Previous Special Events

All Kansas City Public Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
6:00pm

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.

Twenty-three years after she riveted a nation – sitting before a microphone in a bright blue suit, calmly telling an all-male Senate committee that she once was subjected to sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas – Anita Hill will appear at a Kansas City Public Library event commemorating that historic event.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend’s death, Frank Schaeffer found himself simultaneously not believing and believing in a higher power – an atheist turning to prayer.

The bestselling author examines that conflict in a discussion of his latest book, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God. Schaeffer casts himself as an imperfect son, husband, and grandfather whose love of family and art trump the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist’s vision of a cold, meaningless universe.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Former State Department and CIA intelligence analyst Mark Stout discusses the birth of modern American espionage during World War I, from aerial reconnaissance and battlefield code-breaking to the search for spies and saboteurs back home in the States.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The behind-the-scenes lives of African American clergymen and their families make up a major sub-genre of contemporary urban fiction. To date, most of these novels have been written by women.

Author Carl Weber offers a male point of view in books such as The Choir Director. In his latest novel, a sequel to that bestseller, title character Aaron Mackie’s nationally renowned success has him in line for a huge recording contract. But his private life comes crashing down when his fiancé leaves him at the altar with no explanation, and Mackie turns to his mentor, Bishop T.K. Wilson, for help. Unfortunately, the line Mackie asks him to cross will force the bishop to choose between friendship and faith.


Sunday, August 17, 2014
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

The Kansas City Public Library and Cultural Crossroads will mark the opening of a new collection – The Human Spirit – with a presentation by Julian Zugazagoitia, director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Zugazagoitia’s talk, Art of the Human Spirit, addresses the ways in which art can be a manifestation of the human spirit and human experience.

The Human Spirit Collection features more than 140 books intended to enhance understanding and mutual respect among the diverse faiths, traditions, and cultures within the greater Kansas City community. It provides a central repository of multicultural and interfaith materials for educators and the public at large.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Historian Petra DeWitt examines the suspicions and hostilities faced by Missouri’s sizable German American population during World War I, including questions about loyalty and an effort to ban the German language in the state.


Friday, August 15, 2014

The 2014 edition of the long-running Off-the-Wall Film Series, co-presented by The Kansas City Public Library and The Pitch, features musically-themed titles from 1984.

In Repo Man, Young Otto (Emilio Estevez) gets a crash course in repossessing cars from old hand Harry Dean Stanton in this cult effort that mixes anti-social rebellion with black comedy and even a dab of science fiction. Director Alex Cox’s film isn’t technically a musical, but it has a killer soundtrack featuring Iggy Pop, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, the Circle Jerks, and other bands your mother wouldn’t approve of. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

These five films, presented on one Friday each month from May through September on the Rooftop Terrace of the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., offer a tuneful sampling of what Americans were listening to 30 years ago. Featured are such musical artists as Prince and the Talking Heads, an early cinematic celebration of break dancing, and a classic cult film noted for its innovative musical soundtrack.


Friday, August 15, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Prepare to be amazed. Eric Vaughn – Kansas City’s Magician of the Year in 2000 – delivers a wacky, enthusiastic, interactive performance that keeps audiences laughing and scratching their heads at the same time. Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, August 14, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

On this date 99 years and 364 days ago, the Panama Canal opened and revolutionized maritime trade.

It also threw the Panama Railroad and its parallel, 47-mile track into near-disuse and decay – until it was taken over in 1998 and restored by the Panama Canal Railway Company, which is 50 percent owned by Kansas City Southern. The Panama line now provides continuous Atlantic-to-Pacific freight and passenger service.

Kansas City Southern President and CEO Dave Starling oversaw that rejuvenation during his tenure as president and director general of the Panama Canal Railway from 1999-2008. He sits down with Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a conversation coinciding with the 8½-month run of the centennial exhibit on the canal, The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal, at the Linda Hall Library.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

At 7 in the morning on February 21, 1916, the ground in northern France began to shake. For the next 10 hours, some 1,200 German guns showered shells on a salient in French lines. The onslaught collapsed dugouts, obliterated trenches, severed communication wires, and drove men mad. The Battle of Verdun had begun.

Drawing from his book, Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War, Brandeis University historian Paul Jankowski looks back on what became one of history’s greatest and most demanding battlefield encounters – a 302-day nightmare that left an estimated 303,000 French and German soldiers dead and more than 400,000 wounded.