Adult Summer Reading: Events & Activities

The Library offers a regular lineup of signature events, branch programs and activities, movie screenings, and more. We've highlighted a handful of summer events that connect with this year's Rock & Read theme.

For family, teens, and children's events, click here.

The Songwriter in You – Part 1: SongLab

Tuesday, June 19   |   11:30 a.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
RSVP online   |   816.701.3407

Songwriting can be a solitary exercise. It can be a collaboration. Or it can be what the popular Kansas City pop-jazz duo Victor & Penny (Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane) make it: a community experience.

For part one of a two-day Songwriter in You activity, the musicians will visit the Central Library, setting up their SongLab in Kirk Hall over a long lunch hour. During this time, Victor & Penny invite patrons to submit ideas and words to fold into verse, either in-person or via social media . From those contributions, Victor & Penny will craft an original song.

Then on Thursday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Library's Plaza Branch, the musicians will take part in a public conversation about their work as professional musicians, followed by a live performance of the song they created based on input collected during Tuesday's SongLab.

The Songwriter in You – Part 2: Making Music

Thursday, June 21   |   6:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
RSVP online   |   816.701.3407

In the second part of a two-day Songwriter in You program, Kansas City pop-jazz duo Victor & Penny discuss their work as professional musicians in a public conversation, followed by a live performance of a song they created based on input gathered from the public at the Central Library on Tuesday, June 19, during the duo's signature SongLab session.

A Look Back at Rockville: Great Moments in Kansas City Concerts

Thursday, July 19   |   6:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
RSVP online   |   816.701.3407

Local music critic Tim Finn, formerly with The Kansas City Star, discusses some of Kansas City's best and most significant music moments (including some of Finn's personal favorites). From national touring acts to homegrown musicians, Finn highlights concerts, shows, and encounters from our city's music scene. From Patsy Cline's final performance and the Beatles' one and only local appearance to the three-day world premiere of The Jacksons Victory Tour, Finn revisits some of Cowtown's most memorable concerts.

A Perfectly Good Guitar: Musicians on Their Favorite Instruments

Tuesday, July 31   |   6:30 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
RSVP online   |   816.701.3407

Every guitarist has a six-string story. They tell tales of their first guitar, guitars lost or stolen, and guitars that chose the musician. Professional photographer and music lover Chuck Holley illustrates these musical memories with his book of full color portraits of the musicians and their beloved instruments.

Summer Reading Wrap Party

Friday, August 10   |   6 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
RSVP online   |   816.701.3481

It's the Adult Summer Reading after-party! Join Library staff for an evening of music trivia, book-related fun, door prizes, food, and more! Meet new readers and talk about your favorite Rock & Read selections.

2018 Off-the-Wall Film Series: Summer Cinema Mixtape

This year's FREE Library rooftop summer film series includes an eccentric playlist of comedies with song-centric storylines. Music-filled movies feature prep-school rockers, gangsta rappers, collegiate a cappella competitors, a young couple scouring the city for an elusive band, and a golden-throated carnivorous plant.

Third Fridays, May through September
FREE Admission   |   Doors open at 8 p.m.   |   Screenings: 8:45 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.   |   Rooftop Terrace, 5th Floor

RSVP for each event by visiting or by calling 816.701.3407

Film Screenings:

May 18: School of Rock (2003, 1 h 49 m, PG-13)
June 15: CB4 (1993, 1 h 29 m, R)
July 20: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008, 1 h 30 m, PG-13)
August 17: Little Shop of Horrors (1986, 1h 43 m, PG-13)
September 21: Pitch Perfect (2012, 1 h 52 m, PG-13)

Co-presented by the Young Friends of the Library. Enjoy complimentary popcorn provided by the Friends of the Library. Sample some locally brewed ales and lagers courtesy of KC Bier Co.

More about the 2018 series >

Read It / Watch It Discussion Group

Join Library staff for a film screening and conversation centered on a cinematic adaptation of a book that fits the Rock & Read theme.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
Book by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Film: 2008, 1 h 30 m, PG-13
Friday, July 20   |   7:30 p.m.
Discussion: Central Library Coffee Shop
Off-the-Wall Film screening follows on the Rooftop Terrace

RSVP required   |   Call 816.701.3683 or email

This year's Read It / Watch It precedes the July 20 Off-the-Wall Film presentation. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the source book prior to the discussion. This discussion is open to both adults and teens.