Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Even before Kansas became a state, Kansans wanted a university. What no one knew in territorial days or in the earliest years of statehood — or even after the University of Kansas opened for classes — was how big and how good it might become. In KU’s first semester, 55 students enrolled but the faculty of three found not one prepared for college work.

The university would grow into a vast and intricate educational machine that in the 21st century counts more than 27,000 students and 1,600 faculty members across multiple campuses. Former Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times editor Monroe Dodd, who has written a new coffee table book for Kansas City Star Books that commemorates the school’s sesquicentennial, discusses the often difficult, 150-year journey through wars, economic pitfalls, clashes of ideas and ideologies, and the unending demands of politics.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bill Zahner made a tough call shortly after taking charge of the family business in the late 1970s, shifting the focus of the A. Zahner Co. from siding and deck work to metal fabrication.

He shaped an architectural powerhouse whose work now adorns skyscrapers, museums, and artwork around the world. Among its current projects is construction of the facade for an elaborate, $130 million aquarium scheduled to open this year in Fortaleza, Brazil. Locally, the company created the distinctive “sky station” sculptures atop Bartle Hall and the corkscrewing, stainless steel spire on the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints Temple in Independence.

Zahner sits down for a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III in the latest installment of the Library's Kansas City: Cradle of Entrepreneurs series.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library, The Black Archives of Mid-America, and UMKC's Black Studies Program are working in partnership to present the Black History Month Book-to-Film Series Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of February.

Diana Ross earned an Oscar nomination for best actress for her portrayal of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, based loosely on Holiday’s 1956 autobiography. 144 minutes. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

Discussion leader: Adrienne Walker Hoard, director of the Black Studies Program and professor of art, UMKC.

Sunday, February 1, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

February's Selection:
Anansi and the Talking Melon retold by Eric A. Kimmel

Appropriate for all ages.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nobody knows more about the four-legged star of Groundhog Day than Kenneth Armitage.

An emeritus professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Kansas, Armitage has studied marmots — whose family tree includes the groundhog — for some 50 years. So great is his reputation that Sony turned to him when it released a 15th-anniversary edition of the movie Groundhog Day in 2008, enlisting the master of the marmot to talk on camera about the mammal’s “real life” for a DVD extra.

Armitage visits the Library on the eve of the nation’s observance of Groundhog Day to discuss the cultural influences of this unique celebration and offer insight into the marmot itself. His presentation coincides with the publication of a new book based upon Armitage’s decades of research, Marmot Biology: Sociality, Individual Fitness, and Population Dynamics.

Friday, January 30, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join Kansas City’s Tippi Toes Dance Company in a night of magic and fun drawing from the Academy Award-winning animated classic, Frozen. There’ll be dancing and crafts – and a visit from our Frozen friend, Elsa.

Recommended for all ages.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid but also to explore.

Yale University historian Anders Winroth dismantles the myths and captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage in a discussion of his new book, The Age of the Vikings.

Winroth is the Frost Family Professor of History at Yale.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Today, amid the many manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, and apps, two names tower above the others: Apple and Google, whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition – and now threaten to steamroll each other. But the battle between Apple and Google is just not a story of corporate competition. It’s a tale of friendships gone sour, of trust betrayed, and agreements breached.

Wired magazine’s Fred Vogelstein discusses his book on this high-stakes, high-tech struggle for handheld superiority, going inside offices and board rooms, behind the outsized personalities of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and through the deals, allegations, and lawsuits that are shaping the way we communicate.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How did Kansas City miraculously transform itself from “the filthiest city in the United States” in the 19th century to the clean, well-planned embodiment of the vision of renowned landscape architect George Kessler?

Eyesores and health threats — ugly gullies, open sewers, and decrepit shanties — disappeared before a wave of open, green, welcoming spaces of wide thoroughfares, playgrounds, pools, and field houses. By the time city planners finished their work, our “city beautiful” possessed 90 miles of boulevards and 2,500 acres of urban parks.

Hyde Park residents and co-authors Patrick Alley and Dona Boley present this great success story, an inspiration for civic efforts in the new millennium, with an illustrated lecture based on their new book, Kansas City’s Parks and Boulevards.

Sunday, January 25, 2015
2:00pm @ Waldo Branch

Join Kansas City Public Library staff for film screenings and animated conversations centered on quality film versions of books that are official selections of the Love on the Rocks 2015 Winter Reading Program. Discussions immediately follow film presentations. These screenings are open to the public. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source book prior to the film screening.

Halle Berry stars in this TV adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel as Janie Crawford, a free-spirited woman whose emotional and dramatic journey of self-discovery takes her through two stifling marriages — and criticism from her community — until ultimately finding love. 113 minutes, Made for TV.

Kansas City Public Library Beta