About Woodson Regional Library

Your Future Woodson Regional Library: Construction Plans

Woodson Regional Library is closed for construction. The building is expected to reopen in late 2017. Nearby branches Avalon, Beverly and West Pullman are open additional hours to continue to serve you.

Improvements underway:

  • A complete building envelope replacement including new roof, exterior walls and windows
  • Upgrades to flooring, lighting and paint in lobby and other public areas
  • Build out of new early childhood space
  • Updated guardrails and handrails on monumental stairway
  • Construction of two study rooms on the 2nd floor
  • Addition of two parking spots for people with disabilities

During the closure, selected pieces from the Harsh Collection are available at Harold Washington Library Center.

Other Recent Improvements

  • New YOUmedia space for teens built in 2015
  • Lighting and ceiling replacement
  • Fire alarm system upgrade

Neighborhoods Served

  • Washington Heights
  • South Side

History

  • Carter G. Woodson Regional Library opened December 19, 1975 in a two-story building housing the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, the largest collection of its kind in the Midwest.
  • In 1998, an 11,000-square-foot wing was added to expand the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection. The expanded collection opened January 25, 1999.
  • The library was named for Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the father of African American historiography. A prolific writer and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro History and Life, Woodson made numerous contributions to the study of African American history and culture.
    • In 1926, he proposed and established an annual observance, Negro History Week, which grew into the nationally celebrated African American History Month held each February.

Artwork

  • a sculpture entitled “Jacob’s Ladder” by Richard Hunt
  • Woodson Regional Library also features artwork funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program, including:
    • a print entitled “Stowage” by Willie Cole
    • a mural entitled “Hope in the Community” by Aoko Omwony-Hope
    • a sculpture entitled “Tempest” by Charles Searles
    • a sculpture entitled “Hopibara” by Bernard Williams