Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gerber/Hart Library & Archives Elects New President, Board Member

Brad Tucker is the new Gerber/Hart president.
Tucker also is the owner of our local Neighborhood Directs

.photo courtesy Facebook
(Rogers Park) - Gerber/Hart Library announces that Brad Tucker has been elected President of the Board of Directors to fulfill the remainder of Karen Sendziak’s term. Karen Sendziak has been elected Treasurer, and John Orwat, PhD has been elected Secretary of the Board. Orwat will finish the unexpired term of his predecessor.

Brad Tucker served as President of Gerber/Hart from 1997 – 1999 and oversaw Gerber/Hart’s move from its previous location on Paulina Street to the facility on Granville Avenue. Tucker said, “Moving Gerber/Hart to Granville Avenue marked the beginning of a new era for Gerber/Hart in 1999. Moving to 6500 N. Clark St. will mark the beginning of another new chapter in Gerber/Hart’s 31 year history and I am honored to be able to be a part of it.”

Tucker stated that re-opening Gerber/Hart to the public will be his number one priority and is counting on volunteers to help unpack, re-shelve and reset the Library in its new home as soon as construction is completed.

“With the help of Karen Sendziak, Gerber/Hart recently received a large donation of furniture, which will fit beautifully in the new library. The new space is being custom built for Gerber/Hart and its needs. We will have much more space to house and process archives, a separate area for booksales, bright sunny reading areas, a meeting room and an exhibition hall that will allow local artists to display their works to the public. Once complete, the library will be handicap accessible and ADA compliant”, Tucker said.

Going forward Tucker says he will primarily focus on board development, new fundraising initiatives, community outreach and implementing new management strategies. He expects to develop oversight bodies for the library, archives and programming at Gerber/Hart. “It’s embarrassing to admit, but during my first three years as president I never learned how to check out a book for a patron. I won’t pretend I’m a librarian or archivist. I will leave that work to the professionals and our well-trained volunteers. I see my role as helping to develop the future of Gerber/Hart; developing future leaders, insuring its financial viability and making sure Gerber/Hart is providing services and sharing our resources with the community.”

Former president Karen Sendziak has now assumed the position of Treasurer. Sendziak is also Gerber/Hart’s longest and most steadfast volunteer. For almost 25 years she has served as Historian, Archivist, volunteer coordinator, board member, President, programming director, exhibit curator and a host of other positions at Gerber/Hart. “Without Karen Sendziak, I’m not certain Gerber/Hart would be around today”, Tucker said. 

John Orwat, PhD will assume the role of Secretary on the Board of Directors. John is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University. He has done significant research in the areas of substance abuse treatment among adults living with HIV/AIDS.

Don Landers will remain on the board as a member at large.

Gavin Rehfeldt has been appointed Gerber/Hart's Exhibition Coordinator. Rehfeldt received his Masters of Arts Management from Columbia College, has interned at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, and has served has as Exhibition coordinator for the Chicago Mosaic School. He looks forward to creating exhibits with compelling visuals that contribute to conversations concerning the history and experiences of LGBTQ individuals.

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives was founded in 1981 to be a depository for the records of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals and organizations, and for other resources bearing upon their lives and experiences in American society. Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has since grown into being the Midwest's largest LGBT circulating library with over 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles, and 100 archival collections.

For more information about Gerber/Hart Library and Archives go to or call 773-381-8030.

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