The Gwendolyn Brooks Resource Library is a non-circulating collection of about 1,000 books and materials on African and African American history and culture; including an impressive collection of photobooks and titles for children and young adults.

The library is located inside the South Dallas Cultural Center and is open to the public. Students, collectors, and researchers are encouraged to explore the collection for research purposes.


The Resource Library is named in honor of poet, author, and educator, Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks. Born June 7, 1917, Brooks exhibited an enthusiasm for reading and writing at an early age. She published her first poem in a children’s magazine by the age of thirteen and continued to build an impressive collection of published works throughout her teenage years.

Brooks’ second book of poetry,Β Annie AllenΒ (1949) was awarded the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, making Brooks the first African American to receive the coveted award. The book was also awardedΒ Poetry Magazineβ€˜s Eunice Tietjens Prize.

Teaching and mentorship gave Brooks’ an opportunity to share her love for poetry and writing. She taught extensively throughout Chicago and around the country; holding positions at Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Elmhurst College, Columbia University, and City College of New York.

Brooks passed away in her Chicago home on December 3, 2000 at the age of 83, leaving behind a dynamic legacy of storytelling that inspires writers today.


  • Patrons using the library are required to sign-in.
  • Oversized coats, backpacks, large bags, briefcases, and umbrellas must be checked-in before entering the Library. Checked-in items will be securely locked in a closet. Personal materials will be secured in a locked closet only accessible by SDCC staff.
  • No food or drink will be allowed in the library.
  • Materials may not be checked out. However, scanning to email or a flash drive is free, as well as photocopies under ten pages.
  • Personal laptops and tablets are permitted in the library. Wi-Fi is available.


The South Dallas Cultural Center welcomes donations of books and reference materials for its resource library. Donated materials must be in good to excellent condition and must pertain to African Diasporic history and culture.

Donations become the property of the Center and each item will be evaluated to be added to the collection, discarded, or donated to another institution. Books and materials that are in poor condition, dirty, water damaged, or moldy will not be accepted.

For more information, contact General Manager,Β John Spriggins.


Monday – Friday: 10AM – 5PM

Saturday – Sunday: Closed