Being the central library of the Chicago Public Library System, the Harold Washington Library Center offers multiple facilities and activities beyond lending books and providing a reading nook.
With monthly art tours, laboratories for creation and demonstrations, practice rooms for music, genealogy databases available to CPL cardholders, and even a Winter Garden at the 9th floor, it is easily one of the most comprehensive resource hub in the state.
The former central library of Chicago was converted to the Chicago Cultural Center in 1977. When Mayor Harold Washington was elected into office in 1983, he immediately supported the construction of a new central library. And with support from the wealthy Pritzker family of Chicago, the project started covering the entire block at Congress Parkway and State Street. The construction was completed in 1991 and then Mayor Richard Daley name the institution after its initiator former Mayor Harold Washington.
Famous authors have graced the library such as Neil Gaiman, Sandra Cisneros, and Michael Chabon. Author events are a treat to avid readers in Chicago. I also particularly love their tribute display to Bob Dylan during my last visit when he was just recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Housing a very extensive collection of books and other resources, Harold Washington Library Center is also open seven days a week. The library is located at S. State Street, just south of the Loop L. It is a quick walk from the Jackson stop if you take the Red Line.