Previous Special Events

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In his new book, When the Sirens Were Silent: How the Warning System Failed A Community, award-winning meteorologist Mike Smith takes a journey into the fearful and fascinating vortex of a tornado, explaining how the government’s early warning system has saved countless lives over the last 50 years. He’ll also talk about the system’s failures – such as last year’s Joplin twister which claimed 161 lives.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Leadership is less about having all the answers than about asking the right questions. Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan says in his book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror that the challenge lies in being able to step back, reflect, and ask the key questions that are critical to your performance and your organization’s effectiveness.

Sunday, May 6, 2012
2:30pm @ Plaza Branch

R. Stephen Green, newly-named superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools, continues his series of public conversations. He fields questions and provides straight answers regarding parent involvement, accreditation, leadership, and the future of classroom instruction.

Green previously led Kauffman Scholars, Inc., a comprehensive college preparatory and scholarship program designed to increase the number of college graduates from Kansas City’s urban schools.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Historian Donald R. Hickey, author of The Rockets’ Red Glare: An Illustrated History of The War of 1812, discusses that “forgotten war” which gave us some memorable military moments (Admiral Perry’s victory on Lake Erie, Andrew Jackson’s triumph at New Orleans) but also saw the British burn the White House. Moreover, the war ended not in overwhelming victory, but in a draw – which may explain why so many Americans know little about it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Location: City Market, 400 Grand St.

Join fellow book lovers on the first Saturday of every month (May – October) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library present the fifth annual City Market Summer Book Sale Series.

Friday, May 4, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Whip up a simple but tasty dish with cookbook author Katie Workman, who offers solutions to the 20 most common cooking dilemmas faced by modern moms. She provides recipes and tips for parents who are so baffled by their kids’ food preferences that mealtime has become a minefield.

Workman is founding editor in chief of and writes for New York magazine and many web sites.

Thursday, May 3, 2012
3:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Whether an election is about picking a president or passing a tax increase, citizens may find themselves asking: “Does my vote really count?

Absolutely, according to representatives of the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners who explain why voting is so important and how one vote can actually make a difference. Here’s a chance to learn about voting rights and how our votes are processed on election night. Voter registration forms will be available.

This is part of a series of public forums on elections presented by the KCEB and the Library this spring and summer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City’s People’s Liberation Big Band marks International Workers Day (aka May Day) with a screening of the silent Soviet film Battleship Potemkin while performing their original musical score for the film.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson discusses his work in a public conversation with local author Whitney Terrell. Known for his “vaguely Blade Runner–esque visions of a cluttered, anaerobic American culture,” Johnson has published the short story collection Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. His latest novel is The Orphan Master’s Son.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Husband and wife team Monroe and Jean Dodd take a time-traveling journey across the Sunflower State with their new book Kansas Then and Now, which contrasts historic photographs of Kansas towns (and a few rural locations) with new photos taken in the same places. A spinoff of the Kansas City Then and Now series, the volume offers a new way of appreciating how our landscapes and cityscapes have changed.

Kansas City Public Library Beta