Shelf-Reading: Images of America: Chicago Heights

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“Shelf-Reading” is an ongoing series where we feature various items in the Read/Write Library’s collection of location-specific, independent, and small press media.

In 1833, the same year two hundred settlers organized the town of Chicago, another nucleus of settlers began gathering about thirty miles south. Their community grew into a miniature, parallel version of its northern neighbor: a Rust Belt boomtown with its own Louis Sullivan architecture and the nickname “Crossroads of America.”

Images of America: Chicago Heights tells this story in photographs. Originally it was a farming village in southeastern Cook County called Thorn Grove, and then Bloom. The town took its third and final name in 1892 at the behest of some local real estate magnates, who called themselves the Chicago Heights Land Association. (Trivia: the association president was Chicago businessman Charles Wacker, who lent his surname to the Loop’s Wacker Drive.) 

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kellymce
It is an accepted biological fact that a growing organism alone will
survive. An organism which ceases to grow will petrify and perish. The Fifth Law invites our attention to the fact that the library, as an institution, has all the attributes of a growing organism. A growing
organism takes in new matter, casts off old matter, changes in size and takes new shapes and forms.

-Ranganathan (1931). (via jamiebrarian)

"…takes new shapes and forms": part of the Read/Write Library mission.

#TBT: Miracles in self-publishing: James Conroyd Martin

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[For Throwback Thursday, we dug up this post from our original Chicago Underground Library blog, where it first appeared on November 6, 2010. It’s the compelling story of a Chicago novelist who gambled with self-publishing…and won. Maybe you will be inspired, too. —Ed.]

North Side resident James Conroyd Martin wanted to write for film. He fell backwards into writing successful historical novels about Poland. He wasn’t even Polish.

And self-publishing, in some ways the path of most resistance, was his unlikely point of entry.

The Irish-Norwegian Martin was studying screenwriting in L.A. in the 1970s when a friend showed him something he thought he might be interested in. It was the colorful, occasionally scandalous diary of the friend’s ancestor, a Polish countess.

Martin was enthralled. Countess Anna Maria Berezowska lived through the tumultuous era of Poland’s “Third of May” constitution (1791-94), the first modern democratic constitution in Europe. And she wrote about it. This was history observed at point-blank range by a woman, a rare viewpoint. 

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Read/Write Library seeks blog contributors!

Imagine yourself in this space as a Read/Write blogger. Go on, imagine! We believe in you.

You could do a one-time guest post. Or your contributions could be regular and ongoing: once a week, once a month, etc.

Topics and formats are pretty open. Pieces we’ve published in the past include:

—“Shelf-Reading” (short introductions to snazzy items in our collection)

—“From the Stacks” (longer reviews of especially unique or important items)

—Photo-blogging (subjects have included our own library space, which has some really neat stuff ranging from eyeglass-wearing skulls to origami, but could be anything that’s photogenic and Chicago-centric)

—Reports on library events, projects, activities, and partnerships

—Anything of relevance to Chicagoland’s shared cultural memory: arts initiatives, community organizations, youth and adult literacy, small publishers and self-publishing, amplifying underrepresented voices

Does any of this sound like what you’re into? Do you want to try your writing or photography chops? Drop a line to our blog editor Justin at editors@readwritelibrary.org.

americanlibraryassoc

By Holly Boyer, Senior Editor, INALJ

The American Library Association New Members Round Table wants you to succeed. They want you to be successful so much, they’re willing, able, and really excited to help you along the way. How, you ask? By offering a variety of services and opportunities.

Helpful info for current and aspiring library professionals in the Read/Write community. More at the link. Via ALA.

Read/Write proudly collects and preserves media relating to Chicago’s rich history of community activism and social justice movements. To peruse our collection, stop by during our open hours. To donate an item, please drop a line to info@readwritelibrary.org.

Read/Write proudly collects and preserves media relating to Chicago’s rich history of community activism and social justice movements. To peruse our collection, stop by during our open hours. To donate an item, please drop a line to info@readwritelibrary.org.

Shelf-Reading: Straight talk

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“Shelf-Reading” is an ongoing series where we feature various items in the Read/Write Library’s collection of location-specific, independent, and small press media.

It’s a mini-zine. It measures about 2 x 4 inches. It consists entirely of dictionary entries, fourteen of them, one per page in plain text. The presentation is understated and deadpan. And it packs a considerable punch.

Straight Talk, by H. Melt, is a poetic dictionary that ponders the social identity of straightness. It offers and defines, without commentary, a series of English expressions that use the word “straight.” The implications of these expressions then speak for themselves.

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