Before Missouri Valley Special Collections staff acquired the Kansas City Stockyards Collection, its 6,000-plus items had been scattered about the Livestock Exchange Building.
The greatest challenge about reviewing Jerusalem by Alan Moore is summarizing what it's about. This isn't a traditional novel and it doesn't deliver a normal story. The plot is meandering, almost vestigial in some sections. Setting is paramount—language, tone, atmosphere, characters: all of these matter far more than mere plot.
I've come to think of this book as being akin to the Bayeux Tapestry—a sprawling and artistically audacious account of a place and its people. It's a love letter to a neighborhood as only Moore can write it.
The Ruiz Seed Library began in 2014 and offers free fruit, vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to all library patrons. Additionally, the Seed Library houses a special collection of gardening books, which are available for checkout, subscribes to several gardening magazines, has created gardening-related programs for children, and offers free monthly gardening workshops to gardeners of all skill levels.
Step through the double-leaf bronze doors of the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library, and you'll encounter more than just books. Artwork adorns the walls. Sculptures lend accent.
Diane Swanson gave 44 years of service to the Kansas City Public Library, including a decade and a half as director of its bustling Plaza Branch. Even after her death, the quiet, keenly intellectual librarian has continued to give – a $1 million bequest that is the largest one-time gift from an individual in the Library’s history.
It forms the new Swanson Strategic Endowment Fund, authorized by the Library’s board of trustees this week. Set up through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, it will be used to “highlight the riches of our collections and spread the word in the community about the great services provided by the Library, the kinds of things that Diane Swanson did all of her career,” Library Director Crosby Kemper III says.
The gift “helps the Library to maintain and enhance those offerings,” Kemper says.
Swanson, the daughter of former Western Auto Supply Co. president and CEO Arthur Swanson, rose through the Library’s ranks over a career that spanned from 1958 to her retirement in 2002. Most of that time was spent in management positions at the Plaza Branch, which she oversaw as director from 1985 to 2000.
Born in the Chicago area, she graduated from Northwestern University and went on to earn a graduate degree in library science from the University of Denver.
A reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1947 mural “Achelous and Hercules” – true to the 22-foot-long, more than five-foot high dimensions of the original – now graces the first floor of the Central Library. On permanent display outside the Genevieve Guldner Gallery, it returns an image that famously adorned the old Harzfeld’s Department Store just a few blocks away.