Kansas City Public Library

Last month, NPR’s Morning Edition announced the second session of its book club. A few members of the Kansas City chapter share their opinions of the selected book, A God In Ruins.

Guests: 

Johnson County Public Library

As we increasingly turn to Google and other search engines  for our information needs, is the library becoming obsolete?

Educator and technology expert John Palfrey doesn't think so, though he thinks it needs a system update.

“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.

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".

Guests:

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.

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.

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

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.

Greetings From Kansas City

Jan 24, 2013

  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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

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

KC History: What Led To Vietnam

Aug 31, 2012

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.

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.

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.