May 24, 2022

Chicago: "An Unusual Library Finds a New Home"

From The NY Times:

On a recent Saturday afternoon in Humboldt Park, a small band of volunteers scrambled to put the finishing touches on their library’s new home — the sixth in as many years for the Read/Write Library, Chicago’s largest depository of grass-roots printed materials.

Formerly known as the Chicago Underground Library, Read/Write rejects the selectivity of traditional libraries and collects “anything from university press to handmade artists’ books to zines made by 13-year-olds,” Ms. Taylor said. “We want to give people a much broader sense of who’s out there.”

Volunteers pored over books littered across a long table perched on the compact library’s stage, a reminder of the building’s past life as a neighborhood bar. The genteel, yellowing pages of “Favorite Recipes of the Woman’s Club of the People’s Church” lay alongside “The Bowel Movement,” a literary pamphlet glued together by Clinton-era University of Chicago student.

Read the Complete NYT Article

Direct to the Read/Write Library Chicago

Search the Read/Write Library Chicago Catalog

UPDATE: Here’s another report about the library (audio and text transcript) that aired on Chicago Public Radio:
“Chicago alternative library saves printed material otherwise lost in the shuffle”

See Also: Read/Write Library Chicago Mission Statement:

The Read/Write Library is an all-inclusive collection of Chicago-specific media, produced by and for the community. Through our unique indexing of contributors and our open venue, we provide a space for individuals, organizations and ideas to come together, and creative connections to emerge.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.