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The Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City

4.5
#41 of 79 in Things to do in Kansas City
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
159 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The Library is large, airy, very well organised. It is home to not just books but music and art. The Library targets all walks of life and ages with a very impressive childrens' section. Don't forget ...  more »
  • This is a very large, very organized and very well-kept place open to all walks of life! From the many books, music and movie information to genealogy then to historical readings and posters to a roof...  more »
  • I've been to this library a few times for author talks and have always enjoyed it. It's a beautiful building.  more »
Google
  • This library is so beautiful and has a vast collection of books. Don't be afraid to ask the librarians for help - it's a big place! And definitely check out the roof if weather permits.
  • We visited every floor, I had so much fun. The underground vault mini theatre is so cute. They show movies on Saturdays and were going to show Jackie Brown that week.
  • A real blessing in our midst. Staff friendly and helpful, and the staff at the Research Desk more and more so! I love how all visitors are treated with equal respect.
  • This library is overall quite wonderful, save for one fairly significant concern. The building is magnificent, the selection is great, the additional facilities are top-notch, and staff seem generally enthused to help and accommodate every patron. Unfortunately, all of these positives are hampered by a fairly important contributing factor for any library: unchecked noise. I frequently visit here to work and study in quiet, but lately that has become very difficult due to an array of substantial distractions. It has become all too common to hear children screaming, or an hour-long conversation on speakerphone, or - and I promise I'm not making this up - someone using the perimeter as a walking track and blasting Spotify from their phone rather than putting in headphones. Of course, the real solution is for patrons to find some self-awareness and step outside if they need to make a lot of noise, but I would imagine that idea would be filed under "Fantasy" here at the Central branch. Maybe new policies need to be created, or a pointed effort spurred by those in the position to enforce those policies that already exist, but the environment is often far, far from study-friendly. Ironically, as I write this on the 4th Floor (a floor labeled specifically as a "Quiet Study" area), there's a lively conversation about fifteen feet away, a couple playing "Lollipop" over their iPhone loudspeaker, and a young infant screaming bloody murder around the corner. Of course, plenty of parents need to bring their children along to the library, and I have no more right to be here as any other person, but that should be on the condition of the super-simple, universal courtesy of keeping noise to a minimum in a library. In short: bring a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Only the loudest interruptions will pierce through. *** As a sidenote, to the reviewers who think the homeless are "dirtying up their library", please go look up the definition of a "public service". That means *everyone* deserves equal access. Yes, I'll agree that everyone has to abide by the rules as well - that's the crux of my point - but the complaints on here are simply phobic and ostracizing of the homeless patrons. In fact, counter to those reviewers, I'd go so far as to say the homeless are some of the last patrons here that I would implicate in making it a noisy environment. If you're going to insist on blaming a specific group, it's generally students, self-aggrandizing parents, and others with no personal awareness who cause the most distractions to their fellow patrons. As an example (and because it makes me feel a little better to publicly shame them, I'll admit), I've attached a pic of the two obnoxious *students* (notice the backpacks, textbooks, and UMKC gear? i.e.: not homeless folks) who were playing music over their phones for >1 hour. Have some compassion, or at least some respect.
  • Massive library, a great public area.

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Where to stay in Kansas City

If you want to sample the city’s nightlife, consider a hotel in the Power and Light District, home to a wide array of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The 39th Street District is a good choice for those on vacation who prefer quirky independent venues. The city boasts an array of cozy bed and breakfasts both within and on the outskirts of the city. Those with access to a car can enjoy Kansas City on a budget by staying at a nearby campground or RV park.
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