Harold Washington Library Free Author Lecture Series.
Where: Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street,
Most events at Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Lower Level. Schedule subject to change or cancellation. Always call to confirm or check the CPL website. Seating is available first come, first served.
Author Jonathan Eig discusses “Ali: A Life” Tuesday, January 9, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:30PM)
Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium will open at 5 p.m. and seating is available first come, first served.
Mr. Eig’s biography contains detailed new research specially commissioned for this book to create a portrait of one of the most significant personalities of the second half of the twentieth century. Be inside the ring for some of the most famous bouts in boxing history, learn about his personal life, his finances, his faith and the physical decline.
Jonathan Eig is a former writer for The Wall Street Journal and the author of several books, including Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season.
Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Author Todd Mayfield discusses Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield Wed, January 17, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:30PM)
Todd Mayfield is Curtis Mayfield’s second-oldest son. Born into dire poverty, raised in the slums of Chicago, Curtis became a musical prodigy as a singer and songwriter. In the 1960s Curtis opened his own label and production company and worked with many top artists, including the Staple Singers.
Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium will open at 5pm and seating is available first come, first served. Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Author Anne Elizabeth Moore discusses Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes Tues, January 30, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:15PM)
Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the global toll of capitalism on women with research and humor. Every day, heinous acts are perpetrated on women’s bodies in the political economy—whether for entertainment, in the guise of medicine, or due to the conditions of labor that propel consumerism. The essays range from probing journalistic investigations, such as Moore’s reporting on the labor conditions of the Cambodian garment industry, to Moore’s experiences seeking medical care in the complicated and problematic American healthcare system.
Doors to the Reception Hall open at 5 p.m. and seating is available first come, first served (80 max.). Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Author Christopher Robert Reed discusses “Black Chicago’s First Century: 1833-1900” Tue, February 20, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:15PM)
Mr Reed provides the first comprehensive study of an African American population in nineteenth-century Chicago. Reed’s study covers the first one hundred years of African American settlement and achievements in the Chicago, encompassing a range of activities and events that span the antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction periods.
The author takes us from a time when black Chicago provided both workers and soldiers for the Union cause to the ensuing decades that saw the rise and development of a stratified class structure and growth in employment, politics, and culture.
Doors to the Reception Hall will open at 5 p.m. and seating is available first come, first served (80 max.). Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Author Mark Bailey discusses “Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, and Artists Who Helped Build America” Wed, March 7, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:30PM)
Mark Bailey is an author and Emmy-nominated screenwriter. He joins us to discuss his new book titled Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, and Artists Who Helped Build America (available in March 2018).
Through the battles they fought, the cases they argued, the novels they wrote, and the lives they touched, these nine Irish men and women not only became American, but helped make our nation what it is today.
Mr. Bailey’s book is an anthology of nine Irish immigrants as written by nine contemporary Irish Americans. For instance, Rosie O’Donnell tells the story of Margaret Haughery, known as “Mother of the Orphans” and filmmaker and activist Michael Moore writes about the original muckraking journalist, Samuel McClure. Some of the figures profiled are well known, others are just inspiring.
Seating in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium is available first come, first served. Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Author Mary Wisniewski discusses “Algren: A Life” Thurs, March 15, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:30PM)
Ms. Wisniewski book offers a deeper portrait. Nelson Algren beyond the radical, womanizing writer of The Man with the Golden Arm
One of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century, Algren lived an outsider’s life, spent a month in prison for the theft of a typewriter; earned him a lengthy FBI dossier; and he spent much of his life palling around with the drug addicts, prostitutes, and poor laborers who inspired and populated his novels and short stories.
Author Dick Simpson discusses “The Good Fight: Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive” Wed, March 21, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:15PM)
Mr. Simpson’s passion for democracy and justice earned him a place in line at a 1960 civil rights stand-in, a top spot in Eugene McCarthy’s presidential run, and four grueling campaigns for Chicago alderman and U.S. Congress. This progressive Chicago politician shares his struggles to bring about change for good.
Seating in the Reception Hall is available first come, first served (80 max.). Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
About the Chicago Public Library
1871: After the Chicago Fire, Thomas Hughes, a prominent member of British Parliament and children’s author supports a plan to donate more than 8,000 books to Chicago.
Chicago citizens petition for a free public library. Previous libraries were private membership-only organizations. The Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library Center is named after Thomas Hughes
1872: The Illinois Library Act of 1872, authorized cities to establish tax-supported libraries throughout the state. In April, the City Council passed an ordinance proclaiming the establishment of Chicago Public Library.
1873: The Chicago Public Library opens at the southeast corner of LaSalle and Adams streets in a circular water tank that survived the fire. The library moved several times during its first 24 years, including an 11-years on the fourth floor of City Hall.
1874: A delivery station system of outposts served Chicago’s neighborhoods mostly in stores. Patrons could call for a book, which was delivered by horse-drawn carriage to the outpost nearest their home.
By the early 1900s deposit stations accounted for two-thirds of the circulation of the Chicago Public Library.
1897: October 11, the Central Library, on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph streets, opens in what is now the Chicago Cultural Center. The building cost about $2 million, was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge.
The building was designed to be practically incombustible. Preston Bradley Hall, contains a dome and hanging lamps by Tiffany Glass.
1904: Isabella N. Blackstone donates funds to construct the first branch library, located in the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods. The library was modeled after the famous Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
1916: Chief Librarian Henry E. Legler presented a library plan calling for an network of neighborhood library locations to bring library service within the walking distance for every person in Chicago.
The plan called for several regional libraries with more comprehensive collections. The first regional library, the Henry E. Legler Regional Library, opened in 1920 in West Garfield Park.
1918: Carl B. Roden, who began work as a library page in 1886, was appointed chief librarian. Over 32 years (1918-1950) he increased staff, holdings, circulation and total expenditures exponentially.
The Carl B. Roden Branch in the Norwood Park neighborhood, where he resided, is named in his honor.
1960s: CPL added a significant number of neighborhood branch libraries, via new construction or leasing storefronts or reading rooms. By 1985, there were 76 branches.
1991: The new main library the Harold Washington Library Center opened October 7.
1995: Chicago Public Library established its website.
1996: A three-year, $65 million capital improvement plan begins building or renovating 52 neighborhood libraries.
2000: $44 million in neighborhood library construction begins.