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 early 2018.

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

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