Harold Washington Library Free Author Lectures
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.
Poetry East 40th Anniversary celebration with Richard Jones and Miles Harvey Wednesday, April 21, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM
A special celebration of Poetry East’s 40th Anniversary. Watch live on CPL’s YouTube channel and CPL’s Facebook page. You’ll be able to ask questions during the event. Watch later on CPL YouTube channel.
The Poop Diaries with Abby Ross Wednesday, April 21, 2021 6:30PM – 7:30PM Register
Author gives us an inside look into toilets and pipes that get clogged with unimaginable things and tales from the plumber’s perspective.
Chicagoski: Writers on Polish Chicago Monday, May 3, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Register
In honor of Polish Constitution Day, Chicago Public Library will be hosting a virtual program with Polish authors Stuart Dybek, Thomas Dyja, John Guzlowski, and Dominic Pacyga.
Author Kathey Porter Thursday, May 6, 2021 6:00PM – 7:30PM Register
Author will be discussing her book 50 Billion Dollar Boss. She is a nationally recognized small business strategist and supplier diversity expert.
Some Like It Short: Story Writers Read and Celebrate Short Story Month Wednesday, May 12, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Register
A Short Story Month Celebration with four writers with recent books – Patricia Ann McNair, Kate Wisel, Rachel Swearingen, and Alex Poppe.
Author Joseph Gustaitis, Chicago in 50 Objects Thursday, May 13, 2021 6:30PM – 7:30PM Register
Author of Chicago in 50 Objects, explores Chicago’s history through fifty objects, including a Harold Washington campaign button, stockyard knives and more. The author invites participants to bring their own significant objects to share with the group.
The Art of Road to Infamy Games Monday, June 7, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Register
A local board game developer discusses the importance of art and design in a board game.
Harold Washington Library Free Author Lecture Series – How to Attend
This event takes place on Zoom. Only one registration per household is needed. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting about 24 hours before the meeting. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.
This event uses a third-party website. We recommend you review the privacy policies of any third-party sites before providing them with any personal data. For more information, please see our Website Privacy Statement.
Questions about attending online events? Check out our Events FAQs.
Need captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4015. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.
Harold Washington Library Free Author Lectures – Related
About the Chicago Public Library
1871: After the Chicago Fire, Thomas Hughes, a member of British Parliament organized the donation of 8,000+ books to Chicago. Chicago citizens petitioned 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 Illinois. In April, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance establishing the 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 (you request a book and they delivered it via horse-drawn carriage it to a set location) served Chicago’s neighborhoods mostly in stores. This accounted for two-thirds of the circulation of the Chicago Public Library by the early 1900’s.
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 fireproof. Preston Bradley Hall, contains a dome and hanging lamps by Tiffany Glass.
1904: Isabella N. Blackstone (the widow of a wealthy president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad from 1864 to 1899) donated 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 created a library plan calling for an network of neighborhood library locations. The plan included 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(book shelver) 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 Norwood Park, 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.