Previous Special Events

Sunday, November 10, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

During her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, Deborah Shouse explored ways to connect with her and developed new rituals to anchor holidays and other celebrations. She is joined by Ron Zoglin, a professional storyteller, and Michelle Niedens, education director of the Heart of America Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, for a discussion of her book, which offers humor and hope to family members, friends, and caregivers.


Friday, November 8, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The 14th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration features folk tales, historical sagas, performance art, intergalactic yarns and more.

The celebration begins with Friday Night Family Fun at 6:30 p.m. in the Kids’ Corner,with the Sadarri and Company Multilingual Storytellers followed by Ghost Stories in the Truman Auditorium at 7 p.m. with: Peter Cook, Marilyn Kinsella, Willy Claflin, and Rosie Cutrer.


Thursday, November 7, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch


This event has been canceled at the author’s request due to an illness.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was contemplating retirement when war broke out in Europe and he was forced to decide whether to seek a third term, both to lead the American mobilization and preserve the advances of the New Deal.

In a discussion of his new book, Roosevelt’s Second Act, Richard Moe examines Roosevelt’s duality: the bold, moral statesman who set lofty and principled goals, and the arrogant, manipulative politician in pursuit of them.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In the same way that Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America,” Martin Bell represents journalistic integrity and straight talk to several generations of Britons.

Beyond his career as a reporter, Bell is a member of the Order of the British Empire who has also been elected to Parliament, an ambassador for UNICEF, and a tireless critic of the state of journalism.

Now Bell discusses his life, his war experiences, his brief political career, and his recent incarnation as a poet.

Co-sponsored by the English-Speaking Union.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For nearly 30 years Mark Skousen — financial economist, university professor, and author — has been collecting the wisdom of Wall Street in the form of adages, proverbs, and legends. He discusses how interviews with financial old-timers, his reading of rare business books, and his own experiences in the markets has resulted in his new collection of pithy sayings and observations in Maxims of Wall Street: A Compendium of Financial Adages, Ancient Proverbs, and Worldly Wisdom.


Monday, November 4, 2013

The creative challenges of writing a book are at least matched by the difficulty of shepherding it to publication.

Author Mira Bartok offers a common-sense guide to navigating the world of publishing, from finding an agent and publisher to undergoing the editorial process and handling publicity.


Sunday, November 3, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre Artists read from favorite children's books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to "jump into the story" and participate in an improvised story of their own making.

Appropriate for all ages, Dramatic Story Time programs take place one Sunday each month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2013-2014 school year, beginning October 6, 2013.


Friday, November 1, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join us the day after Halloween for sugar-free fun! Be prepared to sing, dance, and listen to a not-so-scary Halloween story.

For 15 years Kansas City’s Kevin “Dino O’Dell” Dolan has taught music, drama, language arts, and improvisation at preschools, elementary schools, theaters, churches, and libraries.

Appropriate for all ages. Children are encouraged to dress in their Halloween costumes.


Friday, November 1, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Abuse of consumers by the funeral industry has only worsened in the decades since Jessica Mitford’s landmark expose The American Way of Death. But a funeral consumer movement is awakening, as Joshua Slocum explains in a discussion of his book Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death.

As with natural childbirth and hospice care, Americans are asserting their right to take charge of this major event in their lives. Many still want the help of a funeral director – but to assist, not direct. And many are handling it themselves with home burials, green burials, or direct arrangements with a crematory.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The fictional Rooster Cogburn, made famous in Charles Portis’ novel True Grit, is probably a bit too idiosyncratic—cranky, bellicose, boozy, trigger-happy—to be a successful modern-day U.S. marshal.

But as U.S. Marshal Anthony Gasaway explains, Cogburn’s story nevertheless reveals many truths about the professional duties and dangers faced by officers of the country’s oldest law enforcement agency. He discusses the history of the U.S. Marshal Service and the role it plays in law enforcement today in a program titled U.S. Marshals: A Popular History of the Nation’s Oldest Law Enforcement Agency.