Activities & Resources
Harold Washington Library Center050in Chicago, IL 60605
about Harold Washington Library Center:
Computer resources available in the Commons are: 78 one-hour Internet stations, 18 Express stations (allowing 15 minute sessions with no printing), and 37 one-hour word processing stations. WiFi access is also available.
The Popular Library features current general titles from bestselling thrillers to biographies. It is also the Harold Washington Library Center's location for audiovisual materials including thousands of non-fiction audio books on both cassette and compact disc, educational and entertainment videos, DVDs, and music CDs.
The Children's Library, located on the second floor, offers the largest collection of children's books in Chicago. The library and its staff are dedicated to providing the best collection and service to children from infancy through age 14. Families, groups, and educators are encouraged to explore the Children's Library and take part in its programs.
Covering more than 18,000 square feet, the Children's Library contains a collection of more than 120,000 volumes, including picture books, easy readers, classics, contemporary fiction, informational books, science project books, large print books, reference materials for research projects, books representing 40 foreign languages, special collections of award-winning books, popular paperbacks, and a small parenting collection.
Here you will find child-sized chairs and tables, a circulation desk, a computer center, a parent center, a children's program room with puppet stage, and interesting displays. Don't miss the Storybook Dollhouse, which contains over seventy clues kids can identify with a children's story, poem, or nursery rhyme.
Interested in children's literature? The library houses a strong reference collection for adults that includes dissertations on children's literature, bibliographies, books on children and reading, books on storytelling, a strong collection of folk and fairy tales, and the historical Opie Collection on microfiche. The Children's Library also subscribes to over 70 periodicals, including children's magazines, and professional journals.
NatureConnections is a unique collection of natural history materials for children that is made possible by a grant awarded to the Chicago Public Library Foundation by the Hermon Dunlap and Ellen Thorne Smith Fund of The Chicago Community Trust. The largest NatureConnections site is located in the Children's Library. Satellite collections are available in the branch libraries. NatureConnections programs are scheduled periodically. For further information, please call 312.747.4780.
The Children's Library has eight computer catalogs, twelve internet computers and two multimedia computers. Children ages seven to fourteen may sign up to use the internet or the multimedia. Younger children must be accompanied by a responsible person. Children are encouraged to explore the many web sites available from the library children's home page.
Programs include puppetry, storytelling, music, and theater at different times throughout the year. During the summer months, children may participate in the Chicago Public Library's annual summer reading program. A monthly program flyer is available which lists all children's programs. This information is also available either by calling the department at 312.747.4200 or the children's program line at 312.747.4647 for a recorded message.
The Beyond Words Café, on the ninth floor of the Harold Washington Library Center, offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and a panoramic view of Chicago's South Loop. 312.747.4680. Operating hours are: Mon 9am-6pm; Tue & Thu 11am-6pm; Wed, Fri & Sat 9am-4pm. Closed Sundays.
An application for a library card can be made when the child can print his or her full name. This card will permit the child access to all library materials. The parent or legal guardian accepts the responsibility for the child's reading. Ask for an application at the circulation desk. The signature of a parent or legal guard is required, along with one piece of identification showing that person's name and Chicago address.