Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-08-24
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


LETTER Heart to Hart

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

To Windy City Times:

Considering the recent articles in the Windy City Times, I felt it was my duty to express my positive experience as a doctoral student and researcher [starting in 2006] at the Gerber/Hart Library. While I am not a Gerber/Hart "insider" (as labeled by a previous Windy City Times article), I believe my experience as an "outsider" should be taken into consideration as I have spent countless hours throughout the years conducting research at the Gerber/Hart for my dissertation on Boystown.

As a library and archive, Gerber/Hart is a success! In the bigger picture, Chicago is lucky to have such an organization still in existence. I found the archives and special collections completely accessible. Restrictions placed on the archives are completely justifiable, as archives ANYWHERE have restricted access. I had absolutely no problem getting any of the information I needed and Gerber/Hart enabled me to explore and discover.

As a community organization and space, Gerber/Hart is also a success! Karen and the librarians (who volunteer hours upon hours of their time) were more than helpful. Karen was always available to show me where I could find the articles I needed, and she was always referencing other sources for me to check out. But more than that, I developed friendships with all of volunteers after spending day after day conducting research.

On my birthday, Karen even bought me a slice of vegan chocolate cake! The librarians at the other local libraries (including my own university library, where I spent even more time) never even knew my name. Because of my positive experience with the library, I volunteered my time at its book sales and also the annual run. As a result, I was able to build even more connections with the LGBT community. Witnessing the daily stresses and challenges of leading and running the organization, I am appreciative and humbled by the dedication of Karen and her staff.

Is there room for improvement? Of course! Everything can be improved upon.

For instance, the library could use newer and better storage solutions. If the library has outgrown its current location (which is a great location for many reasons), maybe a more spacious location would also be an improvement. But running and maintaining a non-profit library with such an extensive archives, is no easy task (especially with such a small staff).

It takes money and a lot of time by experienced individuals to catalog and maintain archival materials, let alone run the entire organization. This is why I never saw any "room for improvement" as a leadership issue.

My purpose for writing this letter is to show support for Gerber/Hart. As a library/archives, Gerber/Hart has been an invaluable resource and has provided me with access to historical records that have formed the foundation of my dissertation research. As a community organization, Gerber/Hart has had a positive impact on my life by being a great resource for establishing relationships with other scholars, students, and community members. In the face of criticism, it is vitally important that we recognize the contributions of Gerber/Hart and the positive impact that it continues to have on the community and LGBT research.

Zachary Blair


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


LETTER Losing my religion 2016-08-17
LETTERS Remembering Edward Sotomayor, calls for inclusion, unity 2016-06-29
Letters to the editor: A call for unity 2016-06-22
VIEWS My name is not Harvey Milk, but I still want to recruit you 2016-06-21
LETTERS Title IX, David Boyer 2016-05-25
Letters to the editor: One tiny Tiny Home improvement 2016-05-04
National: Trans teen's letter, Cruz blasted, Michelle Obama's statement 2016-04-26
LETTERS Sending a message 2016-04-20
LETTERS PayPal support 2016-04-13
LETTER PayPal withdraws plan for Charlotte expansion 2016-04-05
LETTERS Open letter to trans community from National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) 2016-03-30
LETTERS: Fiery Fierstein 2016-03-23
LETTER: Bring parade out in the open; PRIDEChicago responds 2016-03-16
LETTER: The significance of Chicago's Trump shutdown 2016-03-15
LETTERS: Ken folk; Cruz control 2016-03-09
LETTERS Muslim, Jewish, Christian LGBTs; Planning Pride 2016-02-24
THEATER REVIEW Other Letters 2016-02-17
LETTERS 2016-02-10
LETTER Using the charge of "anti-Semitism" 2016-02-05
LETTERS Comments on Creating Change protest continue 2016-02-02
LETTERS Mixed emotions; Quitting; Protesting the protesters 2016-01-27
Durbin defends Brewster in letter to Pope Francis 2015-12-19
LETTERS Sweeps; Palatine locker room; The video; Speak up 2015-12-16
An Open Letter to Mayor Emanuel 2015-12-11
LETTER Affinity on city, national challenges 2015-12-09
LETTERS 'Sleep' and sweeps; Affinity Community Services "As We Give Thanks" 2015-12-02
Letters: Black and white 2015-11-18
LGBT Community Fund requests Letters of Inquiry for transformational grants 2015-11-04
LETTERS to the editor 2015-10-21
LETTER: Latinos and HIV, breaking the silence and shame 2015-10-14
LETTERS Creating housing 2015-10-14
LETTER Kim Hunt on moving on 2015-10-07
Plaintiff in Supreme Court case Obergefell writes open letter to Kim Davis 2015-10-01
A letter about dying, to my lesbian communities 2015-09-30
LETTER Pope and circumstance 2015-09-30
LETTER Invite to the pope 2015-09-16
LETTER: Research-oriented 2015-09-02
World news: UN briefing; Turing letters; African activist 2015-09-01
Letters to the editor: Make some noise 2015-08-26
Stop and frisk: An Open Letter to the ACLU 2015-08-19

Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by