Previous Special Events

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A panel of experts from Kansas and Missouri discusses ongoing efforts to develop MetroGreen, a system of nature areas, greenways, and trails throughout the Kansas City area.

The panel includes Mark McHenry, Director of Kansas City Parks, Recreation, and Boulevards; Greg Ruether, Director of Parks Services for the City of Overland Park; and Janet Snook Bartnik, Director of Liberty Parks and Recreation. Tom Jacobs, director of environmental programs at the Mid-America Regional Council, opens the program with an overview of the MetroGreen system and its contemplated 1,144 mile network.

The discussion and a subsequent open forum is moderated by noted pedestrian Henry Fortunato, the Library's director of public affairs.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This event has been canceled at the speaker’s request due to a scheduling conflict. We will make every effort to notify interested persons when and if the program is rescheduled.

Rarely has history seen a more impressive and sustained display of intellect than that of medieval Central Asia, which between the years 800 and 1200 led the world in trade and economic development, the sophistication of its cities, and advances in disciplines ranging from mathematics and astronomy to music and philosophy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
10:00am @ Plaza Branch

Be prepared to become mesmerized by the wild world of animals and all their wonderful fun facts. Our friends from the Kansas City Zoo will take you on a magical journey around the world discovering animals and their homes.

Appropriate for ages 3 and up.

Monday, June 9, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

World War II veteran Dick Cole, 98, joins Park University professor Dennis Okerstrom for a discussion of the 1st Air Commando Group, a forerunner to modern special operations units such as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force.

Cole and Okerstrom will discuss the first air commando raid as well as Cole’s other World War II experiences, including serving as Jimmy Doolittle co-pilot during the Tokyo Raid.

The 1st Air Commando Group, whose ranks included former child actor Jackie Coogan, grew out of a top-secret project to invade Japanese-occupied Burma by glider.

Okerstrom is the author of Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Postcards were the “instant messages” of their day, a means of communicating hometown pride, civic identity, and a visitor’s curiosity. But where today’s electronic missives disappear with a click, the images and notes on vintage postcards endure – doorways to lost worlds.

Steve Noll, executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society and a postcard collector, leads an illustrated walk through Kansas City’s postcard history.

This event is keyed to the exhibit Greetings from Kansas City: Postcard Views of a Midwestern Metropolis, 1900-1950 currently on display at the Central Library. First shown in 2013, the exhibit is being reprised after earning the American Library Association’s Excellence in Library Programming Award.

Friday, June 6, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join Dino at your interstellar Library branch for a musical storytelling adventure revolving around stars, meteors, and planets. Meet Grandpa O’Dell, space alien Zar, and the cowboy stargazer, Joe, in this educational, interactive, and fun show.

Whether he’s counting monsters, fixing spaceships, or swimming in peanut butter, Dino’s interactive songs and tall tales engage curiosity, inspire laughter, and stir the imagination.

Recommended for ages 3-10.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But what are the effects of children on their parents? New York magazine’s Jennifer Senior digs into that question in a discussion of her new book.

Senior examines the history and changing definition of what it means to be a parent, analyzing the many ways in which children reshape parents’ lives – their marriages, jobs, habits, hobbies, friendships, and internal sense of self. Her book follows mothers and fathers through parenthood’s deepest vexations and finest rewards.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

John Bluford, the chief executive officer of Truman Medical Centers, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the most influential people in health care. As he prepares to retire after 15 years at Truman, he looks back on his career and ahead to the future in a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III.

Bluford has overseen major improvements in cardiology, radiology, emergency, diabetes, and operating facilities in his tenure at Truman, and he established the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute. He served as chairman of the American Hospital Association, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the Missouri Hospital Association.

Sunday, June 1, 2014
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The greatest swashbuckling film of all time almost bit the dust with a mid-production change in directors. But from a potential disaster arose what the New York Times’ Frank Nugent deemed “A richly produced, bravely bedecked, romantic, and colorful show … it can be calculated to rejoice the eights, rejuvenate the eighties, and delight those in between.” The Technicolor production is spectacular with castles, pageantry, gorgeous costumes. The style is lighthearted yet mythic, crammed with both bravura heroics and comic panache.

Friday, May 30, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Doo-Dads, a kid-cool rock and roll band, was founded in 2002 by four friends, all fathers and veterans of the Kansas City music scene.

The band puts on a high-energy show that has every hallmark of a real rock concert: fun, excitement, and . . . bubbles!

Appropriate for all ages.