By Jill Draper
After more than two years of online-only meetings and cancelled programs, public libraries in the area are finally offering in-person events, including preschool/family storytimes, activities for kids and teens, book group discussions and special presentations. Here’s a sampling of what’s happening around south KC through June, and information about how to register at the bottom.
MCPL Red Bridge
The zoo comes to the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Red Bridge Branch when Exotics R Us, an animal education institute, brings its collection of unique animals such as tortoises, foxes, monkeys, porcupines, and felines. All ages are invited to visit with the animals and learn about their lifestyles from 3-4 pm June 4.
Later in the month homeowners can get designer tips on creating an enjoyable outdoor living space from Lisa Holiman on June 25 at 11 am, and that same day be transported to the islands as musician Lazell Williams plays steel drum music with a twist of jazz and a slice of reggae, topped off with favorite popular tunes from 2-3 pm.
Also worth noting is a talk on Kansas City’s role in launching the gay liberation movement (2-3 pm June 11), a kids upcycled art project on coral reefs presented by Scraps KC (4:30-5:30 pm June 24) and how to go backpacking, including equipment, map reading and Missouri’s best hiking trails (7-8 pm June 27).
The Whole Person provides resources to people with a wide range of disabilities, and from June 6-July 1 their 2022 Expressions Exhibition celebrating diversity in the arts travels to the Grandview Branch. Browse the exhibit and later in the month
for someone you’d like to honor, like a community hero. Scraps KC sponsors this activity at 6:30-7:30 pm June 28 for ages 10 and up.
What’s a phytochemical? It’s found in fruits and vegetables and is one of the main reasons they’re important for our health. How these chemicals aid the immune system and may help reduce cancer, heart disease and inflammation is explored at 6:30-7:30 pm June 7.
Other events include how Kansas City helped launch the gay liberation movement (3:30-4:30 pm May 28), how the Kansas City Zoo designs exhibits (3:30-4:15 pm June 18 for ages 4 and up), and tech talk (bring questions or share expertise) for adults (6:30 pm June 13).
MCPL Blue Ridge
The library’s summer theme is all things ocean, with kids’ films throughout the month like “The Little Mermaid” and “Muppet Treasure Island,” and for teens, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” Outdoor writer Brent Frazee suggests closer-to-home, budget-friendly vacation spots where families can enjoy outdoor activities without spending a fortune in a presentation from 7-8 pm June 7. Also for adults is a presentation from 2-3 pm June 14 on popular Google apps that you can access for free on your computer.
Programs for kids include how the Kansas City Zoo designs exhibits (10-10:45 am June 8), how to make an ocean in a bottle (3:30-4:15 pm June 10) and how to exercise and eat a balanced diet with KC Chiefs mascot KC Wolf (10-10:45 am June 29).
Kids can practice their reading skills by signing up for a 10-minute slot to read to a therapy dog on second Saturdays, including 10-11:30 am June 11 at the Kansas City Public Library’s Waldo Branch. Teens can take part in Fun Fridays with activities such as game day, tiny art and bookbinding. Events start at 3 pm for ages 12-18. Lego Club for kids and families meets on fourth Thursday afternoons, and various tabletop games are held weekly.
Cass County Library’s Northern Resource Center has both toddler and preschool storytimes (including one session in Spanish), but reading is for adults, too. Check out The Guys Book Club that meets on third Thursdays at 4 pm to discuss general-interest fiction and non-fiction. There’s also the Tea Time Book Club that reads classics at least 50 years old (third Thursdays) and Murder Among Friends that focuses on mysteries (third Tuesdays).