Chicago Underground Library Weathers The Storm

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on May 12, 2011 8:30PM

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One of Chicago Underground Library's Pop Up Libraries is at Comfort Station in Logan Square.
Remember that blizzard a few months ago that crippled the CTA and our workdays? It also buried part of Chicago Underground Library’s collection — all local media, zines, newspapers, journals, and magazines culled from community members dating back all the way until 1909 — in a snowbank. Volunteers were able to save most of the collection, but CUL needs a new permanent home. In the meantime, they've found a way to keep the collection open for viewing.

CUL just launched Structurally Sound, a series of mobile Pop Up Libraries, so that people can still view their collection. The current Pop Up Library locations are in Logan Square and Uptown, and and Albany Park location is launching soon. “Each Pop Up Library is a unique temporary exhibition, focusing on a theme central to the work of one of our partners and including publications produced by Chicagoans from all backgrounds and professional levels, recognizing the contributions we all make to the cultural progress of the city,” said Chicago Underground Library director Nell Taylor in a press release. So each Pop Up Library focuses on the community it’s in and highlights the history and the stories that are being told there. Here are the CUL Pop Up Libraries currently open:

Comfort Station (Logan Square): This Pop Up Library will focus on art and architecture, especially as it relates to Logan Square and includes publications in English and Spanish. Comfort Station is a turn-of-the-century structure turned multidisciplinary arts space in the heart of Chicago's Logan Square. Originally a resting place for tired travelers, it now plays host to artists from all walks of life, and to anyone with an interesting idea. As the only structure of its kind still standing along the entire boulevard system, Comfort Station represents the preservation of a neighborhood rich in history, while playing host to exhibitions and events that promote its present culture.
2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Visit website for more info.

Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce (Uptown): This Pop Up Library will combine materials from CGCT and CUL to examine urban renewal and gentrification through historical planning documents and studies to primary sources like residents’ poetry and neighborhood newspapers. The Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce is a volunteer grassroots group working on curriculum development of A Peoples Chicago: Our Stories of Change and Struggle. We aim to create at least eight core curricular units, including “Urban Renewal or Urban Removal” and “A Look into Chicago School & Educational Struggles with Connections to Surrounding Communities - Past, Present, and Future.”
4554 N. Broadway, Rm 326, visit the library every Tuesday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. during CUL Cataloging Socials and Thursday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.