Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Clarina Nichols died more than a quarter-century before Kansas became the eighth state to grant women the right to vote in 1912. But the dedicated reformer – a transplanted New England journalist – was instrumental in the breakthrough, breaking the taboo of speaking up at male-dominated gatherings, signing petitions, and flexing political muscle decades earlier.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Winston Churchill wasn’t overtly religious. But he subscribed to divine destiny, telling a classmate at age 16 that he foresaw a day when “London will be attacked … and in the high position I shall occupy, it will fall to me to save the capital, to save the Empire.”

Providence, he believed, guided his every step to save “Christian civilization.”


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Stephen Locke and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg find beauty in bad weather – in thunderstorms and tornadoes, wall clouds and shelf clouds, spectacular displays of lightning and supercells inspiring equal parts apprehension and awe. Locke, a photographer from Roeland Park, Kansas, has gained national renown for the images he has captured while chasing storms across the Midwest. Mirriam-Goldberg, who served as Kansas’ poet laureate from 2009-13, complements those photos with verse.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Everyone is susceptible to implicit bias – unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that affect judgments about others based on their race, ethnicity, appearance, and other characteristics. Research into this vital area of social cognition has drawn increased interest in the wake of racially charged events in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore.


Sunday, April 24, 2016
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Library continues its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances and more than six months of special programming surrounding one of the cultural events of the year – an exhibit featuring a rare, nearly four-centuries-old First Folio collection of Shakespeare’s plays.

The first Tony Award winner for best musical (in 1949), this masterful play-within-a-play follows a troupe of actors performing the Bard’s The Taming of the Shrew while dealing with their own personal lives off stage. Cole Porter provided the music and lyrics, including such standards as So in Love; Too Darn Hot; and Another Op’nin, Another Show.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Octave Chanute can be considered a Kansas City hero. The young, Paris-born engineer built the Hannibal Bridge, which opened in 1869 and kick-started the small, river town into a Midwest railroad metropolis. He laid out the Stockyards in the West Bottoms and the new Johnson County town of Lenexa. When he became passionate in later years about human flight, his research drew the attention of the Wright brothers.


Friday, April 22, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Theatre of the Imagination Director Miles McMahon makes reading come to life, energizing kids with his highly engaging renditions of children’s literature new and old. He employs classic stories, funny folk tales, charming poems, and audience participation. All ages.


Thursday, April 21, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

When The Washington Post asked 162 political science scholars earlier this year which American president should be added to Mount Rushmore, their overwhelming favorite was Franklin Roosevelt.

But historian Alonzo Hamby makes a case that FDR’s record was more mixed than generally perceived. While a great politician and war leader, his signature New Deal failed to achieve its goal of reviving the nation’s economy, in part due to Roosevelt’s hostility toward the business and financial communities.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Award-winning writer, critic, and editor John Freeman launched the year’s most anticipated literary magazine, the biannual Freeman’s, in September 2015, making it a home for exceptional new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from both established and up-and-coming writers.

The former editor of the venerable British publication Granta and president of the National Book Critics Circle joins local novelist and Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell in a public conversation about the new venture. They also discuss Freeman’s Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York, an anthology of pieces by 30 major contemporary writers recently released in paperback.


Monday, April 18, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Beset by sex crimes and cover-ups, financial scandal, declining membership, and the stunning resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church turned three years ago to a man of humility, benevolence, and uncommon candor. Pope Francis has proven to be a dynamic choice; enchanting, entertaining, and occasionally outraging his global flock in both word and deed.


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