Kansas City Public Library

Arts & Culture
8:56 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Kansas Citians' Digital Stories Now Part Of The Library's Collection

“I received the telephone call around three o’clock in the morning. Bernard Powell was dead.”

That's Telester Powell, talking about her husband. Bernard Powell was a well-known Kansas City Civil Rights activist in the 1960s. He joined the NAACP at age 13 and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Powell was on the rise, winning accolades such as Outstanding Man of the Year from the National Junior Chamber of Commerce. He had a dream of becoming Missouri’s first black governor.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

A Fistful Of Spaghetti Westerns

Clint Eastwood, the young American star in the 1964 Italian Western, "A Fistful of Dollars"
Credit Clint Eastwood for A Fistful of Dollars / Wikimedia Commons

A half century ago, nobody expected much of Sergio Leone’s 1964 Italian Western A Fistful of Dollars – not even its young American star, Clint Eastwood. On Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske explores how this film's fiery success ignited the popularity of an entire genre known as "spaghetti westerns".


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Central Standard
4:02 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Library Offers Seeds To Check Out And Return

If you check out tomato seeds from the Kansas City Public Library, you'll have to pull new seeds out from the tomatoes you harvest and return them at the end of the season.
Credit Flickr user Sue Craske

There’s a new resource in town for Kansas City gardeners: a seed library. Starting this spring at the Ruiz branch of the Kansas City Public Library, anyone with a library card can check out seeds for typical garden plants, from cilantro to tomatoes. At the end of the season, patrons return the seeds they harvest from the plants they grow.

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10:21 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Life And Work Of Kansas City Civil Rights Activist, Alvin Sykes

Alvin Sykes will speak at the Kansas City Public Library later this month about his life and work.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Kansas City native Alvin Sykes is a self-taught civil rights activist who has done instrumental work with the justice system, particularly with unsolved civil rights crimes, including the high-profile murder of Emmett Till, and the 1980 murder of Kansas City musician Steve Harvey.

This month he is giving a talk at the Kansas City Public library, where he was the 2013 scholar in residence. Sykes educated himself in law and civil rights using resources from the city's public library system.

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5:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

[VIDEO] A Musical Exploration Of 'True Grit'

Jeff Harshbarger leads a rehearsal of the The Revisionists.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The National Endowment for the Arts started the initiative called The Big Read as a way to encourage reading. This year, for its Big Read selection, the Kansas City Public Library chose the novel True Grit.

It’s the story of a teenager in the late 1800s who seeks to avenge her father’s murder. The library is hosting a series of public events, including a performance of songs inspired by the era of the novel.

Writing songs from Mattie's perspective

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5:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Famed Choreographer's Personal Papers Find New Home

Michael Sweeney, the Archives' collection librarian; Crosby Kemper III, director of the Kansas City Public Library; and Allan Gray, Lee's Summit mayor pro tem, view some of the objects on display.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Playbills from performances, snapshots of family and friends, and personal letters of the late choreographer Alvin Ailey are now housed at the Black Archives of Mid-America.

The collection is called the Allan Gray Family Personal Papers of Alvin Ailey. And it's on long-term loan to the Black Archives.

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Central Standard
5:40 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Greetings From Kansas City

Paramount Theater

  Before friends could tell their friends about their travels through email, social media and phone calls, postcards were the way to tell people where one was traveling. On Monday, the Kansas City Public Library will open its "Greetings From Kansas City" exhibit which showcases 200 postcards about Kansas City from the 1930s and 40s.

These postcards tell the story of Kansas City as the booming metropolis of the Midwest during this time period and depicts different scenes from around town.

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New Letters on the Air
12:23 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Fiction Writer Anne Enright

Author Anne Enright

Winner of the first ever Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2012, Irish author Anne Enright talks about her often darkly humorous approach to writing about love, desire, death, and family.

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New Letters on the Air
12:00 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Fiction Writer Jim Shepard

Author Jim Shepard
Michael Lionstar

Acclaimed fiction writer Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and several short story collections, including Like You'd Understand Anyway, winner of the 2008 Story Prize and a National Book Award finalist.

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9:14 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

One Man's Walkabout In Kansas

Kansas City Public Library's Henry Fortunato starts his walk in Overland Park, Kan.
courtesy of Henry Fortunato

In recent years, urban planners have renewed their focus on creating walkable communities. Walking is the most basic mode of transportation – and yet, in the Kansas City metropolitan area, it’s not as common as in other parts of the country.

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KC Currents
6:53 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Local Artifacts From The Atomic Era

A photograph from the exhibit 'Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow' at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

Once upon a time, youth in the '50s and '60s lived in fear. They practiced going to “fallout” shelters to escape the atomic bomb.

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KC Currents
2:32 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Bridging The Digital Divide In Kansas City

KC Currents host Susan Wilson talking to Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Deputy Executive Director of the Kansas City Public Library, Michael Liimatta , co-founder of Connecting for Good and Donovan Mouton, local real estate developer.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Studies from Google indicated that 42 percent of lower income areas in Kansas City don’t have access to internet.

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Central Standard Friday
9:30 am
Fri August 31, 2012

KC History: What Led To Vietnam

How did America end up in Vietnam? Coming up on Central Standard Friday, a look at the 40 years of political, military and diplomatic decisions that led to U.S. involvement in Indochina, going back to Versailles Peace Conference in 1919.

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Up to Date
9:58 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

The Book Doctors: Reading For The Waning Days Of Summer

The Last Good Man by A.J. Kazinski, a recommendation of "Book Doctor" Kaite Stover.

For those of you who still have some summer vacation remaining, or for those of you who have a bit more free time now that the kids are finally returning to school this week, look no further than the Book Doctors for a few new reading recommendations.

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KC Currents
4:56 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Preserving The History Of Black Kansas City

The new home of the Black Archives of Mid America.
Susan B. Wilson

The Black Archives of Mid-America recently completed renovations on a new exhibit and archive space and also welcomed a new executive director, Doretha Williams. Williams has a doctorate from the University of Kansas in American Studies and hopes to bring the community back to the archives.

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