Radio Interviews

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • German-Nigerian author Jennifer Teege joins the Library’s Kaite Stover for a public conversation about Teege’s awful discovery – that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.
    My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me - Jennifer Teege
    Thursday, April 16, 2015
    Central Library

    Sifting through the stacks of her local library in Hamburg, Germany, Jennifer Teege happened upon a book that first fascinated and then staggered her. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother, she made the horrifying discovery that her grandfather was Amon Goeth – the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.

    The more Teege read, the more certain she became: If Goeth had met her, a German-Nigerian black woman, he would have killed her.

    Teege, who was given up by her mother when very young, sits down with the Library’s Kaite Stover during National Library Week for a public conversation about the revelation and Teege’s subsequent quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family’s haunted history. She chronicles the story in her book with award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair.

  • Nearing the end of the 10th anniversary year of the opening of Kansas City’s downtown Central Library, educator and technology expert John Palfrey discusses his new book and the assertion that libraries – while still essential – must embrace a digital future to survive.
    BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    Central Library

    The importance of libraries continues to grow. More than book repositories, they can serve as bulwarks against some of the most critical challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information.

    Yet educator and technology expert John Palfrey maintains they’re imperiled and must evolve. The world is rapidly modernizing. Government funding is dwindling.

    Nearing the end of the 10th anniversary year of the opening of Kansas City’s elegant downtown Central Library, the head of Massachusetts’ esteemed Phillips Academy discusses his soon-to-be released book, BiblioTech, and suggests changes he says are vital to libraries’ survival. He urges them to move toward a digital future as quickly as possible—converting print material and ensuring that born-digital items are publicly available online—while continuing to fill their vital, longtime role as public spaces.

  • Ashley Milne-Tyte, a regular on the public radio program Marketplace and producer and host of the popular podcast The Broad Experience, examines the ways in which gender affects people’s working lives.
    Being Boss-y: A Conversation About Women and Men in the Workplace - Ashley Milne-Tyte
    Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Women comprise about half of the U.S. labor force, including half of all professional and management positions. But they account for fewer than 15 percent of the executive officers of Fortune 500 companies.

    How are both women and men perceived in the workplace? How does that affect the way they feel about themselves? Ashley Milne-Tyte, a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s Marketplace and producer and host of the podcast The Broad Experience: A Conversation About Women, the Workplace, and Success, examines the ways in which gender affects people’s working lives.

  • KCUR’s Gina Kaufmann moderates a conversation among young stakeholders about the revival of Kansas City’s West Bottoms and what the future may hold for an area that has emerged as a destination for restaurants, art studios, vintage shops, and other businesses.
    The Future of the West Bottoms
    Thursday, March 19, 2015
    Central Library

    As underscored by The Huffington Post six months ago, when it named Kansas City one of America’s “coolest” cities, things are looking bright for the onetime cowtown. While much of the buzz is about downtown’s revitalization, the historic West Bottoms has slowly and quietly undergone its own transformation over the past decade, emerging as a destination for restaurants, art studios, vintage shops, and other businesses.

    What is behind the revival, and what does the future hold for the West Bottoms? Gina Kaufmann, host of KCUR’s Central Standard, moderates a timely conversation with local stakeholders.

  • Strategic adviser Amy Wilkinson interviewed 200 leading entrepreneurs – including the founders of eBay, Under Armour, LinkedIn, and Dropbox – and distilled six fundamental strategies that helped them rise to the top. She shares her findings in a discussion of her new book.
    The Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
    Tuesday, March 3, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses – even $100 million businesses. We just have to know how to crack the code.

    Strategic adviser Amy Wilkinson presents the keys to turning ideas into enduring enterprises in a discussion of her new book. From interviews with 200 of today’s leading entrepreneurs, including the founders of eBay, Under Armour, Chipotle, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, JetBlue Airways, and Dropbox, she has distilled six fundamental strategies that helped them rise to the top. Creators, she finds, are not born but made. They work at it, sharing skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on. Wilkinson passes them along to you.

    Co-presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

  • Former Kansas City Mayor Richard L. Berkley, an avid photographer, has snapped thousands of photos of the political leaders, entertainers, and other celebrities he has met. He offers an illustrated retrospective coinciding with an exhibit at the Central Library.
    A Mayor, a Camera, a Life in Pictures - Dick Berkley
    Sunday, February 8, 2015
    Central Library

    Richard L. Berkley once said, “I like meeting people.” Before, during, and after his record three-term tenure as Kansas City’s mayor — from 1979 to 1991 — he met hundreds of political leaders, entertainers, sports stars, and other celebrities. Most times, he asked to take their pictures. Berkley’s personal collection ranges from images of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to shots of Bo Jackson, George Brett, Annie Liebovitz, and Joanne Woodward.

  • Kenneth Armitage, an emeritus professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Kansas, knows more about the furry star of Groundhog Day than perhaps anyone. On its eve, he discusses the cultural influences of this unique celebration and offers insight into the marmot’s real life.
    Marmots on My Mind - Kenneth Armitage
    Sunday, February 1, 2015
    Central Library

    Nobody knows more about the four-legged star of Groundhog Day than Kenneth Armitage.

    An emeritus professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Kansas, Armitage has studied marmots — whose family tree includes the groundhog — for some 50 years. So great is his reputation that Sony turned to him when it released a 15th-anniversary edition of the movie Groundhog Day in 2008, enlisting the master of the marmot to talk on camera about the mammal’s “real life” for a DVD extra.

    Armitage visits the Library on the eve of the nation’s observance of Groundhog Day to discuss the cultural influences of this unique celebration and offer insight into the marmot itself. His presentation coincides with the publication of a new book based upon Armitage’s decades of research, Marmot Biology: Sociality, Individual Fitness, and Population Dynamics.

  • Nancy Peterson Hill discusses her book about the lawyer, activist, advisor – and largely anonymous but important American – who championed academic freedom, successfully challenged good friend Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court, and worked to promote civil rights in the 1950s and ’60s.
    A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark - Nancy Peterson Hill
    Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Central Library

    Behind Batman stood Alfred. Behind James Bond stood Q. And behind some of the most influential figures of the past century, from presidents to diplomats to Supreme Court justices, stood Grenville Clark.

    The New York-born lawyer, activist, and advisor championed academic freedom, fought a successful public battle with good friend Franklin Roosevelt over FDR’s attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court, and worked closely with the NAACP to uphold civil rights during the tumultuous 1950s and ’60s. He devoted his last decades to a quest for world peace through limited but enforceable world law.

    Writer Nancy Peterson Hill, administrator of the Diastole Scholars’ Center affiliated with UMKC, discusses her new book on this largely anonymous, but immensely important, American.

  • Twelve days before a football- obsessed nation tunes into the Super Bowl, best-selling author Steve Almond discusses his unflinching new book about the physical, social, and other concerns buffeting the sport. Joining the public conversion is longtime Kansas City TV sports anchor Frank Boal.
    Against Football - Steve Almond and Frank Boal
    Tuesday, January 20, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    Football’s evolution from sport to religion will be reconfirmed Feb. 1, 2015, when 85,000 fans in Glendale, Arizona, and a global TV audience of more than 100 million obsess over Super Bowl Sunday.

    We love football so much that best-selling author Steve Almond says we’ve become blind to the fact that it simply isn’t good for us. Players suffer brain damage. Children and teenagers are susceptible to the same injuries and the same debilitating, long-term effects. Beyond that is a question of whether our addiction to football fosters a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia.

    Almond, who contributes to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times, sits down with longtime Kansas City TV sports anchor (and former Villanova University football standout) Frank Boal for a conversation about Almond’s unflinching book about America’s most popular sport.

  • National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet unveils a reproduction of its latest addition, a 1945 portrait of Harry S. Truman purchased with support from the William T. Kemper Foundation. The gallery’s senior historian, David C. Ward, discusses portraiture’s value as both art and a window into history.
    Picturing Biography - Kim Sajet and David C. Ward
    Wednesday, January 14, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has a unique mission among U.S. museums: to reveal biography and history through the portraits of the men and women who have had a decisive impact on American society from the country’s origins to the present day. From grand manner-style oil paintings to the latest video installation, Senior Historian David C. Ward gives a virtual tour of the Portrait Gallery’s collection, discussing the ways portraiture works both as an artistic statement and as a visual portal into past times and lives.

    Additionally, National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet outlines plans for the museum as it approaches its 50th anniversary and announces the latest addition to the America’s Presidents exhibition: a portrait of Harry S. Truman purchased with support from the William T. Kemper Foundation. A reproduction of the portrait, which will hang permanently in the Truman Forum, will be unveiled as part of the evening’s program.

Kansas City Public Library Beta