Chicago Public Library is turning 150 and we have stories to tell. Library for the People six-episode limited series podcast takes us on a journey – from building a library after the Great Chicago Fire to reimagining what libraries could be. Along the way, we will meet different Library People: librarians, patrons, authors, and so much more. Each episode will bring a mix of voices and stories found in Chicago’s 80+ branches that make Chicago Public Library a city treasure and a leader in the space.
Take a deeper dive into episode 2 of the Library for the People podcast, focusing on community.
Vivian G. Harsh, the first Black branch manager at Chicago Public Library. Her first branch manager position was at Hall Branch.
Charlemae Hill Rollins, CPL librarian, trailblazer in literacy advocacy and activist.
Harsh and Rollins helped turn Hall Branch into a resource and a haven for Black intellectuals and artists, such as Langton Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright, who went to Hall for research.
Woodson Regional Library, renovated in 2018, is home to the Vivian G Harsh Research Collection, which is the largest African American history and research collection in the Midwest. Woodson is named after Carter G. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History.
Locations Discussed in This Episode
- Staff List: Library Legacy: Celebrating Charlemae Hill Rollins
- View the George Cleveland Hall Branch Digital Collection
- Read Vivian G. Harsh: Librarian of the Chicago Black Renaissance
- Read CPL Librarian Charlemae Hill Rollins Championed African Americans in Children’s Literature
- Read The Chicago Origins of Black History Month
- Read CPL Receives $2 million Grant from Mellon Foundation for the Renaissance Project