Harold Washington Library Free Author Lecture Series.
Where: Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street,
Most events are in the 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 Conversation: Mikki Kendall Wednesday, February 5, 2020 6:00PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Reception Hall open at 5 p.m., and seating is first come, first served.
Hear an intimate conversation with Jamie Nesbit Golden and author of Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists, Mikki Kendall. Kendall’s forthcoming collection of essays, Hood Feminism: Notes From The Women That A Movement Forgot, will be published by Penguin Random House in February. Amazons, Abolitionist, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights was her first full-length book.
Author David Wallace-Wells: The Uninhabitable Earth Monday, February 10, 2020 6:00PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Auditorium open at 5 p.m., and seating is first come, first served.
Climate expert David Wallace-Wells discusses his book, The Uninhabitable Earth that reveals the dramatically different near-future lives that humans will lead due to the global impacts of the climate crisis. David will be interviewed by Tony Briscoe an environmental reporter with The Chicago Tribune.
Recovering the Lost South Side: Authors Lee Bey and Don Hayner in Conversation Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:00PM – 8:00PM Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium open at 5:30 p.m., and seating is first come, first served.
Chicago authors Lee Bey and Don Hayner present their recent books highlighting the overlooked architecture and history of Chicago’s South Side. Lee Bey is the author of Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side, the first book devoted to the South Side’s rich and unfairly ignored architectural heritage.
Don Hayner is the author of Binga: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker, the definitive full-length biography of Jesse Binga. He rose to wealth and influence as a realtor, and in 1908 he founded the Binga Bank, the first black-owned bank in Chicago.
In their discussion, Bey and Hayner highlight the historical relationship between the decades of disinvestment in the architecture of the South Side and the tragic collapse of Binga’s career.
Season Finale: Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction Wednesday, February 19, 2020 6:00PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Auditorium open at 5:00 p.m., and seating is first come, first served.
Elizabeth Kolbert discusses her book, Field Notes From A Catastrophe. Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland, and visited top scientists, to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. The book brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done, and how we can save our planet.
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.