Previous Special Events

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Author-educator Herbert Alan Johnson explains how a lawsuit over a steamboat monopoly ultimately led to Congress gaining the power to regulate interstate commerce. Johnson is distinguished professor emeritus of law at the University of South Carolina.

Legal Landmarks is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Truman Library Institute, and the Federal Court Historical Society. The series is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund with additional support provided by Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and co-sponsored by the University Press of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.


Friday, October 11, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

With a background in children’s literature plus a Grammy nomination for his kids’ songs, Zak Morgan brings all of his life experiences and a simple delight in words and music to his live performances.

Morgan’s celebration of wordplay and humorous storytelling are typical of his songwriting. Morgan aims to inspire his listeners to enjoy learning for its own sake while providing nonstop entertainment

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, October 10, 2013


Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Tom Bass, portrayed by veteran actor Walter Coppage.

Born a slave, Tom Bass became a world-famous horse trainer and equestrian showman. Though he spent most of his life in Mexico, Missouri, in the 1890s he operated a stable in Kansas City and became the first African American to ride in the American Royal Horse Show. He won countless equestrian awards and invented the Bass bit, a humane mechanism that protects a horse’s mouth during training. It is still in use today.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Between 1942 and 1964, as many as 300,000 Mexican laborers—called braceros—were employed as farmhands or railroad workers in the United States. The Bracero Program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history.

Veterans of the Bracero Program now living in the Kansas City area discuss their experiences in this panel conversation moderated by Christopher Leitch.

The presentation complements Bittersweet Harvest, a bilingual exhibit about the Bracero Program on display through October 27, 2013, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Former Kansas City Royal Willie Wilson retired from Major League Baseball with 668 stolen bases (ranking 12th all-time) and 13 inside-the-park home runs (the most of any major leaguer playing after 1950). He was also among the first active major league players to serve jail time, having pled guilty to misdemeanor drug charges in 1983.

Now Wilson and his co-author, former Kansas City Star sportswriter Kent Pulliam, discuss his life and career as chronicled in a new memoir.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton discusses his new memoir Achieve the Honorable in a public conversation with library director Crosby Kemper III.

Achieve the Honorable is the story of how Skelton, a native of Lexington, Missouri, overcame boyhood polio to launch a career on Capitol Hill. Along the way, the book provides glimpses into the lives of political titans like Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, and treats readers to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd political insight.


Sunday, October 6, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre Artists read from favorite children's books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to "jump into the story" and participate in an improvised story of their own making.

Appropriate for all ages, Dramatic Story Time programs take place one Sunday each month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2013-2014 school year, beginning October 6, 2013.


Sunday, October 6, 2013


The gruff U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the central male character in Charles Portis’ True Grit, has been immortalized on film by both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges. But what if the one-eyed, overweight, blustery, larger-than-life lawman was inspired by a real person? Brett Cogburn introduces us to his great-grandfather, John Franklin “Rooster” Cogburn, who may (or may not) have inspired the fictional character.

Brett Cogburn is the author of Panhandle and The Texans.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Down to Earth Riders, a local African American Saddle Club, presents an afternoon of all things cowboy and cowgirl. Youth and adult members discuss the impact that riding horses has had on their lives, and display saddles and other equestrian tack.

Brother John Anderson shares stories about black cowboys. There will also be a craft period.

The Down to Earth Riders was founded in 2007 to encourage and empower youth through experiences with horses. Appropriate for all ages.


Friday, October 4, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City’s own De Los Barrios Flamenco Group presents an exciting evening of music and dance.

Get a taste of Spain with this entertaining and interactive program for children and adults. Dancers Tamara Carson and Amanda January, accompanied by Jarrod Stephenson on guitar, Rich Wheeler on saxophone, and John Currey on the Cajón, (a Peruvian percussion instrument ), heat up the stage with their captivating clapping and fiery footwork.

Appropriate for all ages.