Previous Special Events

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The annexation of the Philippines by the United States was a contentious issue at the turn of the last century. Supporters of annexation called the notion “benevolent assimilation,” while Mark Twain – interested by the racial and religious ideologies circulating amid the national debate – called it “hogwash” and “pious hypocrisy.”

KU professor Susan Harris examines a rarely seen political side of Twain, whose questions about America’s role in the world remain as relevant in 2011 as they were in 1900.

This presentation is a part of The Big Read.

Monday, October 3, 2011

In the six months since choosing Kansas City as a test market for its new fiber-optic network, Google has asked for community input in planning how this technology will be used.

Sunday, October 2, 2011
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

You have read and perhaps even re-read the Mark Twain classic – now watch this compelling film adaptation – MGM’s musical Tom Sawyer (1973), starring Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster and filmed almost entirely on location in Missouri. Join Big Read discussion facilitator Kaite Stover for a lively conversation comparing the written word to its dramatic interpretation. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source novel prior to attending the film screening.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hasia Diner discusses the great century of migration, from the 1820s to the 1920s, when one third of Europe’s Jews left their homes to seek places in other lands. Of that number, 85-90 percent opted for the U.S. Diner examines the characteristics of American life that attracted the emigrating Jews.

Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg professor of American Jewish History at New York University. Funded in part by Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust and the Avashia Family Fund.

Friday, September 30, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Plaza Branch and Westport Center for the Arts present a live theater reading between Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Bill Warren, and Frederick Douglass, portrayed by Harvey Williams.

Friday, September 30, 2011

One of the staples of Kansas City’s Westside community, the Irene H. Ruiz Branch of the Kansas City Public Library commemorates its 10th anniversary with a musical showcase.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Representatives from area colleges and universities will help prospective students — both recent high school graduates and adults looking to finish a college degree — learn about their educational options.

Staff from several agencies serving job seekers will also be available to explain how they can assist job seekers with all aspects of their search, from creating a résumé to interviewing for a job.

Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Biographer James Grant discusses his new portrait of late nineteenth-century Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas B. Reed, who served with greater influence than any Speaker who came before him.

Until 1890, members of the House would often filibuster by refusing to answer roll call – even if they were present – depriving the chamber of a quorum. During one such filibuster, Reed directed the clerk to count anyone in attendance as present.

Grant is editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In his New York Times best-selling book, Frank Schaeffer uses his life as a lens through which to view a larger narrative: the rightward lurch of American politics since the 1970s.

The central character is Schaeffer’s far-from-prudish evangelical mother, who sweetly but bizarrely provides startling juxtapositions of the religious and the sensual throughout Schaeffer’s childhood.

Schaeffer asks what the leading right-wingers and the paranoid fantasies of their “echo chamber” are really about. Here’s a hint... sex.

Monday, September 26, 2011
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Reading Reptile and the Kansas City Public Library present the former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jon Scieszka. A portion of the proceeds from books sales will be used to build and stock portable classroom libraries for the elementary schools destroyed by the Joplin tornado.

Kansas City Public Library Beta