Previous Special Events

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jason Kendall knows baseball inside and out. Emphasis on the inside.

The former Kansas City Royals catcher, whose career spanned 15 seasons and five teams, delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the Grand Old Game in a conversation with The Kansas City Star’s Lee Judge – with whom he has co-authored an insightful new book.

There’s the game everybody sees. And there’s the game within the game that fans don’t see or fail to notice – the superstitions, subtle strategies, and mind games (at which Kendall was a master). He and Judge take you on the field, into the dugout, and behind the closed doors of a major league clubhouse.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is among the most overlooked presidents in U.S. history even though his progressive values helped shape the course of the nation.

In a discussion of his new book, John Quincy Adams: American Visionary, Fred Kaplan sheds light on a leading abolitionist and fervent Federalist who championed both individual liberty and the government’s role in driving progress and prosperity. Adams’ forward-thinking values, definition of leadership, and vision for the future are as much about 21st century America as his own time.

This event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by a Legacy Fund grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

George F. Kennan (1904-2005) was America’s most respected foreign policy thinker of the 20th century, a man who advised presidents, raised alarms about the Soviet Union’s intentions, and outlined the policy of “containment” that guided U.S. strategy during the Cold War.

Through most of his life, Kennan kept journals that covered a staggering 88 years in more than 8,000 pages. Historian Frank Costigliola has edited them into a more reader-friendly volume, The Kennan Diaries, and will examine this trove of ideas, anecdotes, and essays in a discussion at the Central Library.

Costigliola is professor of history at the University of Connecticut.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Join Michelle Pond, Judith Towse Roberts, and Rhiannon Ross, Kansas City artists, writers and members of Rocket Grants 2012 Award-winning team Vox Narro, for an afternoon celebrating Kansas City’s Liberian community. Following the presentations, sample a variety of West African cuisine.

The program and post-event reception are presented by the Vox Narro project, which pairs writers and immigrant groups for a discussion of the cultural traditions and stories of immigrant communities. Vox Narro is supported by the Rocket Grants program, which is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in support of innovative, public-oriented work in nontraditional spaces.

Friday, June 13, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Fizz! Boom! Pow! A science experiment has gone terribly wrong, and the animals have taken over the lab. Will they take over the world? Join StoneLion and Einstein R Rat, super genius, in this wacky musical – “The Lab Rat Science Experiment” – for the answers to those questions and an entertaining introduction to the three states of matter, magnetic attraction, and other awesome science concepts.

Recommended for preschool through 6th grade.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Featuring as many as three dozen local garment and accessory designers, the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show has become the cornerstone of forward-thinking fashion design in Kansas City. In advance of this year’s event (scheduled for June 14) celebrated fashion professionals discuss their work at the Central Library.

Participating are fashion designers and professionals Hadley Johnson, Joni Johnson, Tara Light, and Tom Paolini, plus fashion editor-writer-stylist Susan Cannon and multimedia artist-designer Maegan Stracy. Katie van Luchene of KC Magazine and Good Health KC moderates.

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.