Workers' reading and education tradition include Mechanics' Institutes (1800) and Reading Rooms in union halls. Dorothy Day's columns in The Catholic Worker specifically mention the reading rooms in every union she visited. Samuel Gompers' cigar rollers voted to have a member on the clock read to them as they worked. Welcome to our online Reading Room page, continuing and expanding on the Reading Room feature that I started with this Tuesday March 10, 2009 post.
Closing with another reading room image, the Ottendorfer Library, opened in 1884 as New York City's first free public library—a sentimental personal favorite. This picture of the stack looks much the same as I remember the library 1965-7 when I lived just around the corner on East 9th.