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Gerber/Hart Library to Begin Long-Awaited Move

By Benjamin Woodard | April 19, 2013 8:57am

ROGERS PARK — Gerber/Hart Library, which holds the Midwest's largest collection of LGBT literature, plans to begin moving into its new location this month after a year without a home, said library president Brad Tucker.

He said he hopes the library would be open to the public and to historians in about three weeks, if all goes as planned.

The 32-year-old library was the center of controversy last year after a "For Rent" sign quietly popped up on the window of its former Granville Avenue location in Edgewater.

Tucker, 50, of Andersonville, said many reports of in-fighting and power struggles among the library's three-person board were "hyped and sensationalized" in the media.

"There has been some problems and issues we have had to work through," he said when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

He said he was appointed president shortly after news broke of the impending move to sort through some of those problems that arose under the leadership of former president Karen Sendziak.

When the library packed up and moved out of its Granville Avenue storefront, it had claimed it would reopen shortly after on the second floor of 6500 N. Clark St. in Rogers Park.

But months went by and the library's collection of more than 14,000 volumes and 800 periodicals about the LGBT community remained in boxes and in offsite storage.

"The move has been planned for a year," Tucker said. "We signed the lease last April ... with the promise of a build out that would take 90 days. It’s taken a whole lot longer than that."

Tucker blamed the delay on problems with contractors, the building's owner and with the city.

Now, he said, workers are set to move the rest of the library's inventory on April 30.

"We’re as eager to get up and running to serve the community" as the community is to visit the library, Tucker said.