Read/Write Library Chicago

Read/Write Library Chicago Local media from all over Chicago, collected, connected, and preserved. (Formerly Chicago Underground Library) Read/Write Library is a replicable model for community collections.
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It uses the lens of an archive to examine the creative, political, and intellectual interdependencies of a city, tracing how people have worked together, who influenced whom, where ideas first developed, and how they spread from one publication to another through individuals. Without making any quality or importance judgments, we collect every piece of media we can get our hands on from around the Chicago area. Learn how you can get cataloged!

It uses the lens of an archive to examine the creative, political, and intellectual interdependencies of a city, tracing how people have worked together, who influenced whom, where ideas first developed, and how they spread from one publication to another through individuals. Without making any quality or importance judgments, we collect every piece of media we can get our hands on from around the Chicago area. Learn how you can get cataloged!

Operating as usual

We're getting ready to officially re-open in the next couple weeks (check our linktree for volunteering info). We will s...
06/05/2021

We're getting ready to officially re-open in the next couple weeks (check our linktree for volunteering info). We will still be a regular drop off site for @bravespacealliance's Crisis Pantry and supplies for jail and protest support during our open hours, Fri-Sat 1-5pm. We started doing this a year ago this week and you have all been absolutely phenomenal at keeping this going ❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥♥️

We're getting ready to officially re-open in the next couple weeks (check our linktree for volunteering info). We will still be a regular drop off site for @bravespacealliance's Crisis Pantry and supplies for jail and protest support during our open hours, Fri-Sat 1-5pm. We started doing this a year ago this week and you have all been absolutely phenomenal at keeping this going ❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥♥️

Hi friends, we will be closed today and tomorrow to recharge! See you next weekend when we're back to our normal hours F...
11/27/2020

Hi friends, we will be closed today and tomorrow to recharge! See you next weekend when we're back to our normal hours Friday & Saturday 1-5pm

11/20/2020

We are proud to partner with @bravespacealliance to continue to collect your donations for their crisis pantry, protest and jail support, and their work ensuring that Black and brown people on the South and West Sides have what they need to thrive.

As we mourn and lift up the lives of transgender people who have been taken from their loved ones and communities by transphobic violence this #transdayofremembrance, please also remember and support those who LIVE every day under the threat of this violence from both individuals and the State. #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter

We're open today and tomorrow 1-5pm (and every Friday - Saturday) at 914 N. California in Humboldt Park. Keep checking back here and with BSA for updates on most-needed items, and thank you as always ♥️

We are still (and will continue to be) a west side donation drop off spot for @bravespacealliance every Friday and Satur...
10/24/2020

We are still (and will continue to be) a west side donation drop off spot for @bravespacealliance every Friday and Saturday 1-5pm! And while we have enough marshmallows and bulk cereal to make about 80lbs of rice crispy treats, we're low on everything else! We're looking for pantry items, cans, and shelf stable food; baby supplies like diapers and formula; cleaning supplies like laundry detergent and disinfectants; and ESPECIALLY masks, hand sanitizer, and hand soap! Thanks SO much!

Came across these excellent buttons this weekend from Chicago Newspaper Guild and strikes at @chicagotribune and @chicag...
09/27/2020

Came across these excellent buttons this weekend from Chicago Newspaper Guild and strikes at @chicagotribune and @chicagosuntimes (with bonus #LibrarySolidarity). 80s? 70s? Anyone work on these efforts?

This weekend (and every weekend!) we're continuing to collect supplies for @bravespacealliance's Crisis Pantry, protest ...
09/25/2020

This weekend (and every weekend!) we're continuing to collect supplies for @bravespacealliance's Crisis Pantry, protest and jail support, and Black and brown food organizing on the south and west sides! This is what's most needed today and tomorrow 1-5pm. We're also continuing to collect for the Women's Justice Institute supporting women incarcerated in Illinois. Our address is in our bio!

Please help us replenish our supplies for jail support in partnership with Brave Space Alliance! We got cleaned out last...
09/23/2020

Please help us replenish our supplies for jail support in partnership with Brave Space Alliance! We got cleaned out last Saturday. Handheld snacks, sports drinks, masks, sanitizer, blankets and ci******es are MOST NEEDED but if you have other items like pantry, toiletries, cleaners, or paper products to drop off for Brave Space Alliance's Crisis Pantry and don't want to wait til Friday, you can also do that tonight. Thank you!!!

Happy spontaneous and soggy fall! We're continuing to collect items for Brave Space Alliance efforts supplying protest a...
09/12/2020

Happy spontaneous and soggy fall! We're continuing to collect items for Brave Space Alliance efforts supplying protest and jail support as well as Black and brown food organizing. THIS IS ONGOING, you can donate these items here any Friday and Saturday 1-5pm. We're also collecting donations at this time to support women who are incarcerated at Decatur Prison through Sept 26th with The Women's Justice Institute - WJI. Swipe to see their list, and thank you as always!

We're back this weekend Fri & Sat 1-5pm for donation drop offs for @bravespacealliance's initiatives collecting supplies...
08/28/2020

We're back this weekend Fri & Sat 1-5pm for donation drop offs for @bravespacealliance's initiatives collecting supplies for protests & jail support, their Crisis Pantry, and supporting food organizing for Black & brown folks on the south & west sides. 914 N. California, ongoing every Fri & Sat 1-5pm. Thanks for all of your support!!! ♥️♥️♥️

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to our emergency supply drive on Sunday! Thanks to your donations we were able ...
08/18/2020

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to our emergency supply drive on Sunday! Thanks to your donations we were able to replenish all of the supplies for jail support and then some, plus gather much-needed safety supplies for protests like first aid kits, masks & sanitizer, and vests for safety marshals. We'll be open for our regular ongoing hours this Fri-Sat 1-5pm and will be continuing to take these supplies as well as non-perishable food and toiletries to support @bravespacealliance's crisis pantry and Black & brown food organizing on the south & west sides.

Starting this week, we are reopening library research and browsing hours by appointment Fri & Sat 1-5pm and we will cont...
08/12/2020

Starting this week, we are reopening library research and browsing hours by appointment Fri & Sat 1-5pm and we will continue to accept donations for @bravespacealliance's crisis pantry, jail support and protest supplies, and their partnerships with @blmchi and @thankfulforchicago during these hours ONLY. We will be a donation hub for Brave Space Alliance's initiatives indefinitely, as long as there is a need, which is not slowing down anytime soon. We will also be open for occasional emergency supply drives, as we were yesterday. Because of these condensed hours, PLEASE do not donate perishables of any kind. ♥️ We're so grateful for your support and for contributing to this cause, but without daily hours we cannot redistribute perishables quickly enough. New updates on volunteering for Fri & Sat library shifts and donation shifts will be posted soon!

08/10/2020

TOMORROW Tues Aug 11, 12-4pm we need an EMERGENCY replenishment of supplies for protest and jail support. Going forward, our ongoing hours will be Friday and Saturday with emergency donation drives like this as needed. Please spread the word and bring the following to @readwritelibrary tomorrow at 914 N. California between 12-4pm:

- Gatorade/sports drinks
- Hydration powders
- Safety marshal vests
- Ponchos
- Umbrellas
- Ci******es (esp Newports)
- Canned or bottled coffee beverages
- First aid kits
- Masks
- Small bottles of hand sanitizer
- Empty small plastic travel-sized bottles
- Individual bags of chips
- Other handheld snacks
- Portable chargers and cables
- OIL-FREE sunscreen (must say oil-free, Neutrogena makes a bunch of these but there are others)

if you don't have time to gather supplies, you can make a donation to @bravespacealliance, and thanks so much!

Starting this week, we're scaling back our hours for donation drop off & distribution. We'll be open Tues-Sat 12-4pm, pl...
08/04/2020

Starting this week, we're scaling back our hours for donation drop off & distribution. We'll be open Tues-Sat 12-4pm, please see our last few posts for most needed items! When we began supporting this incredible initiative of @bravespacealliance back in early June, we never imagined how incredible the response would be from our community and of course the need very much remains. After this week, we will continue to stay open as a donation drop off site ONLY as we transition back to regular Read/Write Library hours and programs, with everything donated here being sent to Brave Space Alliance's ongoing Crisis Pantry.

Here's what's needed most right now for the West Side location of @bravespacealliance & @blmchi's supply donation & redi...
07/28/2020

Here's what's needed most right now for the West Side location of @bravespacealliance & @blmchi's supply donation & redistribution efforts! Items donated go to protest & jail support and to grassroots food organizing for Black & Brown people on the South & West Sides. Drop off today, Tues, til 6pm, and Weds-Sat 11-5pm. Address in bio & image. Thank you!!

Wow, somehow 5,000 folks following snuck up on us! Thank you all so much for your support the past couple of months for ...
07/27/2020

Wow, somehow 5,000 folks following snuck up on us! Thank you all so much for your support the past couple of months for our own work, our partnership with @bravespacealliance, and for just generally making Chicago an amazing city of community and care. Extra special love to all of our volunteers who've been putting in a ton of hours over the last couple months, sorting boxes, loading and unloading donations, and bringing organization to chaos -- all in a space without air conditioning, while wearing masks, and looking out for each other. We love you and are so grateful! ♥️

We just got a request from jail support for Uncrustables, ci******es, and variety bags of chips! Thanks so much for ever...
07/25/2020

We just got a request from jail support for Uncrustables, ci******es, and variety bags of chips! Thanks so much for everything you've been donating, these items are needed today if possible by the time we close at 5pm. We're also of course taking everything else we have been (see our last post) but these are specific call outs that we haven't received much of. Thanks!!!

In which the Sun Times asks a bunch of old white cis male poets to "guide us out of the identity bramble:"
07/22/2020
Illinois needs to pick a poet, but which one?

In which the Sun Times asks a bunch of old white cis male poets to "guide us out of the identity bramble:"

"It should not be someone who wants the job as an act of self-aggrandizement," said former laureate Kevin Stein. "If you’re going to have a rush out of someone introducing you as poet laureate, you’re the wrong person for the job."

We're continuing our work all week supporting @bravespacealliance and their partnership with @blmchi collecting and dist...
07/21/2020

We're continuing our work all week supporting @bravespacealliance and their partnership with @blmchi collecting and distributing supplies! Items donated go to help jail & protest support and to Black & Brown food organizing on the South & West Sides. We're here til 6pm today, Weds-Sat here til 5pm. (NOTE: these needs are specific to this location, please keep checking @bravespacealliance's stories for updates on needs for other locations!) Thanks!

07/14/2020

It's the most beautiful photo of a bathroom we've ever seen! We've been wanting to add grab bars to our bathrooms for a long time to complement our outdoor permanent ramp and our portable indoor one to not just get folks into the audience but onto the stage. There will be a few more adjustments in here to make this bathroom ADA-compliant, and of course we're always open to hearing what folks need if there are other ways we can improve physical accessibility beyond just compliance. All three of our bathrooms have always been and will always be open to folks of any genders and non-genders. Thanks so much to Peter Wilde and Bobby Huggins for making this happen and to Terri Lynne Hudson for connecting us and being an incredible resource and advocate for accessibility. Give it up for theatre people, everybody! They get s**t done.

An open letter to our partners at @poetryfoundation and other cultural institutions who claim they are powerless in this...
07/10/2020

An open letter to our partners at @poetryfoundation and other cultural institutions who claim they are powerless in this moment:

All cultural work is political work.

Arts and culture institutions can’t have it both ways. We can’t insist on art’s ability to transform or its ability to speak truth to power — and at the same time say that we are not in the business of transforming who holds power and how they use it.

Is our work significant enough to create real systemic change or isn’t it? Is our work about risk or reward?

What privileges do you have, as a powerful institution, to claim that you don’t have the power to enact change in this moment? You have funds, you have a megaphone, you have brilliant staff, you have thousands of hours of unpaid labor to guide you, extracted from your artists, smaller organizations, and our communities. What else is holding you back?

Or do you just not want to use your power to enact this particular type of change, because you know it means dismantling your own power?

If you are as essential as you say you are, this is your mission. This is not a distraction to your work, this is your work. Respectfully, please do it or get out of the way. @ Read/Write Library Chicago

07/09/2020

We still need snacks, shelf-stable pantry items like bread, rice, pasta and tortillas, other toiletries and household items too, but these are the things we're really low on and that are in highest demand! Thanks so much for continuing to come through with donations!

07/08/2020

We're totally overwhelmed by everyone's generosity in response to our donation jar theft this weekend. You came through to not only cover what was lost in the jar but especially help us recover our energy. ♥️⚡♥️ If you'd still like to donate to help keep the lights on and get our community library programs back off the ground, we'd appreciate it. Please also continue to donate to @bravespacealliance and keep checking our stories for the items most needed for their Crisis Pantry, jail & protest support, and Black and Brown food organizing on the South and West sides. You're all amazing!

So we took a couple days off and came back to find our donation jar gone and a few things near it knocked over. Fortunat...
07/07/2020

So we took a couple days off and came back to find our donation jar gone and a few things near it knocked over. Fortunately nothing big was taken and all the supplies we've been collecting are still here. If you're able to donate to help us keep our doors open and our lights on, we would be extremely grateful. We know there's a lot of need right now ♥️ Thanks (and if you don't have Venmo, you can donate through the donation button on our profile or through the Donate link on our Linktree in our bio)

We're continuing our work with @bravespacealliance all month and new hours for July are here! We'll be open every Tuesda...
07/06/2020

We're continuing our work with @bravespacealliance all month and new hours for July are here! We'll be open every Tuesday 11-6pm with Weds-Sat hours from 11-5pm. We will be CLOSED Sun-Mon. Check our linktree in our bio to sign up for volunteer shifts on-site and to help with supply deliveries for jail support and to South and West Side food pop ups.

We're closed all weekend to sort out our plans for the rest of July and take walks in our beautiful neighborhood, #humbo...
07/03/2020

We're closed all weekend to sort out our plans for the rest of July and take walks in our beautiful neighborhood, #humboldtpark. Stay tuned, we'll have updates soon on our work with @bravespacealliance and our plans for slowly rolling out new library programs and research/browsing hours by appointment!

We're here today and tomorrow (Weds 7/1 & Thurs 7/2) our regular hours, 11-6pm. We will be CLOSED this weekend  to recal...
07/01/2020

We're here today and tomorrow (Weds 7/1 & Thurs 7/2) our regular hours, 11-6pm. We will be CLOSED this weekend to recalibrate and work out our plans for July in collaboration with @bravespacealliance's initiatives supporting jail and protest support and Black and Brown food organizing on the South and West Sides. Check our stories for the most needed items, and come through and stock up if you're working jail support, protests, or hosting a food pop up in your neighborhood this weekend! We'll definitely be open next week and we'll update with new hours as soon as we have them!

Updates for today! We will be assisting @bravespacealliance with jail support, CPS meal distribution and food pantries/f...
06/29/2020

Updates for today! We will be assisting @bravespacealliance with jail support, CPS meal distribution and food pantries/folks feeding Black and Brown folks on the south and west sides. We're very excited to be partnering with @blmchi so we can both continue our efforts of getting needed food and supplies into the hands of those most in need!
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Here are the drop off and pick up locations for the day. Live updates will be posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages and stories. Please view them first before sending a message or calling in terms of drop off and pick up. *
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Thank you!🤗

Happy Pride weekend! We're here at Read/Write Library today til 6pm and Sun 12-5pm continuing to collect and distribute ...
06/27/2020

Happy Pride weekend! We're here at Read/Write Library today til 6pm and Sun 12-5pm continuing to collect and distribute supplies for @bravespacealliance! Support Black trans leadership and donate to their campaign to sustain this Crisis Pantry and all of their beautiful urgent work long-term. To donate, go to @bravespacealliance and check the link in their bio for more info.
#blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter #allblacklivesmatter

Thanks for all your donations!! We wanted to show you what we're doing with those plastic travel-sized bottles we keep a...
06/26/2020

Thanks for all your donations!! We wanted to show you what we're doing with those plastic travel-sized bottles we keep asking for: we've been really fortunate to get a lot of bulk hand sanitizer donations, but individual ones are in short supply. If you can get us small clean plastic bottles like these, we can split up bulk sanitizer into bottles that go a lot further at actions and food pantries. We label each one so that folks can confirm it is what it says it is and so they know where it came from. NOTE: please do not do this yourself beforehand! As helpful as it seems, we won't be able to take them because it's important to us that we be able to verify sources when we tell partners that items are what they say they are. Thanks!!!!

06/24/2020

We've been getting cleaned out the last few days! We need everything at the West Side drop off for @bravespacealliance! Pantry, snacks, toiletries, sports drinks & hydration powders, diapers & formula & other baby supplies, toilet paper, household cleaners & laundry supplies, hand sanitizer, bug spray, MASKS!!!, menstrual products... Pretty much everything except water and band aids. Thanks for continuing to aid this work for jail and protest support and to contribute to Black & Brown food organizing on the South & West Sides ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

We're continuing thru the end of June (at least) to be a @bravespacealliance  donation drop off and pick up site for jai...
06/22/2020

We're continuing thru the end of June (at least) to be a @bravespacealliance donation drop off and pick up site for jail support and protest supplies as well as food and household items for Black and Brown folks on the South and West Sides. We'll continue to update our story daily with most-needed items. Here's what we really need today (and usually every day): diapers and baby supplies; toilet paper; individual toiletries, toothbrushes/toothpaste, soap, and products for textured hair; shelf-stable pantry items, especially proteins, but cans, pastas, sauces, peanut butter, jelly, are all great; household cleaning items ESPECIALLY laundry. Drop off today til 6pm! Check our linktree to sign up to volunteer.

Address

914 N. California, Walton Entrance
Chicago, IL
60622

Opening Hours

Friday 1pm - 5pm
Saturday 1pm - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm

Telephone

(773) 336-2516

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Tell us a story about about your favorite Chicago intersection for the chance to be featured in this exciting collection. Submit to [email protected] or https://lnkd.in/g9H-EjZ #bioGraph #OntheCorner #Chicago #CallForWriters #Submissions