Events: anytime, any location, all ages

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Although Kansas joined the Union as a free state, African Americans entering this new land looking for homes and livelihoods encountered a rigid color line. The conflict between lofty ideals and racist realities became a central theme of the African American experience in Kansas.

In Separate But Not Equal: The Quest for African American Civil Rights at the University of Kansas, 1865-1970, historian Bill Tuttle details the story of a century-old fight for freedom at the state’s flagship university – which mirrored many Lawrence institutions in congratulating itself on its racially open admissions policy while enforcing until the 1960s a strict Jim Crow system of racial separation.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One of Kansas City’s greatest entrepreneurs, Henry W. Bloch co-founded H&R Block Inc. in 1955 and helped build it into the world’s largest tax preparation company.

Now 92, he sits down with his son, Tom Bloch, for a conversation covering seven timeless lessons for entrepreneurs gleaned from his experiences. The presentation is held in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week and the paperback release of the younger Bloch’s 2010 book Many Happy Returns: The Story of Henry Bloch, America’s Tax Man.

Tom Bloch worked closely with his father at H&R Block for nearly two decades. He left the company in 1995 to teach in inner-city Kansas City, and co-founded University Academy.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For four years, noted pedestrian Henry Fortunato, the Library’s director of public affairs, has been planning and preparing for his trans-Kansas trek, a 500-mile expedition on foot starting at his front door in Overland Park.

In September and October 2014, he finally did it. Fortunato spent the night at Truckhenge and climbed to the top of the Capitol dome with the lieutenant governor. He judged a chili contest in Wilson and walked in darkness for nearly half an hour on a dirt road in blind faith that he would find the rural farmhouse where he was supposed to stay. He also had numerous encounters with county sheriffs, visited a family living in a former missile silo, and gained first-hand experience with the unique qualities of Kansas mud.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amid the political tumult in their British-controlled country in the early 20th century, the Irish increasingly turned to extravagant public pageants in marking significant historical, political, and religious events. A sort of precursor to today’s opening ceremonies at the Olympics, these elaborately staged versions of national identity – based on both history and myth – mobilized huge numbers of people and featured marching bands, intricate costumes, fireworks, and mock battles.

Joan FitzPatrick Dean, the Curators Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, looks at the historical significance of these spectacles in a discussion of her new book, All Dressed Up. She presents a nation contending with the political upheaval and violence of the present by reimagining the past.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Skip the craziness of Black Friday shopping. Make it a playful “Bright Light Friday” instead. Sing, dance, and celebrate the start of the Christmas season with Kansas City-based kid rocker and Library favorite Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove.

Appropriate for all ages.


Friday, November 28, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kick off the holiday season with a great movie on the big screen: 2004’s magical, visually stunning The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks.

Recommended for all ages.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

As the one time head of President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, George Creel later recalled in his memoir “how we advertised America” but more accurately it was how he sold World War I to a largely neutral populace. Wilson, whose 1916 reelection campaign proclaimed, “he kept us out of war,” abruptly switched gears, and the electorate needed to catch up quickly. A native Missourian and former Kansas City newspaperman, Creel imaginatively combined the new techniques of public relations and propaganda with extensive government censorship to shape public opinion and control the flow of war information. Historian Timothy Westcott traces the life and career of Creel, who created the template for an entire industry of Madison Avenue “Mad Men.”


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

December's Selection:
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Appropriate for all ages.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

January's Selection:
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Appropriate for all ages.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

February's Selection:
Anansi and the Talking Melon retold by Eric A. Kimmel

Appropriate for all ages.