Spotlight Series

Explore regional history with our Spotlight Series, which brings three engaging talks from local speakers and authors to our Newport Branch.

All of the talks take place at the Newport Branch on Thursdays at 7 pm. Registration is required for each program in the series. Email Amy Carroll at with any questions.

Aug. 10: Cincinnati Scavenger with Kathy and John Witt

Enjoy a fun slideshow presentation from Kathy and John Witt, the author/photographer duo behind Cincinnati Scavenger. The book encourages readers to explore various Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods (including seven in Northern Kentucky). Learn how to use the book, about the woman who invented scavenger hunts, Elsa Maxwell, the publishing process and more. 

Kathy will also talk about Cincinnati Scavenger‘s companion book, Secret Cincinnati.




Aug. 17: ‘Senators of Kentucky’ with Paul L. Whalen

Sixty-six men have represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky since 1792. Paul L. Whalen explores each and every one of those senators through his book of biographical essays, Profiles of Kentucky’s United States Senators. At the event, Whalen will touch on a few of those senators. 




Aug. 31: ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ with Emily Bingham

Wrapping up Spotlight Series is another look at Kentucky’s history, specifically its state song. Emily Bingham, author of My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic Song, will discuss the long, strange journey of Stephen Foster’s anthem. The song saw enormous success in the early 1850s. Written by a white man about a Black man being sold downriver and performed for decades by white men in blackface, the song, about longing and pain, was turned upside down and, over time, became a celebration of “happy” plantation life.