Previous Special Events

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Attica Locke discusses her novel Black Water Rising, set in Houston in the early 1980s. Former campus radical Jay Porter is now a lawyer running his practice out of a dingy strip mall. When he saves a woman from drowning, his act of heroism inadvertently opens a Pandora’s box of dangerous secrets that threaten the city’s corporate power brokers and place Jay at the center of a murder investigation.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

James N. Giglio describes John F. Kennedy as “the most medicated, one of the most courageous, and perhaps the most self-absorbed of our presidents.” Giglio reveals the latest research on Kennedy’s presidency, from his deft handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis to his destructive sexual obsessions.

Giglio is a distinguished professor of history at Missouri State University and author of Debating the Kennedy Presidency.

Part of this year’s series on the U.S. presidency.


Sunday, March 18, 2012
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

On the 100th anniversary of the creation of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, John Tibbetts looks at the career of fantasy writer Edgar Rice Burroughs and the enduring popularity of his most iconic characters.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Landon Rowland discusses the achievements of 19th century railroad developer Arthur Stilwell, who forever changed the Kansas City area’s business landscape with an ambitious program of railroad construction that made the region an important transportation hub. This is the centennial year of Stilwell’s retirement – a year in which the Google Fiber network, a different kind of economic game-changer, arrives in Kansas City.

Rowland is the former president and chief executive officer of Kansas City Southern Industries and chairman emeritus of the Janus Capital Group.


Friday, March 16, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In anticipation of the film adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel The Hunger Games, the Kansas City Public Library hosts a party to celebrate its release at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In the early 20th century, composer Béla Bartók (1881–1945) revolutionized the musical world by allowing the folk songs of his native Hungary to shape his orchestral compositions.

Elliott Antokoletz, professor of musicology at the University of Texas at Austin, explains how the composer created sounds and rhythms unimagined by his contemporaries, in the process becoming a founding father of modern music. UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance students will perform Bartók’s works.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Offering the keynote address for this year’s series on the American presidency, presidential scholar Robert Dallek examines why some presidents succeed and others don’t by zeroing in on such determinants as vision, pragmatism, charisma, trust, consensus, and luck.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012
1:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Art educator Carol Inge Hockett examines how artists reacted to the values-shattering horrors of World War I with Dadism, an artistic/political movement that rejected the old norms of painting, literature, drama, and music. Rejecting bourgeois values, the Dadists embraced nontraditional forms such as collage, photomontage, assemblage, and “readymades” (everyday objects displayed as art).


Sunday, March 11, 2012
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library invites children and parents to be part of monthly interactive story times presented by the Coterie Theatre. Theatre artists read from their favorite children's books while audience members enjoy an opportunity to "jump into the story" on stage.


Saturday, March 10, 2012
8:30am @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library, in partnership with the Mid-Continent Public Library and the Local Investment Commission host the 2012 Jackson County Spelling Bee. The winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.


Kansas City Public Library Beta