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Black Lives Matter, Black Stories Matter
Last modified: 
Friday, June 5, 2020
Our city and nation are hurting in the wake of the senseless, horrifying death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. The Kansas City Public Library stands in full support of the many across our country — including our staff and their families and others in our community — who have marched in protest and in profound, insistent hope for the future.  We decry the longstanding racial inequities and injustice at the root of their unrest. We need more than ever to understand the challenges of a diverse America, allowing us to define and develop effective change when and wherever it is necessary.
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Library Continues to Adjust to Life in the COVID-19 Era
Last modified: 
Sunday, July 12, 2020
From our Pop In / Pick Up holds service to restoring access to public computers and related services, the Library puts the emphasis on safety as we reintroduce core services. Take a look behind the scenes as we continue to plot a path to re-opening.
Interior of the Last Round Up Tavern
Last modified: 
Monday, July 6, 2020

Thanks to the 2018 film "Green Book," many know of "The Negro Motorist Green Book," published annually for 30 years beginning in 1936. The guidebooks provided Black travelers a list of businesses, restaurants and lodgings that would welcome them while traveling. For those interested in learning more, the New York Public Library has made 23 editions of the "Green Book" digitally accessible here.

While there are no copies of the “Green Book” within Missouri Valley Special Collections, we believe we have something equally interesting. In the early 1940s, Kansas City’s Negro Chamber of Congress worked with Scott Directory Publishers to create the Kansas City Negro City Directory. The book provides a fascinating glimpse into Kansas City’s Black communities at a moment just prior to a period of tremendous change.

In the years following World War II, many American cities embraced Urban Renewal, and consequently, some of its disastrous effects. This period of postwar redevelopment brought about modern downtown buildings, accelerated freeway construction across the country and facilitated the expansion of suburban communities.

Meet John Herron
Last modified: 
Sunday, July 5, 2020
All things being equal, John Herron says he’d prefer to assume leadership of the Kansas City Public Library in more conventional times. Instead, he’s wearing a mask and preparing to steer the 147-year-old institution through the epochal challenge of a pandemic. “So much is unknown,” Herron says. “But by the same token, the unknown shouldn’t have to be crippling. It creates these moments of possibility." Herron takes over as the Library’s new director on Monday, July 6, 2020. Learn more about his move to the Library and his vision for its future.
Henry Perry Day graphic
Last modified: 
Friday, July 3, 2020

Henry Perry, the man who first assumed the title of Barbecue King of Kansas City was born on March 16, 1874, in Shelby County, Tennessee. By 1908, he was in Kansas City selling smoked meats to downtown workers from a stand in the Garment District, eventually relocating to the east side at 17th and Lydia before landing at his famed 19th and Highland location. With Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas making July 3 Henry Perry Day in Kansas City, we take a moment to explore Henry Perry’s life and career through an article printed in the February 26, 1932, edition of The Call.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The July 2020 CYS Zine is out! This 16-page monthly mini magazine highlights what's new and notable in the children's department of the Central Library.