50 years of friendship and service

UMKC Friends of the Library is a dedicated group of volunteers and donors who provide support and strengthen the collections, services and programming at the UMKC University Libraries. We are excited to continue celebrating this group’s 50th Anniversary throughout 2015, and hope you are able to join us for some of the festivities. 


The Guest Cottage

Book Talk and Signing with Nancy Thayer

Join us on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 at 6:00pm for a special event as part of the Friends of the Library 50th Anniversary Celebrations and UMKC Founders’ Week.

That evening, the Friends of the Library portFOLio series & UMKC College of Arts & Sciences will present New York Times best-selling author and UMKC alumna Nancy Thayer for a special reception, book talk and signing. Thayer has penned 23 novels and her works have been translated into numerous languages.

Nancy Thayer will give a special talk about her new book The Guest Cottage in the UMKC Bloch Executive Hall Auditorium.  Books will be available for purchase and attendees will have a special opportunity to get autographs.


Tuesday, September 29th | 6:00 p.m.

Reception | Bloch Executive Hall, Room 331

Followed by:

Book Talk and Signing | Bloch Executive Hall, Room 218

Registration required.
Click here to register for this event

Click here to learn more about Nancy Thayer and this event

"A Mystic Bond..." Interactive Sound Exhibit
June 12 - Aug. 30

Kansas Artist Joseph Keehn, II is currently displaying his original artworks, “A Mystic Bond of Brotherhood Makes All Men One,” now – Aug. 30 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Miller Nichols Library, second floor, 800 E. 51st St., Kansas City, Mo.

Keehn’s artworks is based on third spaces, places where people spend their “third-most” amount of time. Work and home are often the first two spaces. Grounded in performance and queer culture, Keehn examines the notions of place, asking how public areas such as bars, libraries and parks act as third, shared spaces for his gay community.

Audio recordings, displayed as children’s board books, of queer discussions in bars in the greater Kansas City area are motion activated by patrons walking by in the stacks of the Miller Nichols Library. An original score of Heartland Men’s Chorus members’ voices inspired by the once “cruising loop” of Liberty Memorial Park, plays as patrons walk out of the second floor elevator. While listening to the audio mash-up, patrons are invited to share their stories by responding to the prompt “I realized ‘it’ mattered when…” These responses are added to a book that is also on view.

A closing reception/meet the artist event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Aug. 27 in Miller Nichols Library Room 202 A. This reception is free and open to the public.

Keehn is an artist, curator, and writer, born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. His conceptually driven projects have combined text, images, videos and performances to address issues of conventional norms, history and power structures. Support for this work is provided by a Rocket Grants project award, a program of the Charlotte Street Foundation, and the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art. Funding is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. For more information about the artist and exhibit please visit us at http://library.umkc.edu/blog/news-blog/node/202.
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) was the only structure left standing in the area where the first
atomic bomb exploded on Aug. 6, 1945. The dome has been preserved in the same state as immediately after
the bombing as a stark, powerful symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humankind; it also expresses
hope for world peace and the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

“Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 70 Years Beyond
the Bombings”

Aug. 7 - Oct. 4

To explore the tragic costs of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings 70 years ago, and of the care and feeding of nuclear arsenals since then, PeaceWorks is sponsoring the exhibit, “Hiroshima-Nagasaki: 70 Years Beyond the Bombings” in the Link Gallery on the Ground Floor of the Miller Nichols Library.

You’re invited to join us for the opening reception on Thursday, Aug. 6, 5:30-7:00pm. The reception will be hosted in the IX Theater in Miller Nichols Gallery, and is free and open to the public.

PeaceWorks appreciates a generous contribution from PSR to help make the exhibit and presentations possible.

UMKC to host Latino Americans Film Series

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will host a series of events focused on Latino-American history, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The series, hosted by University Libraries in collaboration with the faculty in the Latina/Latino Studies program, follows a similar format to an NEH-funded series on the Civil Rights era hosted by the library in 2014. The 2015-16 series, Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association (ALA), is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: Humanities in the Public Square.

Four discussion forums are scheduled for Sept. 2015 through April 2016, with three of the sessions including a showing of a chapter from the six-part Latino Americans: 500 Years of History film series. The full series is available online at http://www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/watch-videos/#2365075996.

The fourth session will include a presentation on the Samora Legacy Archive, recently added to the Miller Nichols Library’s LaBudde Special Collections. The Samora Legacy Archive contains the papers of Dr. Julian Samora, who is considered one of the founding fathers of Latino studies in the United States.

UMKC is one of only two institutions in Missouri, and 203 nationwide, to be included in the Latino Americans project by the NEH.

The schedule of events for the UMKC series:

  • Sept. 10, 2015 | 1:30-3:30 p.m., Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery, 915 W. 17th St., Kansas City, Mo. The discussion will be led by Miguel Carranza, Ph.D., director of Latina/Latino studies at UMKC, with guest scholar Gene Chavez, Ph.D., an expert in the history of Latinos in Kansas City. The series episode Empire of Dreams will be screened.
  • Nov. 14, 2015 | 1:30-3:30 p.m., National World War I Museum, 100 W 26th St., Kansas City, Mo. The discussion will be led by Norma Cantú, Ph.D., UMKC professor of Latina/Latino Studies and English. The series episode War and Peace will be screened, followed by a panel discussing the experience of Latinas/Latinos in various American wars. The program will also incorporate oral histories done by Latina/Latino Studies students from UMKC.
  • Feb. 4, 2016 | 5-7 p.m., UMKC Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center, 800 E. 51st St., Kansas City, Mo. John Valadez, director of the Latino Americans film series, will be the guest speaker and will talk about the making of the series after the showing of the episode Prejudice and Pride. Cantú will be the discussion leader.
  • April 16, 2016 | 5-7pm, UMKC Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center. Guest speaker Carmen Samora Ph.D., daughter of Julian Samora, will talk about the Samora Legacy Archive. Carranza will be the discussion leader.

Join us for a book discussion

Social Justice Lecture Series Book Discussion
Oct. 14 | 3:00 pm in the UMKC Miller Nichols Library iX Theatre
Push Has Come to Shove, by Dr. Steve Perry – This book, written in a flamboyant and confrontational style by a magnet school principal and frequent CNN contributor on education issues, will provoke readers to actively discuss issues in K-12 education and beyond. Dr. Perry has many issues with the educational system, and he not only airs his grievances but takes no prisoners in advocating and practicing reform in his magnet school environment. In reading it, it is difficult NOT to have a reaction/opinion to what Dr. Perry proposes in his call to action. Join us for what is expected to be a spirited discussion!
UMKC Women’s Center / UMKC Libraries Book Discussion
Nov. 4 | 12:00 pm in UMKC Miller Nichols Library, room 303
Americanah, by MacArthur fellow Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This book was selected based upon the response and reaction received after our discussion of Adichie’s first novel, Purple Hibiscus. Many participants asked that we also discuss her new book, Americanah! Americanah presents the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian immigrant to the United States striving, with difficulty, to find her way to economic security and through the confusing racial social mores of her new home. As an outlet, she blogs about the United States’ “Racial Disorder Syndrome” and becomes wildly popular on the Internet. According to the Booklist review, author Adichie “…is a word-by-word virtuoso with a sure grasp of the social conundrums in Nigeria, East Coast America, and England; an omnivorous eye for resonant detail; a gift for authentic characters; pyrotechnic wit; and deep humanitarianism.”

And the winner is....

Congratulations Adrianne DeWeese, the winner of the 2015 UMKC Friends of the Library Scholarship.

Interested in reading her winning essay? Click here.


3rd floor renovation is underway

Construction of the Special Collections and University Archives, 3rd Floor began on Monday, May 4th. This current project includes new, expanded space for the LaBudde Special Collections and University Archives being built on the 3rd floor. Adding more reader space and a new gallery for exhibits, this will bring library users in contact with primary resource materials. The 3rd floor renovation project is supported by funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

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