50 Years of Friendship

UMKC Friends of the Library is dedicated to providing needed community support to strengthen collections and services offered by the UMKC University Libraries. Since the organization's founding in 1965, it has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for collections in UMKC’s Dental, Health Sciences, Miller Nichols, and Music/Media Libraries, through members' annual gift and through the individual gifts and bequests made by the organization's generous donors.

UMKC Friends of the Library is a tremendous group of volunteers and donors dedicated to supporting and strengthening the UMKC University Libraries, and we are excited to celebrate its 50th Anniversary throughout 2015. 


To kick off 2015, Miller Nichols Library hosted HEMISPHERES: Sound Photographs from Madagascar in the Miller Nichols Library Dean's Gallery. This exquisite exhibit was brought to us by Unbound.

The next event in celebration of 50 years of the Friends of the Library celebration, and as part of the portFOLio series, will include a book signing and talk with Bambi Nancy Shen, a WWII concentration camp survivor and the 2014 recipient of the UMKC Defying the Odds Alumni Award. Read more about this event below.

As the year progresses, please be on the lookout for more information regarding additional celebratory events, and the exhibit “50 Years of Giving.”  This exhibit will feature the rich history of the Friends of the Library, and the many gifts it has given to the UMKC University Libraries over the last 5 decades. “50 Years of Giving” will be on exhibit in the Miller Nichols Library starting next fall.

The Uncrushable Rose

Book Talk and Signing by Bambi Nancy Shen

Please join us, on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 at 6:30pm, as part of the Friends of the Library 50th Anniversary Celebrations.  That evening, the portFOLio series will present Bambi Nancy Shen discussing her book and hosting a book signing in Miller Nichols Learning Center in the Jeannette Nichols Forum, 1st floor.  The event is free and open to the public, and there will be reception to follow.


April 8th, 6:30 p.m.

Miller Nichols Learning Center
800 East 51st Street, Kansas City, MO.

For more information, contact Ashely Davis by email or at 816-235-1531

About The Uncrushable Rose: A Memoir from Concentration Camp to Becoming a Free Woman

The Uncrushable Rose is a moving memoir, telling the story of a girl born in 1939 to a Chinese diplomat father who instilled in her a will to thrive in the face of any circumstances.

Author Bambi Nancy Shen paints vivid portraits of the concentration camps she lived in during World War II, her trying relationship with her mother, and the strength of the human spirit.

Bambi's story is that of a courageous and spiritual Chinese woman. Throughout her memoir she warmly shares her journey, filled with valuable life lessons of self-empowerment and freedom.

Operation iPad

On March 2nd, the UMKC University Libraries launched Operation iPad, its first ever online crowd-funding campaign.

The focus of this campaign is to help meet some of the demands of an ever-changing library. Many academic libraries provide the most current databases, journals and additional resources solely in electronic formats. These e-resources can be accessed by students and faculty from any computer or mobile device with Internet access.

The challenge is that not all students can afford to purchase an iPad of their own. That’s why University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries launched the crowd-funding project, Operation iPad. The fundraising goal is $5,000. Contributions in any amount will go toward the purchase of software and iPads that can be checked out.

The initial service will provide iPads at the Miller Nichols Library on the Volker Campus. If they surpass the fundraising goal, the project will either be expanded at Miller Nichols Library or extended to the Dental and Health Sciences libraries on the Hospital Hill campus.

For more information, please check out the project at https://launch.umkc.edu/operationipad.  If you cannot donate, you can still show your support and help by spreading the word on social media. Please share the link to Operation iPad via email and social media.

Thank you for your support!


KCUR and GLAMA@UMKC will bring StoryCorps OutLoud to Kansas City

On March 12 in front of more than 700 people at the UMKC Pride breakfast, Nico Leone, general manager at KCUR, announced the station will be bringing the national storytelling project StoryCorps to Kansas City.  In partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA) at UMKC, located in LaBudde Special Collections in the Miller Nichols Library, KCUR and StoryCorps will capture the stories of the LGBTQ community in the Kansas City metro this June. 

StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud will honor the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrate the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplify the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record. The end result will be a diverse collection of stories that will enrich our national and local history.

Stories will be aired locally on KCUR, archived at GLAMA@UMKC and the Library of Congress, and some may be aired nationally on NPR.  If you want to help us understand issues of concern to the LGBTQ community, connect us to potential sources for our reporting or share your story through StoryCorps OutLoud June 10-13, click here

African American

On Tuesday, February 24th in the Miller Nichols: IX Theater, the University Libraries hosted the African American Read-In, for the 6th time. This event was hosted by Tracey Hughes, Tom Burns, Ashley Davis and Liz Johnson, and sponsored by both the UMKC University Libraries and the Friends of the Library. 

This moving event showcased book excerpts, original poetry and prose, vocal performances and dramatic interpretations that celebrated African American literary traditions. Please join us next year!

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