Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III has been awarded the 2013 Award for Community Service and international Understanding from the International Relations Council.
In honoring Kemper the council's board praised him for having "greatly increased the opportunities for Kansas City area residents to learn about international affairs and various cultural perspectives through the authors and speakers presented by the Library.
"In addition, his work to increase literacy and to engage young people in more advanced reading is noteworthy. The Kansas City region is a better informed and more engaged community as a result of Kemper's leadership."
Learning of the award, Kemper said: "The public library is a portal to the world, and I accept this honor for all our Kansas City librarians who have devoted their lives to opening minds and worlds for our children and our citizens."
During Kemper's eight years at the Library, the institution and has become an important venue for presenting varying viewpoints on subjects as diverse as politics, economics, education, history, and the environment.
In just the last fiscal year the Library presented 135 speaker events, 15 theatrical and musical performances, and 12 exhibits.
The award was presented at the council's awards banquet on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at the Westin Crown Center Hotel.
The International Relations Council is a nonpartisan organization founded in 1954 to provide regional leadership in world affairs education and foster public participation in international policymaking by linking Kansas Citians to global policymakers and opinion leaders.