Previous Special Events

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Programs and a traveling exhibit from the Metropolitan Community College’s Business and Technology Campus explore how to land in-demand “gold collar” jobs – electric utility lineman, computer-controlled machine programmer, welder/fabricator, environmental engineering technician – with just an associate’s degree or less.

The programs – 10 Gold Collar Jobs in KC and 10 Things that Get You Hired and 10 Things that Get You Fired – will be presented throughout the summer and fall at several Library locations.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

She is no longer a household name, but during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration Frances Perkins was one of America’s most influential women. As the first female secretary of labor she was responsible for implementing programs that reshaped society and business and established the social safety net we enjoy today.

Biographer Kirstin Downey examines Perkins’ life and enduring impact in a discussion of her book The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage.


Sunday, August 25, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Steve McDowell and Rick Schladweiler of the architectural firm BNIM and Kansas City Ballet Executive Director Jeffrey Bentley explore how the century-old Union Station Power House Building was transformed into the award-winning Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

The 2013 Kansas City Architecture Series examines how historic buildings in Kansas City’s downtown area have been repurposed and given new life.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn joins U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II for a discussion of Penn’s new book Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story.

In 1970 Kansas City Black Panther leader O’Neal – facing a four-year jail sentence after his conviction on a weapons charge – fled to Africa. In his more than four decades of exile in Tanzania, O’Neal has become a force for progress. He is a founder of the United African Alliance Community Center, which provides the community with free art, music, film, and educational opportunities.


Thursday, August 22, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In 1937 the German ocean liner St. Louis set sail from Hamburg to Cuba. Aboard were nearly 1,000 Jews hoping to escape the Nazis. But midway across the Atlantic their visas were revoked. First Cuba, then the United States and Canada, refused to take the refugees, who were returned to Europe.

Scott Miller of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum reveals the varied fates of the 937 refugees aboard the St. Louis, following the clues through archives in Havana, Europe, Israel, and the U.S., and through New York City neighborhoods to track down leads provided by friends, family members, and others who knew these passengers.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities by Confederate bushwackers and pro-Union Jayhawkers that led up to it.

Mullis is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The August Dateline: Washington event at the Kansas City Public Library was supposed to be about outer space. Just outer space. Host David Von Drehle and The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach were to talk about the future of NASA and the American space program now that our astronauts are being launched from sites in Russia. But the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jess Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, gives special meaning to the event.

Not only is Achenbach a current Washington Post employee, but Von Drehle is a former Post reporter. So it’s only natural that they will devote part of the evening to discussing this seismic upheaval in the world of American journalism.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

William Quantrill’s August 21, 1863 Confederate raid on Lawrence, Kansas, left nearly 200 men and boys dead and the city in flames. Film expert John Tibbetts explores how that dramatic story has found its way onto celluloid in movies as varied as Dark Command (1940), Quantrill’s Raiders (1958), and Ang Lee’s locally-filmed Ride With the Devil (1999).


Friday, August 16, 2013

Forced by his bosses to participate in a cruel dinner where the guests are all idiots, Tim (Paul Rudd) thinks he’s found the perfect stooge in Barry (Steve Carell), who creates dioramas in which stuffed mice are costumed as historic characters. Directed by Jay Roach; with Zach Galifianakis and Bruce Geenwood.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Programs and a traveling exhibit from the Metropolitan Community College’s Business and Technology Campus explore how to land in-demand “gold collar” jobs – electric utility lineman, computer-controlled machine programmer, welder/fabricator, environmental engineering technician – with just an associate’s degree or less.

The programs – 10 Gold Collar Jobs in KC and 10 Things that Get You Hired and 10 Things that Get You Fired – will be presented throughout the summer and fall at several Library locations.