Events: anytime, any location, all ages

All Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, and remain closed all day on Thursday, November 26, for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 27, 2015

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 KC-based kid rocker and Library favorite Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove.

On the day of the show, Jim will collect winter clothing items on behalf of the nonprofit Artists Helping the Homeless (artistshelpingthehomeless​.org). Items of need range from socks and long underwear to gloves, scarves, and hats. All sizes accepted (adult large and XL items needed most). Appropriate for all ages.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We hear and read of it abroad, but the trafficking of underage girls for sex is all too common in America. Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui shines a light on the issue in his riveting documentary, The Long Night, weaving together the stories of seven people — young girls who were forced or coerced into the sex trade, their parents, and police — whose lives have been forever changed.

Set in Seattle, the 72-minute film was named Pictures of the Year International’s top documentary project of 2014. It is screened at the Plaza Branch’s Truman Forum Auditorium. Matsui leads a subsequent discussion with Kristy Childs, a trafficking survivor who founded the service organization Veronica’s Voice; Craig Hill, a retired Leawood, Kansas, police detective now working as a training consultant with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and FBI sex crimes investigator Megan Kline.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Library, in partnership with American Public Square, launches a series of discussions of polarizing local issues – minus the incivility and invective that all too often feed polarity.

Experts on both sides of the debate join University of Missouri-Kansas City professor and moderator Scott Helm in examining the future of Kansas City International Airport. Remodel or rebuild? Stay with multiple terminals or move to just one? The panel includes Skopos President Kevin Koster, a member of the KCI Airport Terminal Advisory Group; Rockhill Strategic President Jon Stephens, interim executive director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce; and Pitch writer Steve Vockrodt. There are fact checkers and a “civility bell.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The stories seem more prevalent and disturbing today than ever: kids being pushed in one or more sports to the point of burnout before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating their pint-sized players.

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeff Montgomery, psychologist Andrew Jacobs, and Hall of Fame swimming coach Peter Malone have seen firsthand the issues that are making youth sports increasingly difficult for all – especially the young participants.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What is it like to be the son or daughter of an absolute and ruthless dictator? To bear a name – Stalin or Mussolini, Mao or Ceausescu, Qaddafi or Hussein – that’s synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil?

In a discussion of his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators, author Jay Nordlinger speaks with Library Director Crosby Kemper III about the offspring of 20 of the world’s most notorious despots.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kansas City-area entertainers Jay and Leslie Cady apply their antics – juggling, mime, magic, and other nonsense – to the tradition of holiday gift giving. It’s family fun with a bow on top. Appropriate for all ages.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

No other resident of Kansas City, past or present, has achieved the worldwide fame of Walt Disney. He created the animated Mickey Mouse and established a motion picture, TV, and theme park empire that has grown bigger and more lucrative in the 50 years since his death.

Robert W. Butler, longtime film critic for The Kansas City Star, former writer in the Library’s public affairs department, and co-author of Walt Disney’s Missouri, traces Disney’s improbable path to success.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Coterie Theatre artists read from David Ezra Stein’s best-selling Caldecott Honor Book about a little red chicken who can’t stop herself from interrupting her bedtime stories, altering the tales to save the characters from their missteps. But when it’s her turn to tell a tale, will her yawning Papa make it to the end without his own interruption?

Young audience members can “jump into the story,” adding their own improvisation. Appropriate for all ages.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kansas-reared Robert Day, author of the modern western classic The Last Cattle Drive, sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a wide-ranging conversation in conjunction with the launch of his second novel, Let Us Imagine Lost Love. Day sets this story largely on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza and revolves it around a book designer reminiscing about youthful misunderstandings and secret longings for women, about experiences both beautiful and ugly, as he tries to make sense of his life.

Raised in Merriam, Kansas, Day earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas. He taught initially at Fort Hays State University and then for 35 years at Washington College.

He has established the Robert and Kathryn Day Endowment for the Literary Arts to benefit the Library.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

As Jen Mann notes, her nationally popular blog is called "People I Want to Punch in the Throat" and not "Rainbows and Unicorns." So it’s no surprise that her take on Christmas isn’t all warm and sugary. But it’s drop-dead hilarious.

The suburban Johnson County, Kansas, wife, mother, and best-selling writer gives the holiday season her inimitable spin in a discussion of her new book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers and Other Seasonal Scourges.

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