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.

  • In Behind the Kitchen Door,  Saru Jayaraman explores how restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America and how poor working conditions - discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens - affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables.
    Behind the Kitchen Door
    Thursday, April 11, 2013
    Central Library

    How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions — discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens — affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables?

    In Behind the Kitchen Door Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of a national restaurant workers organization, provides a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of eating out.

  • Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star moderates a panel of experts discussing whether Kansas City, Missouri, should switch from a police department run by the state to one under the direct control of the mayor and city council.
    Should Kansas City Pursue Local Control of Its Police Department?
    Thursday, April 4, 2013
    Central Library

    The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling and an expert panel discuss whether it is time for control of the Kansas City Police Department to revert from the state back to the city. Participants include former Police Commissioner Karl Zobrist, former Police Chief Jim Corwin, City Councilman Ed Ford, and Steve Glorioso, who led a campaign to change St. Louis’ police governance law.

  • Scholar Henry Adams discusses the life of his  great-great-great-great-great grandmother, who witnessed the American Revolution and left behind insightful  and sometimes ascerbic impressions of the Founding Fathers.
    Abigail Adams
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Abigail Adams, the wife of one president and the mother of a second, was significant not only for her accomplishments as a diarist and letter writer but for the influence she had on successive generations of the Adams family. Scholar Henry Adams, the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Abigail and John Adams, looks at his forbear’s life and writing, especially her often caustic impressions of the Founding Fathers.

  • Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban  in a demonstration of how poetry  can capture the power of inner- city voices.
    Urban Blue Poetry
    Thursday, March 28, 2013
    Central Library

    Think of it as a husband-and-wife tag-team poetry slam.

    Kansas City poets Stanley E. Banks and Janet M. Banks read from their new books (respectively) Blue Issues and On the Edge of Urban in a demonstration of how poetry can capture the power of inner-city voices.

    Stanley’s poetry offers city grit with a blues and jazz undertone. Janet’s poetry has city grit as well, but with an urban woman’s perspective. This African-American couple is known for firing up audiences wherever they give a reading.

  • Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Travel journalist Rudy Maxa explains where you should go right now, how you can save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.
    Why Everything You Used to Know About Travel Is Wrong
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Traveling has undergone some big changes in recent years. Now travel journalist Rudy Maxa provides tips to save money, maximize pleasure, and minimize hassles. He offers suggestions about where you should go right now, how to save money on hotels, why you should stop hoarding those frequent flyer miles, and why you should never ride a camel named Katherine in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

  • Author and labor leader Bill Fletcher Jr. takes on accusations that unions pamper workers with high pay and cushy benefits at the expense of the American economy.
    “They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions
    Tuesday, March 19, 2013
    Central Library

    Unions have been blamed for budget deficits and for pampering workers with high pay and cushy benefits. Labor leader Bill Fletcher, Jr. tackles those accusations in his book “They’re Bankrupting Us!” He traces the roots of anti-union myths, examines the movement’s missteps and lists significant labor contributions like the minimum wage and 40-hour work week.

  • Journalist and historian David Von Drehle explains how in the pivotal year of 1862 President Abraham Lincoln fashioned a Civil War victory and set the blueprint for modern America.
    Abraham Lincoln
    Wednesday, March 13, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    As 1862 began the U.S. government was overwhelmed, the Treasury was broke, and the Confederacy was winning on the battlefield. A year later, under the leadership of an unschooled country lawyer, the tide had turned.

    Drawing from his book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, journalist/historian David Von Drehle explains how Lincoln fashioned a victory and set the blueprint for modern America.

    Von Drehle has written for the Washington Post and Time magazine; among his books is Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War.

  • Veteran White House journalist Carl M. Cannon takes a look at Michelle Obama, the first African American first lady, a Harvard-trained lawyer, and one of her husband’s most valued political mentors.  This presentation is the first in the new series Beyond the Gowns: First Ladies in American History.
    MICHELLE OBAMA
    Wednesday, March 6, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Veteran journalist Carl M. Cannon discusses the life of first lady Michele Obama on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

    Michelle Obama is the 46th first lady of the United States, caretaker of an unpaid position that nevertheless is one of the most powerful in the world. How powerful? Put it this way: Even in this rarified air, Mrs. Obama stands out for her closeness to the president.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author  Tim Weiner explains how the FBI became the most formidable intelligence force in American history and how the Bureau has spied on anyone it considers subversive ... including presidents.
    Enemies: A History of the FBI
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Its reputation is that of America’s incorruptible police force. Yet the primary mission of the FBI is secret intelligence, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Weiner. In his new book Weiner reveals how presidents have used the agency as the most formidable intelligence force in American history, and how the bureau has spied on anyone it considers subversive … including presidents.

    The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties, creating a tension that strains the very fabric of a free society.

  • Author Henry Wiencek examines our first president’s long struggle with the issue of slavery, an experience that moved him to free all his slaves upon his death.
    An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves and the Creation of America - Henry Wiencek
    Wednesday, February 20, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    George Washington was a slave owner, a fact which he described as his “only unavoidable subject of regret.” So much did he regret it that in his will Washington made the startling decision to free his slaves. Author Henry Wiencek, who in 2012 spoke at the Library about Thomas Jefferson’s attitudes toward slavery, now examines the relationship between the most iconic of our Founding Fathers and the “peculiar institution.”