discusses his new book about weird, bizarre, illogical, and just plain funny laws from the past and the present. For example, in one county in the state of Washington, it is illegal to kill a sasquatch – a creature whose existence has never been proven.
    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    According to an ancient Frankish ordinance, “He who claims that someone else is covered in dung shall be liable to pay 120 denari.” In Skamania County, Washington, it is a felony to commit the “premeditated, willful and wanton” slaying of a sasquatch – a creature whose existence has never been proven.

    Kevin Underhill examines weird, bizarre, illogical, and just plain funny laws from the past and the present in a discussion of his new book. Underhill is a partner in the San Francisco office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, the powerhouse law firm based in Kansas City. He is the author of the essay series, “If Great Literary Works Had Been Written by Lawyers,” and the blog “Lowering the Bar.”

  • Coterie Theatre artists read from their favorite children’s books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to “jump into the story” on stage. This program is appropriate for all ages. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    Coterie Theatre Artists read from favorite children's books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to "jump into the story" and participate in an improvised story of their own making.

    Appropriate for all ages, Dramatic Story Time programs take place one Sunday each month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2013-2014 school year, beginning October 6, 2013.

  • The Created Equal documentary series chronicles  the civil rights struggles of African Americans. KU’s Randal M. Jelks  provides opening and closing remarks.  The Loving Story (2011)
    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    Just weeks after marrying in Washington, D.C., in 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving (he was white, she was African American) were dragged from their bed in the middle of the night and jailed for violating a Virginia law against marrying a person of a different race. Convicted, they were banished from the state and spent the next nine years fighting for the right to return, eventually taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thanks to the Lovings, the last remaining miscegenation laws in the U.S. were overturned.

    Randal M. Jelks, associate professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas, provides opening and closing remarks.

  • To help launch the new Seed Library at the Ruiz Branch, Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks and his wife, blogger Roxie Hammill, discuss Mike and Roxie's Vegetable Paradise, their memoir/guide to growing food in Kansas City.
    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks and his wife, blogger Roxie Hammill, discuss their book Mike and Roxie’s Vegetable Paradise, which is both a how-to manual and a memoir based on the authors’ years of gardening.

    Their talk complements the launch of the Seed Library at the Kansas City Public Library’s Ruiz Branch, which allows patrons to “check out” flower and vegetable seeds. In the fall they will “return” seeds they have harvested from their plants. Ruiz will also house an expanded collection of gardening books available for checkout.

  • Students from Kansas City’s Community School #1 perform their play “The Clowns,” in which stories and songs celebrate friendship and working together.   Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, May 2, 2014

    Students from Kansas City’s Community School #1 will perform their play “The Clowns,” in which stories and songs celebrate friendship and working together.

    Community School #1 is a small, independent elementary school built on the principles of academic excellence, responsible citizenship, and sense of community.

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • Seventy-five years ago, on April 30, 1939, amid the billowing clouds of lingering economic depression and imminent war, the New York World’s Fair heralded “The Dawn of a New Day.” Historian Robert Rydell discusses that landmark event.
    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    Seventy-five years ago, on April 30, 1939, amidst the billowing clouds of lingering economic depression and imminent war, the New York World’s Fair, with its sleek modernist designs, heralded “The Dawn of a New Day” and promised a better “World of Tomorrow.”

    Why, with the American economy still in the doldrums and the rest of the world seemingly hell-bent on going to war, did millions of Americans flock to, of all things, a world’s fair?

    Robert Rydell, professor of history at Montana State University and a leading scholar on the history of world’s fairs, explains why it is important to remember the New York World’s Fair, most especially for understanding how it shaped our world of today.

  • In a discussion of his new book, Stanford University’s Ian Morris takes the provocative position that despite its horrors, armed conflict has made humanity both safer and richer.
    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    “War! What is it good for?” Motown singer Edwin Starr asked in his 1969 hit record. The musical answer: “Absolutely nothing.”

    But in a discussion of his erudite new history of war, Stanford University’s Ian Morris takes the provocative position that, despite its horrors, armed conflict has made humanity both safer and richer. From the aggressive instincts of chimpanzees and early “protohumans” to ancient civilizations and the “American Empire,” he looks at war and notes that in terms of lives lost (as a percentage of national population), its impact has lessened while the long-term effects have been “productive.”

  • In a discussion of his new book, Western historian Mark Lee Gardner explores the James-Younger gang’s 1876 raid on Northfield, Minnesota. Their bank robbery ended in chaos when citizens fought back, setting off one of the Old West’s most extensive manhunts.
    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    The 1876 raid by the James-Younger gang on Northfield, Minnesota, may be the most famous bank robbery in history.

    Recognizing what was happening, citizens armed themselves. Leaving the bank, the outlaws ran into a devastating hail of bullets. Two died in the street. The survivors, several badly wounded, fled Northfield, setting off one of the Old West’s most extensive manhunts.

    In a discussion of his new book, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape, Western historian, writer, and musician Mark Lee Gardner recreates this bloody, desperate episode. With compelling details that chronicle the two-week chase that followed — the near misses, fateful mistakes, and final shootout on the Watonwan River — Gardner delivers a galloping, true tale of frontier justice.

  • Think you’re film literate? Not until you’ve experienced the masterpieces of world cinema presented as part of this series.    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    If only we could strike it rich, then our problems would be over. Right? Not according to John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which demonstrates that with newfound wealth comes plenty of bad baggage: bloodthirsty bandits, betrayal, and madness. Shot almost entirely in Mexico (one of the first Hollywood movies made on a foreign location) and oozing authenticity with every frame, this superb adventure won two Oscars for John Huston (directing and screenplay) and another (supporting actor) for his father – the only such father-son win in Academy history.