On July 18, 2017, the heads of four KC-area library systems – Johnson County’s Sean Casserly, KCK’s Carol Levers, Mid-Continent’s Steve Potter, and KCPL’s Crosby Kemper III – joined KCPT’s Nick Haines for a public conversation at the Plaza Branch about Libraries Out Loud, a documentary series celebrating the work of our local libraries. Produced by filmmaker and documentarian Michael Price for KCPT’s Flatland website, the film series touches on ways today’s libraries fulfill their traditional missions while also serving our communities in innovative and vital ways.
Kansas City Councilman Quinton Lucas offered a moving tribute to libraries in general, and the Kansas City Public Library in particular, at a recent event at which the city and the Library were presented a 2017 LibraryAware Community Award.
The Kansas City Public Library offers dozens of digital resources that provide endless educational and entertainment opportunities for everyone with a library card. There are several changes and new developments coming soon; learn more about what you have to look foward to!
Lucile Bluford isn’t just Kansas City’s treasure. The state of Missouri has officially seen to that. Saturday, July 1, marked the first statewide observance of Lucile Bluford Day per a Missouri House measure signed into law a year ago. The Library joined in the commemoration – on what would have been Bluford’s 106th birthday – with a day of events and exhibits at its L.H. Bluford Branch, 3050 Prospect.
If you’re planning to attend this summer’s Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presentation of Hamlet, the Library offers a number of opportunities to learn more about the play and the production: upcoming events at which you can hear from festival organizers, scholars, and cast members about what it takes to bring the tale of the infamous Danish prince to life onstage. All in conjunction with HASF’s 25th anniversary celebration.
What is the Ruiz Seed Library?
The Ruiz Seed Library began in 2014 and offers free fruit, vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to all library patrons. Additionally, the Seed Library houses a special collection of gardening books, which are available for checkout, subscribes to several gardening magazines, has created gardening-related programs for children, and offers free monthly gardening workshops to gardeners of all skill levels.
Diane Swanson gave 44 years of service to the Kansas City Public Library, including a decade and a half as director of its bustling Plaza Branch. Even after her death, the quiet, keenly intellectual librarian has continued to give – a $1 million bequest that is the largest one-time gift from an individual in the Library’s history.
It forms the new Swanson Strategic Endowment Fund, authorized by the Library’s board of trustees this week. Set up through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, it will be used to “highlight the riches of our collections and spread the word in the community about the great services provided by the Library, the kinds of things that Diane Swanson did all of her career,” Library Director Crosby Kemper III says.
The gift “helps the Library to maintain and enhance those offerings,” Kemper says.
Swanson, the daughter of former Western Auto Supply Co. president and CEO Arthur Swanson, rose through the Library’s ranks over a career that spanned from 1958 to her retirement in 2002. Most of that time was spent in management positions at the Plaza Branch, which she oversaw as director from 1985 to 2000.
Born in the Chicago area, she graduated from Northwestern University and went on to earn a graduate degree in library science from the University of Denver.
The Kansas City Public Library has revived a colorful slice of downtown history.
A reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1947 mural “Achelous and Hercules” – true to the 22-foot-long, more than five-foot high dimensions of the original – now graces the first floor of the Central Library. On permanent display outside the Genevieve Guldner Gallery, it returns an image that famously adorned the old Harzfeld’s Department Store just a few blocks away.
Tucked amid the other amenities of the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library — the shelves of popular new books in stately Kirk Hall, the inviting environs of the children’s library and the array of resources available in the business and career center — are a couple of gleaming art galleries.
As a digital inclusion leader, the Kansas City Public Library provides many ways to engage in digital learning, including a Digital Media Lab for teens, over 300 public access computers available over a ten branch system, recurring computer classes and one-on-one tutoring through our new volunteer Tech Coach program as well as Career Online High School and a Hotspots program in partnership with the local school district. When we discovered learning circles through Peer 2 Peer University, the doors opened to yet another exciting avenue for digital learning!
April Roy, manager of our Bluford Branch, has been honored by the American Library Association with the I Love My Librarian Award.
The Library and American Public Square kick off a series of spring discussions of some of the city’s most polarizing issues—minus the invective that too often feeds polarity—in early December.
The Kansas City Public Library remains among a select group of public libraries across the country, earning a 4-star designation from Library Journal.
The Kansas City Public Library is one of 21 nationwide recipients to receive a $100,000 grant to help launch a two-year program aimed at improving financial literacy.
We have partnered with the Women's Employment Network and other local agencies to provide a range of services, including workshops, web resources, and individual financial coaching, to residents who are looking to enhance their money-managing skills but may lack access to reliable, unbiased education opportunities and resources. The Money Matters Workshop Series is projected intended to reach hundreds of residents in areas most in need served by our North-East, Bluford, and Southeast Branches.
Currently, workshops are being held at these three locations and we are looking to expand to local area community centers, social services agencies, and religious facilities. The Money Matters Workshops will cover banking, budgeting, credit management, and protection against identity theft.
The Women's Employment Network and other financial opportunity centers will also offer free individual financial coaching sessions to workshop participants. The Money Matters Workshop Series and coaching are open to anyone but specifically targeting: