The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Take Pride in the the Gerber/Hart Library

By Melissa Feldsher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 17, 2009 7:30PM

Photo by Taekwonweirdo
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, saw same-sex marriage turning points in Iowa and New Hampshire (yay!), and Prop 8 set-backs in California (boo!). As this watershed year casts further importance on Chicago’s Pride parade and surrounding events in June, the Gerber/ Hart library shines on as the Chicago LGBT community’s library.

Founded in 1981, the Gerber/ Hart is a non-profit committed to “acquiring, preserving, and disseminating materials that embody the culture and history of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people,” according to the organization’s mission statement. Moving five times over the years, the Gerber/Hart has finally found its home in a 5,000 square foot double storefront in Edgewater. The sizable space packs in an unparalleled collection of 15,000 records, papers, periodicals, and other regalia of lesbian and gay life (something tells us Prop 8-The Musical didn’t make the cut), focusing primarily in the Chicago metropolitan area and the Midwest. The vast majority of books and periodicals in the library have been donated, and volunteers are considered the backbone of the library since its start.

The Gerber/ Hart also hosts a variety of cultural events, displays, lectures, and classes that open its collection to the public. The next discussion will center on Martin Duberman’s Stonewall on June 22nd. On July 9th, political and cultural activist Max Smith will discuss his upcoming African America's 3rd Rail: SGL, which opens a dialogue about same gender loving (SGL) in the African American community.

Later this summer, show a little pride and grab some lakefront reading at the Gerber/ Hart’s next book sale offering both LGBT and general interest titles. The summer sale takes place from July 24th through August 2nd. To be notified of future quarterly upcoming sales by e-mail, sign up for the events e-mail list. If you manage to miss all three events, stop by during regular library hours and take a look. Gerber/Hart is always looking for community members who wish to donate their time and talent to the library and there’s the “Perpetual Book Sale” in the front of the library to lure in passers-by.

Stonewall Book Discussion, Monday June 22nd, 7 p.m., Gerber/ Hart Library, 1127 West Granville Avenue, Free.

Max Smith Reading, Thursday July 9th, 7 p.m., Gerber/ Hart Library, 1127 West Granville Avenue, Free.

Summer Spectacular Books Sale, Friday July 24th-August 2nd, Gerber/ Hart Library, 1127 West Granville Avenue.