Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

In the late 1940s and 1950s, Kansas City native Tommy Campbell won 50 professional fights and became the world’s No. 2 lightweight. But thanks to a run-in with organized crime, he is now all but forgotten in the town that nurtured him.

Phil S. Dixon, author of Tommy Campbell: A Boxing Bout with the Mob, relates how Campbell became the only fighter to testify in court about how mobsters attempted to seize control of the lightweight division, muscling him into throwing one fight.


Sunday, November 17, 2013
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A crime drama about a charismatic Paris thug (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who initiates a torrid affair with a beautiful young American (Jean Seberg), Breathless is among the most influential films ever made … not for the story but for its style. Director Jean-Luc Godard shot surreptitiously on real streets and cut the footage into jarring jump shots that seemed to kick the story forward.


Saturday, November 16, 2013
(All day) @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library hosts the 2013 Young Adult Literature Festival with Rainbow Rowell, Jacqueline Woodson, and John Green, presented by Reading Reptile and sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library. Meet leading authors of young adult literature, purchase books, and get autographs.

YA Literature Workshop: 8:00 to Noon
Tickets to the workshop have sold out.

Book Signing: 1 - 3 p.m.
Admission to the book signing is free and open to the public


Friday, November 15, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Run away with the circus as Happy Faces Entertainment ringmaster Dennis Porter takes you into the excitement of the big top. Enjoy an interactive program of music, magic, juggling, and more.

Porter has worked with communities, educational institutions, churches, amusement parks and professional theaters around the country, performing as a clown, actor, magician, storyteller, educator, and emcee.

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Few journalists have studied the issue of global warming with the thoroughness of The New York TimesJustin Gillis, who has raised hackles by comparing global warming skeptics to opponents of evolution.

Now, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with Gillis about Covering Climate Change.

Gillis, who reports and blogs on the environment for the Times, warns that “the hour is late … To head off the worst consequences of global warming, we needed to get started 20 years ago and we did not. If we started today it would be hard, and we’re not starting today.”


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Several hundred spectators in Dealey Plaza witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Everyone else experienced it through the eyes of Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder, whose home movie of the shooting is among the most famous – and closely examined – films in history.

Journalist and historian Max Holland looks at the Zapruder film, delving into how it came to be, its exalted status as the dominant document of a national tragedy, and how it has helped – or hindered - our understanding of precisely what happened 50 years ago this month.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Patrick Rosal’s poetry, writes one critic, “skillfully navigates between despair and love, between violence and music, between loss and transcendence ... I’ve seen him make people cry during his readings. I’ve seen him play a guitar, play the piano, sing, and yes, dance.”

Rosal holds a discussion about his work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.


Sunday, November 10, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

During her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, Deborah Shouse explored ways to connect with her and developed new rituals to anchor holidays and other celebrations. She is joined by Ron Zoglin, a professional storyteller, and Michelle Niedens, education director of the Heart of America Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, for a discussion of her book, which offers humor and hope to family members, friends, and caregivers.


Friday, November 8, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The 14th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration features folk tales, historical sagas, performance art, intergalactic yarns and more.

The celebration begins with Friday Night Family Fun at 6:30 p.m. in the Kids’ Corner,with the Sadarri and Company Multilingual Storytellers followed by Ghost Stories in the Truman Auditorium at 7 p.m. with: Peter Cook, Marilyn Kinsella, Willy Claflin, and Rosie Cutrer.


Thursday, November 7, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch


This event has been canceled at the author’s request due to an illness.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was contemplating retirement when war broke out in Europe and he was forced to decide whether to seek a third term, both to lead the American mobilization and preserve the advances of the New Deal.

In a discussion of his new book, Roosevelt’s Second Act, Richard Moe examines Roosevelt’s duality: the bold, moral statesman who set lofty and principled goals, and the arrogant, manipulative politician in pursuit of them.