Previous Special Events

Friday, April 17, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Guided by artists from the Owen/Cox Dance Group’s Take the Stage Program, young participants take inspiration from children’s books and literature to find the dancer in them at this National Library Week event. Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sifting through the stacks of her local library in Hamburg, Germany, Jennifer Teege happened upon a book that first fascinated and then staggered her. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother, she made the horrifying discovery that her grandfather was Amon Goeth – the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.

The more Teege read, the more certain she became: If Goeth had met her, a German-Nigerian black woman, he would have killed her.

Teege, who was given up by her mother when very young, sits down with the Library’s Kaite Stover during National Library Week for a public conversation about the revelation and Teege’s subsequent quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family’s haunted history. She chronicles the story in her book with award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For Abraham Lincoln, the road to the future always began in the past – with the Founding Fathers, who inspired him to take up public life, showed him how to win arguments, and laid out his nation’s principles.

On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, historian Richard Brookhiser delivers an illuminating new look at our 16th and arguably greatest president.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The image still haunts: desperate refugees on a Saigon rooftop, snaking up a ladder to a waiting helicopter and escape from the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. The Vietnam War was over.

Observing the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, James H. Willbanks of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the decisions and events that precipitated the South Vietnam's final collapse. Director of the college’s department of military history, Willbanks discusses the Paris Peace Accords two years earlier, the “cease-fire war,” Richard Nixon’s resignation, the impact of declining U.S. support, and North Vietnam’s end-game offensive in 1975.

Sunday, April 12, 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.

April's Selection:
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Kansas City Public Library hosts the annual Missouri 5th Congressional District student art exhibit and town hall gathering, where U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and his wife, Dianne Cleaver, will recognize local high school artists.

All student art submissions will be on display at the Central Library from April 11-16, 2015. One will go on display for a year in Washington, D.C.—in the Cannon tunnel leading from the Cannon House Office Building to the U.S. Capitol—an honor that went to a student from Lee’s Summit High School in 2014.

Saturday, April 11, 2015
10:00am @ Central Library

Register here

Join the Kansas City Public Library and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for more than a dozen free programs intended to promote and encourage financial awareness.

Free programs include Mortgages 101, Your Credit History and Score, Estate Planning: Intro to the Essentials, Retirement Planning Basics, and many more! Attendees can receive a free copy of their credit report, and children and their families can take part in educational programs throughout the day in the children’s learning area.

For more information, please visit

Friday, April 10, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Born and raised in Kansas City, Jason Divad has taken his multifaceted act across the country and the world. He delights in making young audience members a part of his performance. Listen for the whispers: “That was awesome.” Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Nation—the self-described “flagship of the left”—is the country’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine, jabbing at political sensitivities since its founding by Republican abolitionists at the time of the Civil War and particularly since finding a more progressive voice in the 1930s.

The new documentary Hot Type marks the publication’s 150th anniversary, spotlighting current and past writers and editors in chronicling daily life working on the magazine. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, the film also follows participants in The Nation’s much-sought-after internship program.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The importance of libraries continues to grow. More than book repositories, they can serve as bulwarks against some of the most critical challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information.

Yet educator and technology expert John Palfrey maintains they’re imperiled and must evolve. The world is rapidly modernizing. Government funding is dwindling.

Nearing the end of the 10th anniversary year of the opening of Kansas City’s elegant downtown Central Library, the head of Massachusetts’ esteemed Phillips Academy discusses his soon-to-be released book, BiblioTech, and suggests changes he says are vital to libraries’ survival. He urges them to move toward a digital future as quickly as possible—converting print material and ensuring that born-digital items are publicly available online—while continuing to fill their vital, longtime role as public spaces.

Kansas City Public Library Beta