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.

  • Mark Twain scholar Robert Hirst examines how the author maximized the appeal of his book for both young readers and adults—including changes Twain made to the text that preserved necessary “proprieties,” which can be rather mysterious to readers 135 years later.
    Where the Twain Meet: The Enduring Cross-Generational Appeal of Tom Sawyer
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in such a fashion that his first novel simultaneously addressed two divergent audiences: the young and the formerly young. At times, his story ridicules boyhood fantasies (such as finding buried treasure and rescuing a damsel in distress) and later grants these same ridiculous hopes and dreams. In creating a text that speaks to two age groups, Twain appears as the literary forerunner of Pixar Animation Studios.

  • Princeton scholar Esther Schor discusses her new biography of Emma Lazarus, whose work gave voice to the Statue of Liberty. This talk complements the Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience exhibit now on display at the Central Library.
    Esther Schor: Emma Lazarus
    Thursday, September 15, 2011
    Central Library

    Esther Schor discusses her book about the life of Emma Lazarus, the iconoclastic 19th century poet and activist whose poem gave voice to the Statue of Liberty.

    Schor is a poet and professor of English at Princeton University. Her work has been published in The Times Literary Supplement as well as The New York Times. Schor curated the exhibit Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience now on display at the Central Library.

  • Author and former Kansas City resident Justin Martin discusses his new biography of renowned landscape architect, abolitionist, and early environmentalist Frederick Law Olmsted.
    Justin Martin - Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011
    Central Library

    Author and former Kansas City resident Justin Martin discusses his latest book, Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted, a biography of the renowned landscape architect, early environmentalist, and abolitionist.

  • Library Director Crosby Kemper III leads a public conversation with Boulevard Brewing Company founder John McDonald exploring how his award-winning company became the largest craft brewer in the Midwest and the largest independent American brewer  in Missouri.
    A Conversation with John McDonald
    Wednesday, August 3, 2011
    Central Library

    Join a public conversation with local brewing pioneer John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Company.

    McDonald, recently named the 2011 Brewers Association Recognition Award winner, started the brewery in 1989 and hand delivered Boulevard beer to local restaurants in his pick-up truck. Today, his company employs over 90 people.

    Since 1989, the award-winning company has grown to become the largest craft brewer in the Midwest and the largest independent American brewer in Missouri.

  • John Ferling discusses his compelling and accessible one-volume chronicle of the most pivotal period in America’s history, the battle in the Continental Congress over declaring American independence.
    John Ferling - Independence: The Struggle To Set America Free
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011
    Central Library

    No event in American history was more pivotal — or more contested — than the decision by Congress to declare independence in July 1776. Even months after American blood had been shed at Lexington and Concord, many colonists remained loyal to Britain.

  • On the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard's pioneering space mission, Roger D. Launius of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum reconsiders the legacy of Project Mercury and America's first astronauts.
    Roger D. Launius - The Right Stuff Revisited: Project Mercury 50 Years On
    Thursday, May 5, 2011
    Central Library

    On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, making a brief suborbital mission that marked the first manned launch of Project Mercury.

    Roger D. Launius, a senior curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, reconsiders NASA’s pioneering program, examining the origins of these first attempts to reach into space, the Cold War “space race,” and Project Mercury’s meaning a half-century later.

  • The Kansas City Public Library Director interviews George Caleb Bingham, a great American genre painter—portrayed by re-enactor Robert Gibby Brand—in  celebration of his 200th birthday.
    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III: George Caleb Bingham
    Sunday, March 20, 2011
    This event will take place at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. in Kansas City, Missouri.

    Admission is free, but a ticket is required. To reserve your free ticket(s) contact the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art at 816.751.1278.

    Your registration information will be shared by the Kansas City Public Library and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

    Location: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with George Caleb Bingham, whose paintings of Missouri and the American frontier have earned him a reputation as one of America’s greatest genre painters of the 19th century.

  • Kansas City-based independent writer and producer Jack Cashill discusses his latest book in which he contends President Barack Obama did not write his 1995 bestselling autobiography, Dreams from My Father, or his 2006 bestseller, The Audacity of Hope.
    Jack Cashill: Deconstructing Obama
    Thursday, February 17, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    Kansas City-based independent writer and producer Jack Cashill discusses his latest book in which he contends President Barack Obama did not write his 1995 bestselling autobiography, Dreams from My Father, or his 2006 bestseller, The Audacity of Hope.

    In Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President, Cashill contends nothing in Obama’s history suggests he was capable of writing either book. Indeed, Cashill concludes that the real author of Dreams from My Father was Bill Ayers.

  • Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns
    Meet the Past: Edgar Snow
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010
    Central Library

    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Edgar Snow, as portrayed by local actor Bob Brand.

  • Harry S. Truman Book Award winner Steven Casey explains how the Truman and Eisenhower administrations shaped public opinion and influenced the media during the Korean War.
    Steven Casey: Selling the Korean War
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010
    Plaza Branch

    Steven Casey discusses his new book Selling the Korean War: Propaganda, Politics, and Public Opinion in the United States on Tuesday, July 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

    The book, which won the 2010 Harry S. Truman Book Award, explains how the Truman and Eisenhower administrations shaped public discourse about the Korean War, influenced media, and gained political and public support.