Previous Special Events

All Kansas City Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
10:00am @ Plaza Branch

Be prepared to become mesmerized by the wild world of animals and all their wonderful fun facts. Our friends from the Kansas City Zoo will take you on a magical journey around the world discovering animals and their homes.

Appropriate for ages 3 and up.


Monday, June 9, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

World War II veteran Dick Cole, 98, joins Park University professor Dennis Okerstrom for a discussion of the 1st Air Commando Group, a forerunner to modern special operations units such as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force.

Cole and Okerstrom will discuss the first air commando raid as well as Cole’s other World War II experiences, including serving as Jimmy Doolittle co-pilot during the Tokyo Raid.

The 1st Air Commando Group, whose ranks included former child actor Jackie Coogan, grew out of a top-secret project to invade Japanese-occupied Burma by glider.

Okerstrom is the author of Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Postcards were the “instant messages” of their day, a means of communicating hometown pride, civic identity, and a visitor’s curiosity. But where today’s electronic missives disappear with a click, the images and notes on vintage postcards endure – doorways to lost worlds.

Steve Noll, executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society and a postcard collector, leads an illustrated walk through Kansas City’s postcard history.

This event is keyed to the exhibit Greetings from Kansas City: Postcard Views of a Midwestern Metropolis, 1900-1950 currently on display at the Central Library. First shown in 2013, the exhibit is being reprised after earning the American Library Association’s Excellence in Library Programming Award.


Friday, June 6, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join Dino at your interstellar Library branch for a musical storytelling adventure revolving around stars, meteors, and planets. Meet Grandpa O’Dell, space alien Zar, and the cowboy stargazer, Joe, in this educational, interactive, and fun show.

Whether he’s counting monsters, fixing spaceships, or swimming in peanut butter, Dino’s interactive songs and tall tales engage curiosity, inspire laughter, and stir the imagination.

Recommended for ages 3-10.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But what are the effects of children on their parents? New York magazine’s Jennifer Senior digs into that question in a discussion of her new book.

Senior examines the history and changing definition of what it means to be a parent, analyzing the many ways in which children reshape parents’ lives – their marriages, jobs, habits, hobbies, friendships, and internal sense of self. Her book follows mothers and fathers through parenthood’s deepest vexations and finest rewards.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

John Bluford, the chief executive officer of Truman Medical Centers, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the most influential people in health care. As he prepares to retire after 15 years at Truman, he looks back on his career and ahead to the future in a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III.

Bluford has overseen major improvements in cardiology, radiology, emergency, diabetes, and operating facilities in his tenure at Truman, and he established the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute. He served as chairman of the American Hospital Association, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the Missouri Hospital Association.


Sunday, June 1, 2014
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The greatest swashbuckling film of all time almost bit the dust with a mid-production change in directors. But from a potential disaster arose what the New York Times’ Frank Nugent deemed “A richly produced, bravely bedecked, romantic, and colorful show … it can be calculated to rejoice the eights, rejuvenate the eighties, and delight those in between.” The Technicolor production is spectacular with castles, pageantry, gorgeous costumes. The style is lighthearted yet mythic, crammed with both bravura heroics and comic panache.


Friday, May 30, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Doo-Dads, a kid-cool rock and roll band, was founded in 2002 by four friends, all fathers and veterans of the Kansas City music scene.

The band puts on a high-energy show that has every hallmark of a real rock concert: fun, excitement, and . . . bubbles!

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, May 29, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Marine biologist Nancy Knowlton knows the wonders of our oceans and the weird and wondrous creatures that call it home. She also recognizes how ocean life is threatened by human activity and what is being done to turn the tide of destruction.

Knowlton’s talk is the kickoff event of Conserving Our Dynamic Planet, a series presented by the Smithsonian Institution and co-sponsored by the Linda Hall Library.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In 1982-83, William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, a chronicle of traveling America’s back roads, spent 42 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

Thirty years after his 14,000-mile, 38-state journey, Least Heat-Moon re-examines the making of the book in a discussion of Writing Blue Highways: The Story of How a Book Happened. He reflects on the stops and starts in his composition process, the numerous drafts and painstaking revisions, and the depressing string of rejections by publishers.