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.
The Voices of Chicago Theater, 1953-Present Monday, January 6, 2020 6:30PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Video Theater open at 6 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.
Chicago’s theater scene in 1953 consisted primarily of touring shows from New York. But over the following 65 years, the Chicago theater community evolved into a thriving entertainment scene which has had an enormous influence on the national entertainment industry. Mark Larson’s new book Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater traces this story live by sharing some of his recorded interviews with such Chicago-bred theater artists as Alan Arkin, Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Harry Lennix, Michael Shannon and more.
The Voices of Chicago Theater Monday, January 13, 2020 6:30PM – 7:30PM
Get up close and personal with the Chicago Theater Collection. See the original score to Grease, set models, photographs, historical programs and more. Explore, in the intimate setting of the Reading Room, the evolution of Chicago’s vibrant theater scene through the artifacts of the Chicago Theater Collection with Sarah Zimmerman, Special Collections librarian and Mark Larson, author of Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater.
How and Why to Write and Publish a Memoir Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:00PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium open at 5 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.
This panel event features distinguished writers discussing the wide-ranging aspects of writing memoirs. This event will prove enlightening to established and aspiring writers. Panelists include:
- Margaret McMullan, author of Where the Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Exile, Loss and Return
- Richard Lindberg, author of Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family, My American Life
- Donna Solecka Urbikas, author of My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile and Stalin’s Siberia
- David W. Berner, moderator and author of The Consequence of Stars: A Memoir of Home
Author Dan Egan: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:00PM – 7:30PM Doors to the Auditorium open at 5:00 p.m., and seating is first come, first served.
Climate expert Dan Egan discusses his book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, a portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.
Author Layla F. Saad: Me And White Supremacy Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:00PM – 7:15PM Doors open and seating is available beginning at 5 p.m.
Layla F. Saad discusses her groundbreaking new book, Me And White Supremacy. Her work is driven by her powerful desire to become a “good ancestor;” to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone. Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
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.
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.