Make a New Discovery in the New Year at the Plaza Branch

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

In a city with so much to offer, it’s not uncommon for even lifelong residents to discover a new service, museum, or group of enthusiastic hobbyists. But knowing how to make that discovery can be as hard as looking up a word you don’t know how to spell.

On January 27, from 1 - 3 p.m., the Library’s Plaza Branch will host about 20 people and organizations offering Kansas Citians that starting place.

For instance, Community Engagement Librarian Haley Lips says, “I'm interested in the backyard chicken expert, Vonnie Fisher, that's coming. She’ll have information about Kansas City chicken ordinances and other useful information for folks interested in having chickens.”

Lips and Kelsey Bates, the Library’s teen services coordinating librarian, were inspired by Lawrence Public Library’s successful How-To Festival.

While Kansas City’s event will offer a few instructional activities such as how to create a zine, how to meditate, how to mend clothing, and a collaborative ceramic carving station, it’ll also showcase informational tables from organizations like the Humane Society, the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium, and Linda Hall Library.

“Linda Hall Library will bring Disruptus, a game of innovation and invention, and share about their extensive collections and current exhibition,” Bates says.

“Also, the National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, right down the street, will be here. It’s just letting people know all these things exist within our city,” Lips adds.

She and Bates say they saw this event as an opportunity to further relationships with and showcase the knowledge of groups and individuals they’re currently working with or have worked with in the past. For instance, Lips hosts a monthly Death Café where participants gather to talk about subjects related to death and dying.

“There's a growing number of end-of-life doulas that attend my Death Café, so I reached out to a couple of them to see if they'd be interested in tabling,” Lips says.

A lesser-known occupation, a death doula is similar to a doula who works with couples expecting a child but smooths the process of leaving this world rather than entering it.

Several Library departments and programs will also participate.

The Southeast Branch’s Digital Media Lab will bring remote control cars and Sphero robots they use to teach teens coding. Colleagues from the Irene H. Ruiz Branch will talk about their Seed Library.

“The event is an opportunity for people to discover something they might not have thought about before. Maybe by coming for one thing, that will snowball into other interests,” Lips says. “Usually, when we do programming, it's very focused on one thing, so this is a buffet of sorts.”

The following is a partial list of participants: