Previous Special Events

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s debut novel—about a black female journalist escaping the early-1900s Jim Crow laws of the South and fighting injustice in Kansas City through her African American newspaper—has drawn praise from the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine, among other publications.

The Kansas City-born author sits down with journalist Eric Wesson of the city’s own landmark African-American newspaper, The Call, for a public conversation about the elegantly written work of historical fiction, which gains resonance from today’s social discontent. Events in Jam on the Vine lead up to and include the Red Summer of 1919, when race riots broke out in a number of American cities.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kansas mills, located literally in the breadbasket of America, produced an enormous quantity of flour in an era when women routinely baked their families’ bread at home. Mill owners used cotton flour sacks as advertising tools to proudly display their names, locations, and unique brands, as well as to catch the consumer’s eye. The empty sack also served as a needed piece of fabric during the Depression.

Avid collector Nancy Jo Leachman, a longtime reference librarian at the Salina Public Library, has accumulated more than 100 vintage flour sacks from the 1920s-1940s, representing more than 30 Kansas counties. Her illustrated lecture of the best and most colorful—nothing “run-of-the-mill” here—reveals how each sack carries a fascinating story, be it advancing nutritional information, expressing political views, or reflecting popular culture.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

It’s a baseball movie, yes. But Field of Dreams is much more, a blend of fairy tale, family, and the national pastime that has remained a national treasure since its release in 1989.

Kansas City FilmFest screens the Academy Award nominee for best picture, starring Kevin Costner. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Friday, April 17, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Guided by artists from the Owen/Cox Dance Group’s Take the Stage Program, young participants take inspiration from children’s books and literature to find the dancer in them at this National Library Week event. Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sifting through the stacks of her local library in Hamburg, Germany, Jennifer Teege happened upon a book that first fascinated and then staggered her. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother, she made the horrifying discovery that her grandfather was Amon Goeth – the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.

The more Teege read, the more certain she became: If Goeth had met her, a German-Nigerian black woman, he would have killed her.

Teege, who was given up by her mother when very young, sits down with the Library’s Kaite Stover during National Library Week for a public conversation about the revelation and Teege’s subsequent quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family’s haunted history. She chronicles the story in her book with award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For Abraham Lincoln, the road to the future always began in the past – with the Founding Fathers, who inspired him to take up public life, showed him how to win arguments, and laid out his nation’s principles.

On the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, historian Richard Brookhiser delivers an illuminating new look at our 16th and arguably greatest president.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The image still haunts: desperate refugees on a Saigon rooftop, snaking up a ladder to a waiting helicopter and escape from the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975. The Vietnam War was over.

Observing the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, James H. Willbanks of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the decisions and events that precipitated the South Vietnam's final collapse. Director of the college’s department of military history, Willbanks discusses the Paris Peace Accords two years earlier, the “cease-fire war,” Richard Nixon’s resignation, the impact of declining U.S. support, and North Vietnam’s end-game offensive in 1975.

Sunday, April 12, 2015
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

April's Selection:
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Kansas City Public Library hosts the annual Missouri 5th Congressional District student art exhibit and town hall gathering, where U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and his wife, Dianne Cleaver, will recognize local high school artists.

All student art submissions will be on display at the Central Library from April 11-16, 2015. One will go on display for a year in Washington, D.C.—in the Cannon tunnel leading from the Cannon House Office Building to the U.S. Capitol—an honor that went to a student from Lee’s Summit High School in 2014.

Saturday, April 11, 2015
10:00am @ Central Library

Register here

Join the Kansas City Public Library and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for more than a dozen free programs intended to promote and encourage financial awareness.

Free programs include Mortgages 101, Your Credit History and Score, Estate Planning: Intro to the Essentials, Retirement Planning Basics, and many more! Attendees can receive a free copy of their credit report, and children and their families can take part in educational programs throughout the day in the children’s learning area.

For more information, please visit

Kansas City Public Library Beta