Previous Special Events

Thursday, March 12, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Short, balding, and soft-spoken, James Madison was overshadowed by many of America’s other, more dynamic Founding Fathers. His list of accomplishments ran long, however: outlining what became the Constitution, co-writing the Federalist Papers, creating the Bill of Rights, forming America’s first political party, supervising the Louisiana Purchase, and serving as the country’s first wartime president (during the War of 1812).

In a discussion of his new book, Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America, author David O. Stewart reveals a rare leader who artfully collaborated with others toward common goals while worrying little about who got the credit.

The event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Comedian, columnist, broadcaster, and author Colm O’Regan is renowned throughout Ireland for his hilarious standup routines and series of bestselling books celebrating the wit, wisdom, pragmatism, and warmth of the women he admires as Irish Mammies.

You know a Mammy. You might be one. There are matriarchal equivalents around the world, advising “you’ll get another wear out of that” and admonishing “I don’t care WHO started it. I’m FINISHING it.” They establish tea towel hierarchy and the importance of airing clothes properly.

Less than a week before St. Patrick’s Day, O’Regan — whose popular Twitter account spawned the books — examines the global influence of the Irish Mammy through history, science, politics, and literature. Were you aware, for instance, that Hamlet had an Irish Mammy?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

With the end of the Civil War in sight as he delivered his second inaugural address in March 1865, Abraham Lincoln eloquently implored his divided countrymen “to bind up the nation’s wounds” and “do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.”

But the chaos of war was not yet ended. The South was reeling from Sherman’s destructive March to the Sea. Entire cities, including the Confederate capital of Richmond, were being overrun. Forty-one days after being sworn in for a second term, Lincoln was felled by an assassin’s bullet.

Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses those tumultuous final months and examines the start of the Reconstruction of the South.

Sunday, March 8, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library’s ninth season of Script-in-Hand performances, featuring the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre continues with Same Time, Next Year.

George and Doris have separate families, separate lives — and a physical attraction and growing emotional bond that bring them to the same California country inn every year. One of the most popular romantic comedies of the past century drops in on their clandestine relationship every five years for 25 years. The times change. They change, experiencing the ups and downs of marriage, career change, and childrearing against a backdrop of national turmoil. Their annual weekend together becomes a time of solace, reflection, challenge and, when Doris shows up eight-months pregnant, even birth.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Join Kansas City Public Library staff for film screenings and animated conversations centered on quality film versions of books that are official selections of the Love on the Rocks 2015 Winter Reading Program. Discussions immediately follow film presentations. These screenings are open to the public. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source book prior to the film screening.

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. With Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, and David Niven. 108 minutes, Unrated.

Friday, March 6, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Eric Vaughn’s passion for magic started when he was 10 years old. He’s now one of the busiest magicians in the Midwest, keeping audiences laughing and scratching their heads at the same time with performances that are wacky, enthusiastic, interactive, and entertaining. Appropriate for all ages.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Barbecue, jazz, Steamboat Arabia, and the Liberty Memorial, you probably know. But a comprehensive list of must-dos in Kansas City and the surrounding area also includes such lesser-known attractions as ghost tours at Belvoir Winery in nearby Liberty; the fusion of dance, aerial acrobatics, fashion, and live music in a performance by the imaginative ensemble Quixotic; and the eclectic collection of bracelets, brooches, and other adornments at Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence.

Longtime journalist Traci Angel walks through an array of Kansas City’s bucket-list experiences, offering the best day-trip destinations, draws for out-of-towners, and offbeat pleasures in a discussion of her new book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses – even $100 million businesses. We just have to know how to crack the code.

Strategic adviser Amy Wilkinson presents the keys to turning ideas into enduring enterprises in a discussion of her new book. From interviews with 200 of today’s leading entrepreneurs, including the founders of eBay, Under Armour, Chipotle, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, JetBlue Airways, and Dropbox, she has distilled six fundamental strategies that helped them rise to the top. Creators, she finds, are not born but made. They work at it, sharing skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on. Wilkinson passes them along to you.

Co-presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

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.

March's Selection:
Pigs Ahoy! by David McPhail

Appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

PLEASE NOTE: At the request of spelling bee organizers, the start time for the Jackson-Clay County Spelling Bee championship has been changed to 1:30 p.m.

Last year’s Jackson County Spelling bee delivered an unforgettable duel between two finalists — one a fifth-grader, the other a seventh-grader — that stretched into overtime, lasting 95 rounds and attracting worldwide attention.

An expanded bee is back. This year’s contest included qualifiers from 102 schools in both Jackson and Clay counties who went through division competition earlier in the month. Those still standing now contend for the Jackson-Clay County Spelling Bee championship, with a single winner advancing to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

The bee is presented in partnership with the Mid-Continent Public Library and Local Investment Commission (LINC), and is co-sponsored by the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and School Personnel.