HWLC Building Directory

Whether you're a lifelong Chicagoan or a first-time visitor, we recommend the Top 10 Things to Do at Harold Washington Library Center.

Art: 8th Floor

  • Fine arts, architecture, dance, design, fashion, film and crafts

Assistive Resources Center: 5th Floor

Business: 4th Floor

  • Careers, job searching, company information, financial planning and small business information

Children’s Library: 2nd Floor

The Thomas Hughes Children’s Library is for children through eighth grade. Find:

  • Children’s books, audiobooks and music
  • Computers for children 13 and under

Computers: 3rd Floor

Exhibits: Throughout the building

  • Current HWLC exhibits are on display in Ida B. Wells Corridor and Van Buren Corridor on the Ground Floor, 3rd Floor North, Special Collections Exhibit Hall on the 9th Floor and in display cases throughout the building.

Fiction: 7th Floor

  • Literature, plays, poetry, short stories and fiction

Government Information: 5th Floor

  • Congressional publications, Executive Branch documents, statistics, maps and Illinois documents
  • Chicago Public Library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)

History: 6th Floor

  • Chicago history and genealogy

Holds: 1st Floor

  • Pick up holds in the Popular Library.

Languages: 7th Floor

  • Language learning audiobooks and DVDs
  • Books, newspapers and magazines in world languages

Large Print: 7th Floor

  • Fiction and nonfiction books

Lost and Found: 3rd Floor

  • Building Management Office

Maker Lab: 3rd Floor

  • The Maker Lab features 3D printers, laser cutters and more.

Movies: 1st Floor

Popular Library

  • DVDs

Municipal Reference Collection: 5th Floor

  • City of Chicago and Cook County materials including annual reports, newspaper clippings, community area information and election results


Popular Library, 1st Floor

  • CDs

8th Floor

Newspapers and Periodicals: 5th Floor

Science and Technology: 4th Floor

  • Animals, construction, cooking, environment, health and medicine, science fair, technology and transportation

Social Science: 6th Floor

  • Education, law, library science, philosophy, political science, religion, sports and travel

Special Collections: 9th Floor

  • Special Collections has rare and unique materials focusing on Chicago as well as the Civil War.
  • Exhibit halls

Study Rooms

Winter Garden: 9th Floor

  • The Winter Garden, the architectural centerpiece of the library, is available for study and private events.
  • With an open courtyard design, the Winter Garden features natural light, greenery and, like the rest of the building, free WiFi.

YOUmedia: 1st Floor

  • YOUmedia has events, programs, books, computers and media creation tools and software for high school students.