Event Video

To view a video recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter.

  • Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle interviews three of Kansas City’s most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict: civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr.
    When Kansas City Went to War - Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., Bill Dunn Sr.
    Wednesday, March 25, 2015
    Plaza Branch

    For the Greatest Generation, memories of World War II replay as vividly as motion picture newsreels. Whether they parachuted into France or joined an assembly line, virtually every American—every Kansas Citian—went to war.

    Launching a new series, War Stories: World War II Remembered, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle interviews three of the city’s most recognizable veterans of the six-year conflict. Civic giants Henry Bloch, Edward T. Matheny Jr., and Bill Dunn Sr. were barely out of their teens when they rallied to the cry of “Remember Pearl Harbor." Now, 70 years after the war's end, they share their personal stories and reflect on the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, their hometown commander-in-chief.

  • In the latest installment of Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III, the Library director holds a public conversation with iconic African American writer Zora Neale Hurston as portrayed by Carmaletta Williams.
    Meet the Past: Zora Neale Hurston
    Wednesday, February 25, 2015
    Central Library

    The latest installment of the Library’s Emmy Award-winning series, Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III, spotlights one of the preeminent figures in 20th century African American literature, Zora Neale Hurston.

    Kemper, the Library’s director, holds a public conversation with Hurston as portrayed by longtime Johnson County Community College professor Carmaletta Williams. The presentation will be taped by KCPT-TV for later broadcast.

  • Bill Zahner transformed his family’s A. Zahner Co., into an architectural powerhouse whose work in metal fabrication now adorns structures and artwork worldwide. He sits down for a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III.
    A Conversation with Bill Zahner
    Wednesday, February 4, 2015
    Central Library

    Bill Zahner made a tough call shortly after taking charge of the family business in the late 1970s, shifting the focus of the A. Zahner Co. from siding and deck work to metal fabrication.

    He shaped an architectural powerhouse whose work now adorns skyscrapers, museums, and artwork around the world. Among its current projects is construction of the facade for an elaborate, $130 million aquarium scheduled to open this year in Fortaleza, Brazil. Locally, the company created the distinctive “sky station” sculptures atop Bartle Hall and the corkscrewing, stainless steel spire on the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints Temple in Independence.

    Zahner sits down for a public conversation with Library Director Crosby Kemper III in the latest installment of the Library's Kansas City: Cradle of Entrepreneurs series.

  • Yes, the Vikings pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But Yale University historian Anders Winroth adds depth to their identity in a discussion of his new book, noting that the Norse seafarers were explorers as well as raiders, settled peacefully, and developed a vast trading network.
    The Age of the Vikings - Anders Winroth
    Thursday, January 29, 2015
    Central Library

    The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid but also to explore.

    Yale University historian Anders Winroth dismantles the myths and captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage in a discussion of his new book, The Age of the Vikings.

    Winroth is the Frost Family Professor of History at Yale.

  • Wired magazine’s Fred Vogelstein discusses his book on the high-tech, high-stakes struggle between Apple and Google, which have steamrolled their competition while battling each other not only in the marketplace but also in the courts.
    Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution - Fred Vogelstein
    Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    Central Library

    Today, amid the many manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, and apps, two names tower above the others: Apple and Google, whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition – and now threaten to steamroll each other. But the battle between Apple and Google is just not a story of corporate competition. It’s a tale of friendships gone sour, of trust betrayed, and agreements breached.

    Wired magazine’s Fred Vogelstein discusses his book on this high-stakes, high-tech struggle for handheld superiority, going inside offices and board rooms, behind the outsized personalities of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and through the deals, allegations, and lawsuits that are shaping the way we communicate.

  • 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’s Henry W. Bloch co-founded H&R Block Inc. in 1955 and helped build it into the world’s largest tax preparation company. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, he sits down with son Tom Bloch to outline what others can learn from his experiences.
    Seven Lessons for Entrepreneurs - Henry W. Bloch, Tom Bloch
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014
    Central Library

    One of Kansas City’s greatest entrepreneurs, Henry W. Bloch co-founded H&R Block Inc. in 1955 and helped build it into the world’s largest tax preparation company.

    Now 92, he sits down with his son, Tom Bloch, for a conversation covering seven timeless lessons for entrepreneurs gleaned from his experiences. The presentation is held in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week and the paperback release of the younger Bloch’s 2010 book Many Happy Returns: The Story of Henry Bloch, America’s Tax Man.

    Tom Bloch worked closely with his father at H&R Block for nearly two decades. He left the company in 1995 to teach in inner-city Kansas City, and co-founded University Academy.

  • Award-winning author Ann Bausum tells a true story of a terrier that wandered onto an Army training field, befriending Pvt. James Robert Conroy and accompanying him into the trenches of World War I and onto the pages of history.  Appropriate for kindergartners and up.
    Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog - Ann Bausum
    Friday, October 3, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    Award-winning author Ann Bausum tells a true story of a terrier that wandered onto an Army training field, befriending Pvt. James Robert Conroy and accompanying him into the trenches of World War I and onto the pages of history. Appropriate for kindergartners and up.

  • In the latest installment of Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III, the Library director holds a public conversation with the influential developer of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza,  J.C. Nichols, as portrayed by historian Bill Worley.
    Meet the Past: J.C. Nichols
    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Plaza Branch

    From Kansas City’s signature Country Club Plaza to pristine shopping districts and neighborhoods across the country, J.C. Nichols’ imprint on the American landscape remains deep and far-reaching.

    The famed real estate developer, who died a little more than 64 years ago, is spotlighted in the latest installment of the Library’s popular Meet the Past series. Nichols — as portrayed by historian and Meet the Past veteran Bill Worley — will be interviewed by Library Director Crosby Kemper III.

    The program also includes introductory remarks about Nichols and the architectural legacy of the Country Club Plaza by Stephanie Meeks, president and chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Jonathan Kemper, president of the Library’s Board of Trustees and co-chair of the National Trust Council.

    The presentation will be taped by KCPT for later broadcast.

  • 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.
    Intelligence and Espionage During World War I - Mark Stout
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Central Library

    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.

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