Chicago Public Library Launches New Podcast, Library for the People, Celebrating 150 Years of Chicago Stories

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Library’s 150th anniversary celebration continues with the launch of Library for the People, a first-ever people-centric library podcast featuring dynamic conversations with librarians, authors, community leaders, and patrons who use and love the library.

Hosted by award-winning writer, interviewer, and cultural producer Alison Cuddy, the podcast is a six-episode journey inside Chicago Public Library – from its humble beginnings after the Great Chicago Fire to its adaptable approach in meeting community needs.

"Through the Library for the People podcast, we embark on an inspiring journey, celebrating the diverse voices that shape Chicago Public Library," said Commissioner Chris Brown. "Together, we honor our rich history, embrace our evolving community, and reimagine the future of libraries. Join us as we discover the untold stories that make libraries matter now more than ever."

Library for the People explores themes of history, community, ideas, art, public spaces, and reimagining the future of the library with guests like Chicago’s modern Historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, American Library Association President and one of Time’s 100 most influential people Tracie Hall, Journalist and Bestselling author Susan Orlean, Sociologist Eric Klinenberg, and Award-winning Author, Educator, Scholar, Cultural organizer, and proud Chicagoan Dr. Eve L. Ewing.

Throughout this limited series, listeners will learn about the many stories of connection and discovery inside the library and the diverse voices that make Chicago Public Library the innovative and national leader it is today.

“As a lifelong library fan it's been wonderful to be part of telling the story of the library at 150,” said Journalist and Library for the People podcast Host Alison Cuddy. “At a moment when public libraries are at the forefront of a critical fight for intellectual freedom, it is good to be reminded of all they have done to secure our access to history, art, ideas and imagination.”

Learn more about Library for the People and interact with a visual guide for each episode. New episodes will be released every Tuesday; the first episode, From the Ashes of the Fire is out now. Produced by PRX, listeners can subscribe to Library for the People wherever they get their podcast. This podcast is made possible through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.


About Chicago Public Library
Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment, and knowledge through innovative services, programs, and technology. Through its 81 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits, and programs for children, teens, and adults. For more information, please call (312) 747-4300 or visit To follow CPL on social media, visit us on Twitter (@chipublib), Facebook (@chipublib), or Instagram (@chicagopubliclibrary).

About the Chicago Public Library Foundation
The Chicago Public Library Foundation (CPLF) is an independent nonprofit that exists to accelerate the potential of our public library by investing in resources that transform lives and communities. Together with its civic-minded partners, CPLF makes pathways to learning, creativity, and civic engagement accessible to Chicagoans of all ages through investment across three funding priorities: Closing the Academic Opportunity Gap; Activating Creativity & Connection; and Bridging the Digital Divide. Find us online at