Why is there a Kansas City in both Kansas and Missouri? Is the population north of the river growing faster than the population to the south? What made barbecue so popular here?
Kansas Citians love their community. They also have a lot of questions – about our history, about our present, about our city going forward. The Kansas City Public Library and The Kansas City Star are combining resources to provide answers as part a new partnership, What’s Your KC Q?
You can submit any question about Kansas City through a special link on both the Library’s and The Star’s websites. Readers then vote on their favorite questions. Our team of librarians and reporters does the digging, and reports back with the answers.
“We have a thorough and extensive amount of resources at the Library here in the Missouri Valley Special Collections,” says special collections researcher Michael Wells. “It helps tell Kansas City’s story. We’re excited to be able to bring that information to a new audience of Kansas Citians who want to know where we we’ve been as a city and where we’re going.”
That’s not all; we also show you how we got the answer and how you can get it, too. The main objective of What’s Your KC Q? is to inform the public, and who’s better equipped than the Library and the journalists at The Kansas City Star?
“These are two of the best resources in Kansas City joining together to arm the public with the facts,” says Eric Nelson of The Star. “The goal is to not only get readers those answers, it’s also to arm them so they know how to do their own research moving forward. We want to teach news literacy with complete transparency in a world where the digital landscape can be difficult to navigate.”
For example, you might ask which neighborhoods had the largest percentage of home ownership in 1942 vs. their percentage of rentals. We’d need to look back at housing records from the ’40s. Not only would our team of researchers and journalists show you where you can find them, we also would tell you how we formulated the information we found and how you could, as well.
Transparency and news literacy are at the root of What’s Your KC Q?, which is supported by the ASU News Co/Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Cronkite, of course, started his storied broadcasting career in Kansas City.
We’re looking forward to also uncovering some surprises. “We certainly will get ‘Qs’ about the issues in the news, whether that involves elections, local government, or business development,” says The Star’s Nelson. “But we also are hoping to have some fun answering the quirky questions we don't expect.”
So get your questions ready. Our research team is standing by.