Previous Special Events

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Sunday, February 9, 2014
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A free series of films by Alfred Hitchcock who used film to explore his own neuroses and phobias, in the process revealing the psychological complexities we all share.

Often cited as one of Hitchcock’s finest films, Rear Window may also be his most fully realized and psychologically intriguing. A photographer (James Stewart), confined to his Greenwich Village apartment with a broken leg, uses his telephoto lens to spy on the lives of his many neighbors. This meditation on voyeurism turns deadly when the snoop uncovers evidence of a murder. Grace Kelly makes her first appearance in a Hitchcock movie.


Friday, February 7, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Magician Tommy Terrific celebrates the great trumpeter, singer, and jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong and performs magic tricks inspired by his most popular songs, including “Hello, Dolly!” and “When the Saints Come Marching In.”


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Among the most-performed comedies of the 20th century, Neil Simon’s 1965 Broadway hit is about two recently divorced men – the slob sportswriter Oscar Madison and the neat, uptight Felix Ungar – who become unlikely roommates in a New York City apartment. The play spawned a hit movie (with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau), a long-running TV series (starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall) and even a stage adaptation that turned Felix and Oscar into women named Florence and Olive.

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre performs its eighth season of Script-in-Hand – a series of classic comedies called Exit Laughing.


Friday, January 31, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kid rocker Krista Eyler performs a concert displaying her unique blend of soul-inspired, bluesy, family-friendly music.

This program is appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

As a self-taught human rights worker who relies on local libraries for his primary research, the Kansas City Public Library's 2013 scholar in residence Alvin Sykes works with the justice system on behalf of minorities and the poor.

In a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III, Sykes talks about testifying before Congress, bending the ears of politicians, and his role in creating the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which gives the U.S. Department of Justice the means to investigate long-ago cases of civil rights violations.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When a Serbian assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914, there was nothing to suggest the event would lead to a horrific world war. In a discussion of his new book, historian Sean McMeekin reveals how a small cabal of statesmen used the Archduke's murder to set up a long-awaited showdown among the European powers. July 1914: Countdown to War reveals how in a single month a handful of men changed the course of the 20th century.


Sunday, January 26, 2014
1:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A free series of films by Alfred Hitchcock who used film to explore his own neuroses and phobias, in the process revealing the psychological complexities we all share.


Friday, January 24, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The Coterie Theatre presents the tale of a fifth-grade boy obsessed with the mythical god, Zeus.

This program is appropriate for grades 1 – 5.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the year when Europe faced what Winston Churchill memorably called “the gathering storm” — a period of escalating political tensions, diplomatic crises, and armed aggressions that culminated in the German blitzkrieg of Poland and the outbreak of World War II.

Hal Wert, professor of history at the Kansas City Art Institute, examines the key events of 1939, a year that saw Fascist victory in the Spanish Civil War, the final dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, and the Russian invasion of Finland. In the U.S. the economy looked as if it might emerge from Depression, Hollywood produced some of its greatest films, the New York World’s Fair wowed audiences from around the globe, and the ailing Lou Gehrig retired from baseball.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Trumpeter Miles Davis once said: "You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker."

Saxophone virtuoso Charlie "Bird" Parker — a Kansas City native — began playing professionally in his early teens, became a heroin addict at 16, changed the course of music, and then died when only 34 years old. For his new book on Parker, Chuck Haddix weaves together firsthand accounts from those who knew the legendary jazzman and in-depth research into previously overlooked historical sources to create a compelling narrative portrait of a tragic genius.