Previous Special Events

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, 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.

Thursday, August 15, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The 1869 killing of a bank cashier in Gallatin, Missouri, has long been considered the first in a long line of robberies by Jesse and Frank James. But in a discussion of his new book, lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger maintains that it wasn’t a robbery attempt at all. Rather, as documents that Muehlberger discovered show, it was a carefully planned execution meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla leader “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the Civil War.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Gail of Gail’s Harley-Davidson.

A native of Belton, Missouri, Gail worked as a teenager at her father’s motorcycle shop and entered the male-dominated white-collar business world as a Harley-Davidson finance manager. In 2000 she purchased the dealership from her parents, becoming one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners. Today Gail’s is the largest Harley dealership in the Midwest and one of the top in the country. In 2006 it was named one of the Top 10 Small Businesses in Kansas City by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, August 11, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Architect Todd Achelpohl of infrastructure solutions firm HNTB and Jonathan Kemper, president of the Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees, discuss how after a century as a financial institution the First National Bank Building at 10th and Baltimore became the Central Library.

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 9, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Wrap up your summer with a concert from one of Kansas City’s favorite family entertainers.

Jim Cosgrove, local kid rocker and Library favorite, gives a high-energy performance that carries a message that resonates with people young and old: “Hang on to the wonder of youth and love yourself, your neighbor, and the earth.”

Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, August 8, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Marketing studies have shown that, like other consumers, beer drinkers often make purchases based not just on taste, but often on the packaging and label on the bottle.

Over the last two decades Payton Kelly, creative director for Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company, has hand drawn more than 30 labels for Boulevard’s many products, creating a visual signature that is recognized wherever the products are sold. Now Kelly discusses the design and execution of his distinctive logos for products like Boss Tom’s Golden Bock, Bully! Porter, Nutcracker Ale, Dark Truth Stout, and Single-Wide I.P.A.