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Kansas City Public Library


Through a public-private partnership headed by the Downtown Council, and utilizing funds from federal, state and municipal sources, corporations, foundations, individuals and the Library district itself, the Library raised the nearly $50 million needed for the project. As a result, the new Central Library opened its doors in 2004. The location features state-of-the-art technology, improved and increased services, meeting rooms, a screening room, a coffee shop and much more, all within the walls of a building originally constructed to convey a sense of strength and continuity. It is upon that foundation the Library places its vision for the next century to come.

Upcoming Events

January 2018

The Casablanca Conference, 1943: Pursuing Unconditional Surrender

January 18, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Seventy-five years ago this month, Franklin Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to leave American soil during wartime when he traveled to Casablanca, Morocco, to confer with Britain’s Winston Churchill. Their purpose: mapping out the Allies’ World War II military strategy for the coming year. The plan: concentrate on Germany in hopes of drawing its forces away from the Eastern Front and reducing pressure on Russia’s Red Army. They also agreed on this: Postwar peace depended on nothing less than…

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Mad Science: Fire and Ice

January 19, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

Foggy dry ice storms! Giant beach balls floating in the air! Even a special Mad Science “burp” potion! Kids are dazzled and thoroughly entertained while learning about chemical reactions, air pressure, and the states of matter.

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Picking Perennials: What’s New, What’s Best for Landscape Durability and Sustainability

January 20, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Today’s gardeners can choose from an ever-widening array of plants in beautiful new colors and forms, many emerging from the process of tissue culture – exposing small pieces of plant tissue to specific regimens of nutrients, hormones, and light under controlled, in vitro conditions. Bill Malouche, owner and manager of the Kansas City office of National Nursery Products, examines current trends in the breeding and hybridizing of strong, perfect plants and which varieties are particularly suitable for landscaping in the…

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The Elephant Man (1980)

January 21, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema series returns in January, February, and March with psychological studies of films directed by one of the most uniquely stylish and idiosyncratic movie makers of our time, David Lynch. A discussion follows each screening. In the series’ opening film, The Elephant Man (1980; PG), Lynch explores themes of identity, dignity, and humanity in the true story of a severely disfigured and mistreated man (John Hurt) who is rescued by a Victorian surgeon (Anthony Hopkins). Post-screening discussion is led by psychoanalyst Alice…

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Our Fathers: Making Black Men

January 23, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

Lincoln “Doc” Diuguid was a grandson of slaves who, more than once in his 97-year life, ran headlong into the racism of his own time. Undeterred, he earned a doctorate in organic chemistry, worked as a researcher and inventor at his Du-Good Chemical Laboratories & Manufacturers in St. Louis and, most notably, became an anchor of a community in which African Americans could thrive. Diuguid’s son, former Kansas City Star columnist and editorial board member Lewis Diuguid, pays tribute in his book Our Fathers,…

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Evicted in Kansas City

January 24, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

From 1999 to 2016, records show, Jackson County logged nearly 174,000 evictions – an average of about 42 per business day. Alarmingly, the leading predictor was race. Analysis by activist Tara Raghuveer revealed a disproportionate impact on African-Americans. The findings parallel those of sociologist Matthew Desmond, who embedded himself in two poor neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Raghuveer’s research, conducted under his guidance, was cited in the book. Raghuveer, a native…

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Hitler’s First Victims

January 25, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Before opening Auschwitz and other notorious death camps, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi German adherents carried out a grim and deadly prelude. In an effort to eliminate the mentally and physically disabled, they subjected hundreds of thousands to forced sterilization and killed tens of thousands under the guise of euthanasia. The latter entailed the use of gas chambers disguised as showers and adjacent crematoriums for the burning of bodies. Historian Beth Griech-Polelle examines those programs and the role that the “euthanasia”…

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For All Children Everywhere

January 28, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

It began 120 years ago as a ramshackle women’s hospital caring for one abandoned little girl. The “Hospital of the Little People,” as Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy was known then, took on a couple more young patients, then a dozen more, and eventually hundreds of victims of birth defects, accidents, illness, and abuse. In a discussion of his book For All Children Everywhere, a comprehensive history of Children’s Mercy, Thomas McCormally walks through the renowned hospital’s founding by two sisters and its growth…

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