Woodson Regional Library
9525 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60628
Carter G. Woodson Regional Library opened December 9, 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 library also features a children’s library, media center and collections in the social sciences, humanities, science and technology, and serials.
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 1921, he established Associated Publishers, which still publishes the Journal of Negro History. 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.
The library features a sculpture by Richard Hunt entitled “Jacob’s Ladder,” a mural by Aoko Omwony-Hope, and sculptures by Charles Searles and Bernard Williams.
Brainerd Public Library
1350 W 89th St
Chicago, IL 60620
Brainerd Branch opened February 20, 1999, replacing a much smaller storefront at 8945 S. Loomis Street. The branch features clerestory cathedral ceilings and clerestory windows.
“Forever Gwendolyn,” a wall-relief sculpture by Preston Jackson, celebrates three phases of the life of Gwendolyn Brooks, poet laureate of Illinois and the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. The artwork was funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program.