Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A New Feature Today...On Libraries

It will be known as: Another Thousand Words...On, and then the subject, which today is: On Libraries.

When is the last time you visited a library (which is pronounced LIE-BRAIR-REE, not LI-BERRY).

So, when's the last time?

And the last time you actually sat down, or lay down, to read a book?

On October 8, 1871, a massive fire churned its way through most of downtown Chicago, devouring the near Southside (2200 South) and most everything in its windpath up to Fullerton Avenue, which is 2400 North.

There was a great amount of devastation and destruction, including the well-established Chicago Public Library.

Chicago and its citizens were quick to rebuild the downtown area, and finally, after shuttling around the downtown area, in 1893, a building was constructed at the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street, which we now know as the Cultural Center.

Queen Victoria of England and other Englishmen, through a process called 'the English Book Donation', had gifted Chicago with some 8,000 books soon after. No doubt she and her countrymen, including Benjamin Disreali, did this due to their remembrance of the Great London Fire in September of 1666, which depleted much of England's own history.

Now known as the Chicago Cultural Center, this is the cornerstone of the rebuilt Chicago Library, at the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street

Today, the main Chicago Library, named in honor of deceased Mayor Harold Washington, stands at the southwest corner of State and Van Buren Streets, easily accessible via Brown, Orange and Green Lines, or a number of bus routes.

So, again, when was the last time you visited one of Chicago's now 70+ neighborhood libraries?

What I'm reading this week: