From the Chair: My Chicago

Sarah Erekson


I’m so excited that the Annual Conference this year is in my hometown. As a passionate steward of government information in Chicago, here are a few highlights of my city and my collection.

The last time the American Library Association conference was in Chicago was the Midwinter Meetings held in February 2015, when attendees got a taste of Chicago’s winter. Between Saturday night and Monday morning, more than nineteen inches of snow fell as librarians settled into hotel rooms and bars from Streeterville to McCormick Place.1 In winters past, such storms have at times been politically significant. After the Blizzard of 1979, Jane Byrne won the mayoral election in an unprecedented upset. Chicagoans had re-elected the incumbent mayor in the five previous elections (Richard J. Daley served from 1955 to 1976). Michael Bilandic’s term as mayor could have been the start to another dynasty, if not for the snow. You could take Whet Moser’s word for it, in “Snowpocalyspe Then: How the Blizzard of 1979 Cost the Election for Michael Bilandic.”Or you could use the government information expertise and collections of the Chicago Public Library.

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