SOUTH SHORE — The South Shore Public Library will celebrate its 85th anniversary with a day of music and stories on May 31.
The library, 2505 E. 73rd St., will hold an open house for the public to come and meet their neighbors and see the library’s two sculptures by artists Muneer Bahauddeen and Laverne Brackens and its special African American heritage collection.
Starting at 10 a.m., Jeanie B! will sing, play music and tell stories for kids.
Mo’ Beats Blues will perform a soulful concert for adults at 2 p.m.
In between the concerts, library staff will tell the story of the 85-year-old institution that has stood through all the changes in the neighborhood.
“There were Germans here and Jewish a little later,” said branch manger Sandra Mohammed, describing the neighborhood when the Tudor-style library first opened in 1929. “I would say it was working class, but the Jackson Park Highlands was more affluent.”
She said the library has stayed in South Shore through the influx of African Americans in the 1960s and continued checking out books through the more recent rise of the Internet.
“All this technology! I remember the card catalogs,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed, who has been a librarian for 37 years, 10 at the South Shore branch, said the library has regulars that come in to use the Internet, but disputes claims that people don’t read like they used to.
“The urban novels, oh, the women love that — but they’re a little on the raunchy side,” she said.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: