Libraries in Chicago

THE 10 BEST Chicago Libraries

Libraries in Chicago

  • Traveller favourites
    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
  • Traveller ranking
    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
Traveller Resources
Traveller rating
Neighbourhoods
Good for
12 places sorted by traveller favourites

What travellers are saying

  • Grover R
    Pensacola, FL17,677 contributions
    While this is not the same as the old library turned cultural center, this property still boast architectural features that make you notice. The owls in the corner are fantastic touches to another great Chicago building.
    Written 23 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • L H
    Chicago, IL1,817 contributions
    Beautiful old building full of Chicago history with a great gift shop. And it’s FREE. They also offer a courses, and have exhibitions. You can search their collection online.
    Written 28 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mark L
    29 contributions
    Features single exhibits rather than museum approach
    Exhibit “Drawn To War” a comprehensive review of the career of famed WW 2 and later political cartoonist Bill Maudlin

    Good displays in pleasant bright airy space overlooking Michigan Ave and Grant Park

    In a stunning architectural gem, take time to check out lobby especially ceiling
    Written 30 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • northernk
    Phoenix, AZ11,866 contributions
    if you are in the vicinity and have a moment please make sure you check this place out, always stuff going on, and fascinating structure to visit and admire the construction.
    Written 10 August 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • IAN D
    Wigan, UK19,117 contributions
    This is home to the historic pumping station. Also acts as a small information centre and little library. Seems odd this survivor from the 1800'S amidst massive skyscrapers.
    Written 9 September 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Veronica G
    Chicago, IL53 contributions
    This particular location is very fun and the location is accessible to the Chicago River Branch as well. The Red Line CTA train is nearby. In addition, there are plenty of shopping markets to buy anything that you might need.
    Written 9 July 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Annaline
    Park Ridge, IL7,031 contributions
    I recently signed up for French classes here. So far so good. I’m not disappointed. I am just confused by the class schedule- system-numbering... and this location doesn’t have its own parking but they validate parking tickets ( for $9)
    Written 4 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ericzieg
    Chicago, IL10 contributions
    Read/Write Library features one-of-a-kind self-published books and materials -- a kind of underground history of Chicago. Also worth checking on events and classes there.
    Written 12 November 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,132 contributions
    The T.B. Blackstone Memorial Library on Chicago's South Side, also known as Blackstone Library and Blackstone Branch and just plain Blackstone, has historical and architectural significance. Built in 1902-1904, it was the first dedicated branch in the Chicago Library System and the only branch in the 79-branch system that was constructed using private funding. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2010. Located at 4904 South Lake Park Avenue, in the Kenwood community, the library was dedicated to the memory of Timothy Beach Blackstone, president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad from 1864 to 1899 and founding president of the Chicago Stock Yards, who owned the property on which the Blackstone Library now stands. The building was designed by architect Solon S. Beman and modeled after Beman's Merchant Tailors Building, the domed temple facing the lagoon in the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the Erechtheum at the Athenian Acropolis. The building features a Tiffany style dome, marble column and walls in the rotunda and foyer, four overhead rotunda murals painted by Oliver Dennett Grover, a mural painter for the World's Columbian Exposition, square Italian marble mosaic flooring, a glass-floor mezzanine, 2,800-pound bronze plate, solid copper core outer front doors, 2,150-pound bronze and glass inner doors, 12-inch-thick granite walls and ionic columns. The interior is just as lavish with bronze and mahogany furnishings, matching built-in shelving and custom-made bronze lamps. Like all branches, the Blackstone Library provides both free wi-fi access and free terminals with both internet access and printing facilties.
    Written 6 November 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,132 contributions
    My wife and I live on Chicago's Gold Coast and for years we visited the Barnes & Noble bookstore at 1130 North State Street for our literary needs. Then, like so many other bookstores, it closed. Fortunately, another Barnes & Noble is located conveniently at 1441 West Webster, at Clybourn, in the Webster Place shopping mall. With lots of parking. Open from 10 to 7 Monday through Saturday and from 11 to 7 on Sunday, it is an all-encompassing store that includes a cafe and offers magazines, textbooks, toys, games, stationery, gifts, DVDs, vinyl records, music, Blu-rays and kids' books. Service is swift and friendly. On our most recent visit, I was able to purchase an early copy of Twilight of the Gods, Ian W. Toll's final volume of his well documented and fascinating study of his War in the Pacific trilogy. This book covers 1944-1945, from the Battle of the Philippine Sea to the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, I love history, especially the Civil War and World War II, and I never cease to marvel at how much new material is uncovered by such gifted writers as Toll.
    Written 13 January 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • messro
    chicago83 contributions
    Genealogy programs are offered several times a year from censuses and land records to online databases. This is my go to place for naturalization records, though more are becoming available online.
    Written 12 May 2015
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago