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What's your KC Q graphic

With the Chiefs hanging up their cleats until next fall, Kansas City sports fans turn their attention to the beginning of Royals spring training. As part of our ongoing What’s Your KC Q? collaboration with the Kansas City Star, we’re asking for your questions about Kansas City’s long history with America’s pastime.

image of Black History Month films
From classic literature to contemporary cinema, the Library offers a number of ways to discover stories celebrating the African American experience. As we commemorate Black History Month, check out a selection of recommended books and browse the collection of documentaries and films available through the free Kanopy streaming service. 
 
What's your KC Q graphic

A recent What’s Your KC Q? submission asked us to explain the odd, seemingly arbitrary state line between Kansas and Missouri as it passes through the West Bottoms. The asker describes himself as a geography nerd with an interest in maps who’s always wondered why the Missouri border doesn’t extend to the Kansas River. When you look at it, the line does seem strange. Just to the north, the state line begins following the more obvious Missouri River. Why not just push the line a few hundred yards west to make things nice and neat? Seems like a no-brainer.

Each year, the Library partners with the Local Investment Commission (LINC) and the Black Archives of Mid-America to produce a series of Black History Month materials celebrating the legacies and accomplishments of notable African-Americans from the Kansas City area. The individuals featured in the 2019 series all helped break down barriers in our community, elevating and inspiring others then and now.
Each year, the Library partners with the Local Investment Commission (LINC) and the Black Archives of Mid-America to produce a series of Black History Month materials celebrating the legacies and accomplishments of notable African-Americans from the Kansas City area. The individuals featured in the 2019 series all helped break down barriers in our community, elevating and inspiring others then and now. Read on to learn more about their achievements.
 
Library Exhibit Explores Messages of Mass Incarceration
Kansas City artist Benjamin Wills’ outreach to inmates began with letters of support to two acquaintances serving prison terms. Wills wrote to more men and women in confinement, becoming increasingly fascinated by their stories and common struggles with abandonment, lost identity, and sadness. When one sent him a paper airplane laden with messages, it inspired a unique project: the exhibit Airplanes, currently on display in the Central Library’s Guldner Gallery.
 
Arrowhead Stadium


The excitement at Arrowhead Stadium during the divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts got Tom Solon to wondering how the stadium got its name. “I’ve always thought it was an awesome name for a stadium,” Solon writes to KCQ, a recurring feature in which The Kansas City Star, in partnership with the Kansas City Public Library, answers readers’ questions. Read on for the back story on the naming of the stadium.
 

New York Times online
KC Library card holders now have another way to get the latest news about what's happening in our world – without a paywall. Digital access to The New York Times is now a part the Library's growing collection of free online resources.
 
What's your KC Q? The River Quay

The name River Quay (pronounced “key”) harkens back to the settlement of fur trader François Chouteau, who established a landing post in the 1820s near today’s River Market. Quay, a word of Old French origin meaning “loading platform” or “wharf,” was used to describe the natural rock ledge that served as a landing place for steamboats delivering cargo to the burgeoning towns of Westport and Independence.

In the spirit of service embodied by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the Library’s AmeriCorps VISTA Project is collecting donations of travel-size personal care items for a Hygiene Kit Drive. Between January 2 - 16, 2019,  visit any Kansas City Public Library location and bring supplies to drop off in dedicated boxes. Donated materials will be assembled into kits that will be given to individuals experiencing homelessness.
In the spirit of service embodied by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the Library’s AmeriCorps VISTA Project is collecting donations of travel-size personal care items for a Hygiene Kit Drive. Between January 2 - 16, 2019,  visit any Kansas City Public Library location and bring supplies to drop off in dedicated boxes. Donated materials will be assembled into kits that will be given to individuals experiencing homelessness.
 
New Year Resources
With the beginning of a new year comes the renewed commitment to shake up our usual routines. We tell ourselves we’re going to learn a new skill, take a class or two, strive to get exposed to diverse and different ideas, make healthier choices, take risks in personal and professional lives… an ambitious list of life-changing activities. Luckily, the Library is an ideal starting point to help you turn your New Year’s resolutions into real results.
 
What happened to the snowman that was displayed in Gillham Park?

Driving around Kansas City in late December this year, you’d be hard pressed to spot any snow, let alone a humongous snowman. Yet, if you could take a step back to the winter of 1964 you would see one towering high over Gillham Park. Frosty was designed that year by Vernon Jones, the Kansas City Parks Department’s then-supervisor. Each year, Frosty, Santa, toy soldiers and other displays visited the park just south of Gillham Road and 39th Street at Christmas time as part of Santa’s Wonderland.
 

Creativebug Helps Your Build Your Craft Skills

The Library is thinking of offering a new free service which provides more than 1,000 videos that teach you arts & crafts, design, cooking, painting, and more. We need you to test drive it, and all you need is your library card!
 

New Device? The Library Can Help You Make the Most of It.
Planning to give (or get) tech-themed presents such as computers, tablets, or smartphones this holiday season? The Library provides an extra boost to your gift-giving or gift-getting by offering many free services and resources to make the most of new devices.
 

UPDATED Question: What happened to all the Christmas decorations that used to be downtown, particularly the crowns strung across the streets with garland?

In our first response to this question, I reported that the Merchants Association began displaying crowns at busy downtown intersections in 1957. Thanks to an observant reader with a special connection to the crowns, I now realize that this date is incorrect. In fact, evidence points to the crowns first being installed in 1962.

Union Station postcard

Question: How did “Union Station” get its name and why do so many other older railroad stations have that name?

It’s true that Kansas City’s Union Station doesn’t have a unique name. In fact, I found a similar question had been addressed by The Smithsonian Magazine in November 2017. The author explains that the term “union station” was used in the 19th and 20th centuries to indicate a hub in which multiple railroad companies operated. For example, you could enter a union station via a train on a small regional line and then switch to a larger national line to continue your journey. By today’s standards, it would be like changing airlines during a layover at an airport.

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