New Gerber/Hart president speaks to Windy City Times

Sat. June 23, 2012 7:53 AM by News Staff

brad tucker

photo credit // windy city times
Chicago, IL - Since the Windy City Times first reported in January that Gerber/Hart Library and Archives was moving from its Edgewater neighborhood location, questions remained over the future of Chicago's only LGBT library and archives.

Former library board president Karen Sendziak refused to address questions and concerns from the community, which prompted a group of volunteers, members, past board members and others connected to Gerber/Hart Library to issue a public letter to Sendziak and the current board requesting the organization discuss questions surrounding the library's future. 

In late May, Sendziak was replaced mid-term by Brad Tucker.

"It's time for a change of management at Gerber/Hart, a change of leadership," Tucker told the Windy City Times in an exclusive interview published June 22. "I looked at the situation and thought that I could make a difference for the organization. I've been active in it for over 10 years."

Sendziak remains on the board as treasurer.

Tucker, who previously served as board president, called Sendziak "the most wonderful woman in the world" but admitted she lacked understanding of the media.

Over the past few months, it was Sendziak's refusal to answer questions that not only created a tumultuous relationship with the community, but with Chicago's LGBT media as well.

For his part, Tucker has been critical of Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim and the paper's coverage since late January when neighbors first noticed a "for rent" sign in the front window of the library's current location in Edgewater. 

The Gerber/Hart Library could open at its new location in Rogers Park by the end of August, according to Tucker.

"So much is going to depend on the City of Chicago and the building permits, and the occupancy permits," he told the Windy City Times.

The new location at 6500 N. Clark will included 20 parking spaces and is located across from a CTA bus turnaround for the #36 Broadway and #151 Sheridan buses, making access easy for the entire LGBT community. 

Tucker revealed that the board signed a seven-year lease but would not offer further details of the deal.

"I can't say. The library has an agreement not to say," he said.

When asked, Tucker assured the Windy City Times that the archives remain safe.

The Gerber/Hart library, which houses over 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles, and 100 archival collections, was founded in 1981 and has since grown into being the Midwest's largest LGBT circulating library. It was originally located at 3255 N. Sheffield Ave. 

Read the full interview with Brad Tucker in the Windy City Times.