Previous Special Events

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Whitney Terrell’s novel, The King of Kings County, remains a landmark examination of white flight and the manipulative, prejudice-laced real estate practices that helped to segregate Kansas City. Selected as a best book of 2005 by the Christian Science Monitor, its inquiry into the economic roots of racial inequality feels even more current today.

On the 10th anniversary of its publication, Terrell—assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City—revisits the issues he explored in the book. Has the city’s racial climate changed in the past decade? If so, how? If not, why? Joining the discussion are Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Kansas City and new Black Archives of Mid-America Manager Emiel Cleaver. Gina Kaufmann, the host of KCUR-FM’s Central Standard, moderates.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

An estimated 225,000 adults in Kansas City function at the lowest literacy level, denied some of the simplest and most important moments in life because they cannot read.

The nonprofit organization Literacy Kansas City targets that issue through tutoring and other direct services, advocacy, and collaboration. Its seventh annual event at the Library, The Power of Reading and Writing, emceed by KCPT-TV’s Nick Haines, commemorates the effort and the adult learners benefitting from it. A number of them share their stories. Kansas City Star columnist Jenee Osterheldt and playwright Frank Higgins also discuss what writing has brought to their lives.

Co-presented by Literacy Kansas City and The Writers Place. Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Location: City Market, 400 Grand St.

Join us on the first Saturday of every month (June–October) as the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library present the eighth annual City Market Summer Book Sale, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. At the City Market, 400 Grand St. - North Walkway next to the Steamboat Arabia. For additional information, contact, or call 816.701.3468.

Friday, September 4, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join the Kansas City Keepers chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance in an evening of activities that are all about J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard. Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

You’re scheduled to give a business presentation, pitch investors, or deliver a wedding toast. And you’re petrified. You’re simply not cut out for public speaking.

David Nihill has walked—and talked—in your shoes. The Irish-born comedian and public speaker went from being deathly afraid of standing in front of an audience to regularly performing stand-up routines and winning storytelling competitions in front of packed houses. He did it by learning from some of the world’s best public speakers: stand-up comics.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Few creative artists before or since Walt Disney have left as deep an imprint on our culture. Nearly a half-century after his death in 1966, the man who gave us Mickey Mouse, the first feature-length animated film (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and Disneyland remains an American icon.

What imprint did Disney’s early years in Marceline, Missouri, and Kansas City leave on him? On the morals and messages in his creations? Join Steven Watts in a sneak peek at PBS’ upcoming documentary Walt Disney, in which Watts is one of the featured historians, followed by a discussion led by the University of Missouri professor and author of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Beyond fathering a nation, founding a great university, and leaving a legacy as an architect and inventor, Thomas Jefferson was a forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements. In gardens on the grounds of his Monticello estate, he nurtured 170 varieties of fruits, 330 different herbs and vegetables, and an array of flowers, experimenting with seeds and plants discovered during his travels and sent to him from friends abroad.

As the director of gardens and grounds at Monticello for 35 years, Peter J. Hatch brought Jefferson’s horticultural work back to life with a painstaking restoration of the 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden. Hatch looks back at the careful work—Jefferson’s and his own—in a discussion of his award-winning book “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.

Thursday, August 27, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Award-winning chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts discuss some of the 50 handcrafted recipes included in their new book, Made in America.

These recipes—American classics redefined by easy, chef inspired techniques, quality ingredients, and a love for regional flavors from their Midwestern roots—will soon be the classics you refer to again and again for true Americana cooking. Made in America features recipes sorted by the cooking methods commonly used in American kitchens from daybreak to the bakeshop. Many recipes begin with a childhood memory from Colby or Megan that describes the roots and the journey of each recipe.

The Garrelts are chef-owners of Bluestem in Kansas City and Rye in Leawood.

Co-presented by Andrews McMeel Universal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jessica Neuwirth, founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now, discusses her new book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now.

In a series of short, accessible chapters looking at several key areas of sex discrimination recognized by the Supreme Court, Equal Means Equal tells the story of the legal cases that inform the need for an Equal Rights Amendment, along with contemporary cases in which women’s rights are compromised without the protection of an ERA.

Neuwirth has worked with Amnesty International, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She has lectured for Harvard Law School on women's rights and holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Yale University.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Author Cynthia Bond is joined by the Library’s Director of Readers’ Services Kaite Stover for a discussion of Bond’s debut novel which chronicles the story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from a town desperate to destroy her.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York; but when a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood.

Kansas City Public Library Beta