Posts tagged - local assistance committee

Welcome to Chicago!

The Local Area Committee would like to welcome all attendees to Chicago for MLA 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago! Enjoy your conference!

Find the information you need for MLA 2014 at the conference website and here at the MLA 2014 Conference Blog.

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Free Exhibit Highlights the Use of Big Data in Chicago

A special exhibit titled Chicago: City of Big Data and presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation is currently on view downtown. Big data in the urban context encompasses everything from data collected by environmental sensors to messages on social media. This new exhibition explores the use of urban data for planning, architecture and services. You can explore interactive displays, recreated sections of the city and even get views into your own personal data. The exhibit features a number of interactive data-based activities using various large sets of data about Chicago’s urban environment and people. The centerpiece of the exhibit, located in CAF’s atrium, is the Chicago Model. It is the only accurate and up-to-date 3-D depiction of Chicago’s downtown. For the exhibit, the Chicago Model will be enhanced with new touch-screens, a colorful light installation, and an interactive digital model of the city.

Free to the public
Open 9am – 6:30pm daily
CAF Atrium Gallery
224 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago IL 60604

[Thanks to Andrea Twiss-Brooks for providing this information!]

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Dine-Around Chicago!

MLA conference attendees who will be arriving in Chicago on Thursday, May 15 or Friday, May 16 are invited to join us for a Dine-Around. A Dine-Around is a casual dining experience with fellow MLA Conference attendees who want to enjoy a nice meal and interesting conversation. We have made reservations for groups of 8 (including the host) at several local restaurants. To sign up for a Dine-Around, visit the Hospitality Booth (across from the registration desk in the Hyatt). Hospitality Booth hours are 4:00-7:00 PM on Thursday and 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Friday. Signup sheets with the restaurant and the assigned host’s name will be available there.

All reservations are for 7:00 PM. Restaurants are within walking distance of the Hyatt, except for Greek Islands which is a short cab ride away. Diners should meet the hosts in the Hospitality Booth area at 6:30 PM; groups will walk/cab together to the restaurants. For more information on the menus and locations, please consult the list below.

For other dining options, don’t forget to consult the MLA ’14 Restaurant Guide:
https://www.mlanet.org/am/am2014/sites/default/files/am2014/mla14_restaurantguide_web.pdf

Thursday Dine-Arounds

Friday Dine-Arounds:

[Thanks to Andrea Twiss-Brooks for providing this information!]

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Guest Post by Gail Hendler – Chicago on a Shoestring

Thank you to Gail Hendler, Chair, Publicity and Promotion Committee and Associate Provost and Library director of Loyola University Health Sciences Library, for contributing this great post! 

Chicago on a Shoestring
Chicago is a beautiful, diverse, and exciting city with world- class shopping, music, dance, and theater for every taste and every budget. The frugal librarian’s guide to experiencing the best for less offers recommendations for visiting must-see attractions a budget.

Theater and Entertainment
The Second City offers first-rate theater downtown (the Loop) and in various locations around the Chicagoland area. The League of Chicago Theaters offers half-price tickets for same-day performance at three locations in town and online via Hot Tix www.hottix.org . For those who prefer advance planning, Goldstar www.goldstar.com offers deep discounts on plays and other attractions including dance, concerts, comedy clubs, and walking and architecture tours. Check Goldstar for tickets to the Joffrey Ballet’s performance of Romeo and Juliet. Other hot ticket recommendations for May include a visit to Chicago’s most famous and oldest theater, the Goodman, to see White Snake, and a trip uptown to catch Russian Transport at the Steppenwolf. If you’ve never attended a staged reading, come to Shaw Chicago to see it done right. The superb cast will read Man and Superman from April 26 – May 19, 2014. Round out your theater experience with a trip to Chicago’s waterside entertainment hub, Navy Pier. After taking in the Ferris wheel and free admission to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows be sure to catch Henry V at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Attractions
Chicago’s Miracle Mile offers some of the best shopping in the city world, but bargain hunters will appreciate a trip to State and Lake in the heart of the Loop to spy sales in the stores where natives go to shop. State Street is lined with historic buildings, vibrant art installations, and hosts the annual Spring Flower Show. Macy’s on State Street is the former home of Marshall Fields and is the second largest department store in the world and offers a 10% discount pass to visitors that can be applied to a purchase of Frangos mints – a must-have souvenir and a tradition continued from the Marshall Field days

Lincoln Park Zoo is always free and is a quick bus or subway (“L”) ride uptown from the Hotel. Meet hundreds of species from around the world, visit the beautiful gardens, and enjoy beer or wine while taking in spectacular views of the Chicago skyline.

Back downtown, Millennium Park and nearby Grant Park offer visitors an urban sanctuary that combines green space with art and architecture. You must see and be photographed in front of the “Bean” or Cloud Gate.

For librarians that love to discover new neighborhoods on foot, the Chicago Greeter Program offers free walking tours by knowledgeable, native guides: http://chicagogreeter.com/ Tours are scheduled by location or by interest. Walkers can explore Chicago’s incredible art and architecture in Wicker Park, Hyde Park or Ukrainian Village. Foodies can tour the Logan Square, West Loop, Albany Park or Lincoln Square neighborhoods. History buffs can learn about Bronzeville, Lincoln Park, and Old Town. All this and more and for free!

Chicago beaches are staffed with lifeguards from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but open all year round. Jog, walk or stroll up to Oak Street Beach (Lakeshore Drive and Oak) to visit the Lake that resembles an ocean.

Museums
Some of Chicago’s museums offer free admission days. The Art Institute of Chicago is free on Thursday evenings and the Museum of Contemporary Art is free on Tuesdays. The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art charges no admission to view works of visionary art by self-taught artists and the National Museum of Mexican Art is also free. The Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium do offer resident discounts and free admission to select exhibits. If you’d like to visit many of Chicago’s world-famous museums, then the official City Pass will provide significant savings: www.citypass.com.

Explore, enjoy and save. Chicago offers visitors substantial savings on so many attractions you will have to return again and again. Welcome to the Windy City, home of great art, architecture, entertainment and hospitable Chicagoans.

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Reminder: Sign Up By Monday for Chicago Library Tours!

The organizers of the MLA ’14 meeting in Chicago invite you to join one of three library tours that have been organized for MLA participants. Details for each tour are given.

PLEASE SIGN UP BY Monday, May 12th.

Tour of Galter Health Sciences Library, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
May 17th 1:00-2:00 PM
303 E. Chicago Avenue
http://www.galter.northwestern.edu/

Meet at the Galter Health Sciences Library, 303 E. Chicago Avenue. Transportation is not provided. Cab fare is approximately $10 from downtown. Public transportation options can be found at:
http://www.northwestern.edu/uservices/transportation/commuter/public-transit.html
Please note, Galter Health Sciences Library is located on the CHICAGO campus.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please sign up by sending an email to bkern@uchicago.edu with the subject line “MLA TOUR – GALTER” (please note space is limited).

Tour of the Newberry Library
May 17th 10:30 AM
60 West Walton Street
http://www.newberry.org/

“A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry offers readers an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries.”
http://www.newberry.org/about

Meet at the Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street. Transportation is not provided. Cab fare is approximately $10 from downtown.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please sign up by sending an email to bkern@uchicago.edu with the subject line “MLA TOUR – NEWBERRY” (please note space is limited).

Tour of the University of Chicago Library
May 15th 1:00-4:30 PM
1100 East 57th Street

The tour includes the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library (including a demonstration of the automatic book retrieval system), the University of Chicago Library Preservation Department, the Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation Exhibit in Special Collections Research Center and the John Crerar Library.

[Thanks to Barbara Kern for providing this information!]

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Guest Post by Chris Schmit – Navigating a New City

Thank you to Chris Schmit from Loyola University Health Sciences Library! This is a great post on navigating a new city. 

Navigating a New City

Visiting a new city can be overwhelming at times. It can be tempting to just sit back in your hotel room and order some room service or head down to the hotel restaurant. But I encourage you to venture out into the city and try some of the great dining options that Chicago has to offer. In order to help you find some hidden gems in addition to well-known establishments, I will be highlighting some fantastic tools to use in order to make your stay in Chicago more pleasant, and to keep your stomach full of local eats. The majority of the tools that I am highlighting are available to you both in a smartphone format and by using a computer.

Transportation

Once you have figured out where you’d like to go for food, you’ll need to figure out how to get there. If you are driving, walking or taking public transportation, Google maps/Apple maps is a must. Just enter your start and end points and choose the method that you will be using. If you don’t have a smartphone, use a computer to get the basics of how you will get to your destination and make note of the major street names. If you have a smartphone and are walking, I recommend using your headphones and allowing the app to direct you with audio directions.

If you’d prefer to take a taxi to your destination and you have a smartphone, the über app will be very convenient. You can just type in your destination’s address, and the app will use your smartphone’s location to dispatch a car to you. The fare and tip will all be paid via the app (using a credit card). For more information, check out Uber’s website: https://www.uber.com/cities/chicago

You can also use a local taxi company like Yellow Cab 312-TAXICAB or use the app they support called Taxi Magic.

Food & Events

Now that you have your transportation in order, time to find where you are going to eat. If you have a smartphone, many of these apps will send the address to your smartphone’s maps app, which will make your travels much easier. Don’t forget to take a look at the online map of the recommended restaurants located here: http://goo.gl/mT1cEU

Yelp is a website/app to use to find a spot to eat at when I am visiting a new city, or just want to try a new place in a familiar neighborhood. No matter what kind of food you’d like to eat or for what price, you will be able to find a restaurant using yelp. Definitely look through the reviews to see what people have recommended to order (or avoid) at a particular place. Also, check the hours listed on the restaurants page to be sure they are open when you visit.

foursquare is also a great place to check for local places to visit. In addition to finding great places to eat, foursquare will also have information on other items of interest like events, entertainment and shopping. Just like Yelp, Foursquare is very customizable. You can filter results based on distance, food type, and price. It also contains information about the hours of a location.

If you don’t want to venture out, you can use grubhub to order food for delivery (or pickup if you still want to go out). Similar to the other sites/apps, you can filter your results based on cuisine type, delivery options or takeout. Many of the restaurants featured on grubhub will also list their most ordered items to let you know what others have been eating.

If you are heading to a spot that seems trendy or you have a bigger group, use opentable to reserve a table ahead of time so you won’t have to wait. You can specify the time you’d like to eat and the size of your party and opentable will show you restaurants that have availability. Some will even offer discounts to lure you to their establishment and ensure they have a full house.

http://www.opentable.com/chicago-restaurants?mn=11

Finally, if you’d like to view the menu of a restaurant before visiting, or just to help you decide, Menupages is a must visit. You can either use the cuisines listed or click on a neighborhood/area to see what is available for you.

http://chicago.menupages.com/

 

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LGBT Chicago – Guest Post by Tiffany Tawzer and Jacqueline Leskovec

Thank you to Tiffany Tawzer and Jacqueline Leskovec from NN/LM Greater Midwest Region for their great guest post on LGBT Chicago!

LGBT Chicago 

The Windy City has been a welcoming place for the LGBT community for many years, and Illinois passed marriage equality just last year in 2013. Here are a few places you may wish to put on your itinerary during your stay. Most places are easily accessible by the CTA, so get a several day bus/train pass at one of the CTA kiosks and partake of what Chicago has to offer.

Boystown, the first officially-recognized gay village in the United States, is located in the East Lakeview neighborhood. The area is bordered by Lake Michigan, Clark Street, Irving Park Road and Diversey Avenue, but the streets of North Halsted (“Northalsted”) and Broadway are its commercial heart. With its rainbow pylons and flags dotting the streets, Boystown is home to numerous shops and restaurants run by (and for) members of the LGBTQ community and is at the heart of many of the festivities during Chicago Pride Week every June. Boystown sports a lively nightlife. Dance the night away at Roscoe’s or take in the view at Sidetrack, which has been Chicago’s premiere video bar for 30 years.

Boystown is home to the Center on Halsted, the most prominent LGBTQ organization in the city and the largest in the Midwest. The Center provides a safe space for individuals and organizes a large range of programs and events designed to meet the social, cultural, health, and legal needs of the community. The Center is open to the public from 8am-9pm daily. A Whole Foods Market anchors the Center, where visitors can pick up a bite and settle in the large seating area on the first floor for conversation and people watching.

Just outside of Boystown, the Howard Brown Health Center exists to “eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.” Though visitors might not require their services, the Health Center operates three Brown Elephant resale shops around the city, which fund services more than 50% of their under- or uninsured patients. These eclectic shops are located in Boystown (across from the Center on Halsted), Andersonville, and Oak Park, and are open from 11am-6pm daily.

To the north, the Andersonville neighborhood (unofficially known as “Girls Town”) is also home to a number of LGBTQ stores and restaurants, and is known for its commitment to independently-run businesses. Among these is the Women and Children First bookstore, one of the largest feminist bookstores in the country. They specialize in books by and about women as well as LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction. Like Boystown, restaurants in Andersonville are plenty and provide a variety of tasty fares.

If you need a place to work out or relax, the Cheetah Gym on Clark in Andersonville is “Where the boys and girls come to get pumped up”. For women looking for a unique spa experience, Thousand Waves Spa provides a woman-only space and is located just west of Boystown on Belmont Avenue.

If you are looking for a place to worship while in the city, the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches maintains a list of welcoming congregations across a variety of denominations. If you want to venture outside the city, the near western suburb of Oak Park (which is LGBTQ-friendly in its own right) is home to nine welcoming congregations. Of special note is the Unity Temple, a historic landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that houses a welcoming Universal Unitarian congregation.

For more news, events, places of interest, and more, the Windy City Times is Chicago’s premier LGBTQ media outlet. Enjoy your meeting, and see you in Chicago!

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Parks and Gardens in Chicago

A Colorful Evening by Sandeep Pawar. This photo is licensed under creative commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

A Colorful Evening by Sandeep Pawar. This photo is licensed under creative commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

May is a great time to take advantage of Chicago’s parks and gardens.

 

Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/) maintains parks throughout the Chicago area. Take in some natural beauty in busy downtown by visiting any of the Chicago Park District’s parks and facilities. Some of the closest green areas to the Hyatt include the Lake Shore East Park, which is east of the hotel toward the lake. Grant Park is also a short walk away, located on the south side of the Chicago River. A walk through Grant Park includes Millennium Park, the Lurie Gardens, and a large variety sculptural art.

North of the Hyatt is another large park, Lincoln Park, which includes the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a truly unique destination. The Conservatory is home to tropical plants, such as palms and orchids, as well as grows thousands of local plants for Chicago parks. The Conservatory borders on the Lincoln Park Zoo, so make that your next stop. Also make a point to visit the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (http://www.naturemuseum.org/), which is located practically across the street from the Lincoln Park Zoo. While this museum is most known for its unique butterfly collection, it is dedicated to providing experiences that expand our knowledge of nature and science.

 

Museum Campus

The Museum Campus, located at Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt, is connected to a beautiful lakefront walk. Take a long stroll south to wander among the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field. You are welcome to explore any of the museums, but the campus itself is an invigorating walk with beautiful views of Lake Michigan.

 

Chicago Botanic Gardens

The Chicago Botanic Gardens (http://www.chicagobotanic.org/) are located in a northern suburb of Chicago. The Botanic Gardens include 26 unique gardens, 4 natural areas and 6 miles of lake shore line for you to explore. You can see what’s in bloom in May by checking out their “In Bloom” page at http://www.chicagobotanic.org/inbloom. The greenhouses will be full of exotic tropical plants regardless of the time of year.  Directions to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, by car or public transportation, are available on their website at http://www.chicagobotanic.org/visit/directions.

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Chicago Culture – Guest Post by Jeanne Sadlik

Thank you to Jeanne Sadlik, Associate Director of Loyola University Health Sciences Library, for her helpful post on Chicago Culture! 

Chicago Culture

Chicago is a wonderful city to explore and enjoy whether you like museums, theater, or music. There are so many choices and options for everyone.

The Art Institute, a short walk from the Hyatt Regency, is a world renowned museum with many treasures. See Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on the Grande Jatte”, along with pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Georgia O’Keefe. There is a great exhibit “When the Greeks Ruled Egypt” with over 75 pieces of art that reveal the influence of foreign rule on ancient Egypt’s culture which runs through July, 2014. For more information go to www.artic.edu.

Did you read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, set in Chicago during the planning and execution of the 1893 World’s Fair? The Fair comes to life in the Field Museum’s exhibit Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair (www.fieldmuseum.org ). Some of the “Firsts” at the World’s Fair include the Ferris Wheel, a moving walkway, Cracker Jacks, Juicy Fruit gum, and Quaker Oats. You can take a ride on Chicago’s Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier (http://www.navypier.com/) which is modeled after the original Ferris Wheel at the Fair; it is 150 feet high and allows for amazing views of the Chicago skyline and lakefront in a seven minute rotation.

TheaterinChicago.com is a great site to explore if you enjoy going to plays. Blue Man Group is a classic that combines music, art, science and vaudeville at the Briar Street Theatre. The national tour of the Broadway hit, Motown The Musical is at the Ford Oriental Theatre and delves into people who made the Motown sound famous including Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross. Check the website in April/May to see what other events are playing during MLA.

Looking for a way to unwind at the end of the day? Chicago is famous for its jazz clubs. In fact, according to the Chicago Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago has played a vital role in the evolution of jazz. Chicago Jazz Magazine’s website (www.chicagojazz.com) can guide you to some great locations to hear jazz. Andy’s Jazz Club http://www.andysjazzclub.com is located at 11 E Hubbard Street, just a few minutes away from the hotel. It is ranked as one of the 8 best jazz clubs in Chicago by Chicagoist.com. Andy’s is a great place to have dinner or relax with friends after a day of meetings.

Another style of music for your enjoyment is Chamber music. The International Chamber Artists are performing May 18 & 19th with their Sounds of Imagination tour. For more information go to http://www.icamusic.org/#!may-18-2014/c1emy and explore their “Sounds of Spain” program.

The Chicago Cultural Center (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenter.html is housed in a landmark building. It was built in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library. According to their website “the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis”. The building itself is worth a visit with two amazing stained glass domes that are described on their website “On the south side of the building, is the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome ? 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass which was restored to its original splendor in 2008. And on the north side of the building is a 40-foot-diameter dome with some 50,000 pieces of glass in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet.” The Chicago Cultural Center hosts free exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and dance performances, and films at the cultural center and throughout the city. Check out their website for events during your visit.

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Sign Up for One of These Chicago Library Tours!

The organizers of the MLA ’14 meeting in Chicago invite you to join one of three library tours that have been organized for MLA participants. Details for each tour are given.

Tour of Galter Health Sciences Library, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
May 17th 1:00-2:00 PM
303 E. Chicago Avenue
http://www.galter.northwestern.edu/

Meet at the Galter Health Sciences Library, 303 E. Chicago Avenue. Transportation is not provided. Cab fare is approximately $10 from downtown. Public transportation options can be found at:
http://www.northwestern.edu/uservices/transportation/commuter/public-transit.html
Please note, Galter Health Sciences Library is located on the CHICAGO campus.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please sign up by sending an email to bkern@uchicago.edu with the subject line “MLA TOUR – GALTER” (please note space is limited).

Tour of the Newberry Library
May 17th 10:30 AM
60 West Walton Street
http://www.newberry.org/

“A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry offers readers an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries.” http://www.newberry.org/about

Meet at the Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street. Transportation is not provided. Cab fare is approximately $10 from downtown.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please sign up by sending an email to bkern@uchicago.edu with the subject line “MLA TOUR – NEWBERRY” (please note space is limited).

Tour of the University of Chicago Library
May 15th 1:00-4:30 PM
1100 East 57th Street

The tour includes the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library (including a demonstration of the automatic book retrieval system), the University of Chicago Library Preservation Department, the Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation Exhibit in Special Collections Research Center and the John Crerar Library.

Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
http://mansueto.lib.uchicago.edu/
Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation Exhibit in Special Collections Research Center
http://news.lib.uchicago.edu/blog/2014/03/11/imagingimagining-the-human-body-in-anatomical-representation/
John Crerar Library
http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/crerar/about.html
Meet at the Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street. Transportation is not provided. Cab fare is approximately $25.00 from downtown. Public transportation options can be found at: https://maps.uchicago.edu/directions/masstransit.shtml

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please sign up by sending an email to bkern@uchicago.edu with the subject line “MLA TOUR – UCHICAGO” (please note space is limited).

[Thanks to Andrea Twiss-Brooks for providing this post!]

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