More Access to More Ideas: Watch Videos of Past Signature Events Online.

Friday, November 8, 2019
The Library's series of signature events brings nationally known authors, local historians, civic voices, political leaders, and others to Kansas City audiences. While we typically record audio from many of our programs and make them available in our online event archive, many patrons often ask: Will the program be available to watch online?

A number of them are, including videos of presentations by such notable Library speakers as former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, science writer Mary Roach, Nelson Mandela granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, best-selling Vietnam War author Tim O'Brien, and the Fab Five of Netflix's Queer Eye. But that archive has been far from comprehensive. High costs and limited resources prevented the Library from filming most of its programs. 

We're happy to say that is changing. Thanks in part to voters' approval of a modest levy increase in November 2018, the Library has been able to expand resources, shuffle staff, and increase its capacity to record public events for future viewing online.  That will widen community access to our weekly, award-winning lineup of events — and to the speakers, subjects, and ideas they entail.  More and more videos will be available through our online event archive and the Library's YouTube channel.

Whether for the classroom or home viewing, the Library's growing collection of signature event videos offers a number of benefits:
  • The ability to revisit past programs or catch up on those you missed live.
  • The convenience of watching from home — or anywhere with an internet connection — on your own time and at your own pace.
  • Cost-free availability to educators and instructors. 

While not every Library signature event can be filmed — in some cases because of our speakers' use of copyrighted images, music, or video — more programs than ever will be available to view when you want. Subscribe to the Library's YouTube channel to be notified of new content, or visit our event archive to see the latest additions.

In the meantime, here are a few recordings from recent events. 

View all Library events on YouTube >

Signature event archive >
Upcoming signature events >



Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church
Megan Phelps-Roper
October 30, 2019

Megan Phelps-Roper took part in her first Westboro Baptist Church protest at age 5. Granddaughter of the late Fred Phelps, patriarch of the notoriously inflammatory Topeka, Kansas, church, she eventually became its voice on Twitter and one of the congregation’s most visible spokespersons. She was, in her words, “all in” … until doubt arose. Further pause came from a series of thoughtful exchanges with an attorney who would become her husband, and she broke from the church in November 2012.

Phelps-Roper detailed her experiences in a discussion of her new memoir, which offers an intimate, even-handed look at the Westboro church and her decision to stand against the beliefs and people she’d held dearest.

WATCH VIDEO   |  Event details


Smart Growth in Kansas City: How? Where?
Joe Minicozzi, Chuck Marohn, David Warm
October 29, 2019

Which areas offer Kansas City the greatest potential for smart long-term growth? A new fiscal assessment of the city, drawn up by urban planner Joe Minicozzi, offers a guide.

Minicozzi, principle of the North Carolina consulting company Urban3, and Chuck Marohn, a civil engineer, land use planner, and founder of the nonprofit Strong Towns, draw from the report in discussing fiscally responsible development in Kansas City. Strategically targeted investment in our neighborhoods and sensible development patterns can create lasting value. That, in turn, covers infrastructure costs, enables improvements in municipal services, and boosts prosperity.

The discussion, moderated by Mid-America Regional Council Executive Director David Warm, was part of the Library’s Making a Great City series, co-presented by Gould Evans.

WATCH VIDEO   |  Event details


The Lady From the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick
Mallory O'Meara
October 8, 2019

Milicent Patrick made Hollywood history, designing the gilled protagonist of 1954’s Creature From the Black Lagoon. It made her the first (and still only) woman to create a monster for a major motion picture.

For that, she was summarily fired by her jealous Universal Pictures boss. He seized credit for the Creature, and Patrick eventually fell into obscurity—until screenwriter, film producer, and lifelong monster geek Mallory O’Meara came across her photo and story and was moved to research and write The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick. O’Meara discussed her book, which is part fascinating and infuriating biography, part autobiography, part detective story, and part censure of sexism in the male-dominated movie industry.

WATCH VIDEO   |  Event details


Guadalupe Centers at 100
Cris Medina, Crosby Kemper III
October 2, 2019

Amid a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Guadalupe Centers, Inc. – a westside anchor since 1919 – CEO Cris Medina talks with Library Director Crosby Kemper III about its history, its impact on Kansas City’s Latino and Hispanic community, and its future.

WATCH VIDEO   |  Event details


The 2019 State of Black Kansas City
Gwendolyn Grant
September 26, 2019

Four years ago, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City’s assessment of African-American well-being in the city was sobering. From health to social justice, key indicators trended downward. To what extent, if any, have they improved?

President and CEO Gwendolyn Grant led a discussion of the Urban League’s 2019 State of Black Kansas City: Urban Education, Still Separate and Unequal. Its equality index identifies gaps between blacks and whites in education as well as health, social justice, economics, and civic engagement.

WATCH VIDEO   |  Event details


Library Next Chapter graphic
Expanded collection of signature event videos made possible by voters saying YES to the LIBRARY QUESTION in November 2018.