Michael Parry Mazur Library
The Heartland Institute is proud to make available to the public the Michael Parry Mazur Memorial Library, the Midwest’s best library on freedom and limited government with more than 14,600 books. The library is located at The Heartland Institute at 3939 North Wilke Road in Arlington Heights, Illinois. You can browse everything in the library via this online database.
About the Collection
The Michael Parry Mazur Library holds more than 11,000 books on American history, economics, education, environment issues, health care policy, law, libertarianism, philosophy, and other topics. The collection will be of special interest to students and scholars studying economics and political science, elected officials and members of their staffs, and concerned citizens.
Watch the Grand Opening presentations below, and read a re-cap here.
In September 2016, the Michael Parry Mazur Library was accepted for membership in RAILS -- Reaching Across Illinois Library System. RAILS serves approximately 1,300 academic, public, school, and special library agencies in northern and west-central Illinois.
Subjects in the Collection
The collection offers books in the following topic areas:
Literature & Literary Criticism
|Math & Science|
Political Science/Public Policy
Psychology & Sociology
Public Policy – Budget & Taxes
Public Policy – Entitlements
Public Policy – Foreign Policy
Public Policy – Labor Unions
Public Policy – Privatization
Public Policy – Technology
Socialism & Soviet Studies
A constantly updated catalogue of the collection is available online at this online, searchable database. The library is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no admission fee, but visitors are asked to call 312/377-4000 to make an appointment.
The library is not, at this time, a lending library. Patrons can use study space, wi-fi, copiers, and printers while visiting the library. Duplicate copies of some books in the collection are available for sale.
About Michael Parry Mazur
Michael Parry Mazur graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a Ph.D. in economics. He was a staff economist at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in Washington, DC serving under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Dr. Mazur passed away in 1987. For a more complete bio, click here.
About The Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organization. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, please visit Heartland's "About" page.
In this digital era it is easy to imagine that all the information a researcher might need is available online. This is not true.
Google and Wikipedia searches increasingly produce only “politically correct” results. Even efforts such as The Online Library of Liberty and Library of Economics and Liberty do not contain many of the books of interest and value to researchers interested in such public policy issues as environmental protection or health care reform. Searching the websites of the many conservative and libertarian think tanks for their own past publications can be tedious and surprisingly unproductive.
Heartland’s office space in downtown Chicago had room for only 20 or so bookcases, about 4,000 books. Our new home has room for five times as many bookcases in the formal library alone and room elsewhere in the space for two dozen more. Even before we moved in to our new building in 2015, several thousand books were donated to us by friends for the new and expanded library. We are building a truly one-of-a-kind library with hard-to-find books on free-market environmentalism, economics, health care, and much more — including a growing section on socialism and the history of the Soviet Union.
The retail price of books donated to The Heartland Institute is tax-deductible. The donor’s name can be stamped on title pages of donated books. Books also can be given with the understanding that they will be loaned, given away, auctioned, or sold for less than their retail prices to students and scholars.
Guidelines for Donating Books
Ship your books to 3939 North Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.
Heartland will pay for the cost of shipping: Depending on how many books you have, you might want to use a moving service rather than box up heavy books yourself and carry them to a Fed Ex or UPS office. Movers will box and move your entire library. Heartland would pay for that. Just send us the bill or ask for reimbursement.
How many books does Heartland want? We brought approximately 4,000 volumes with us from Chicago and already another 5,000 books have been donated and shelved. We have room to accommodate at least 15,000 volumes. If book donations exceed our capacity to exhibit them, we will offer duplicates to college students and others, perhaps charging $1 a book.
Will the books actually be used? Yes! Heartland’s new office is within 30 minutes of 20 college campuses. We expect to have as many as 20 interns a year and to host dozens of events and discussion groups and seminars. We hope to have visiting scholars spending a week or two working side-by-side with colleagues and Heartland staff while staying at a Marriott Courtyard Hotel only a ten-minute walk from the new office.
Do I need a list of books I am donating? No, unless you want to produce one. Heartland staff can open the boxes you send us and produce a list of titles and list prices, which you can then use to support an in-kind donation claim on your income taxes (if that’s valuable to you). Heartland staff uses a barcode reader, which is much faster than doing it by hand.
Books we probably don’t want: We don’t need fiction, poetry, religion, foreign languages, old reference books (like dictionaries or encyclopedias), computer manuals, or cookbooks. We especially want books on American history, economics, education (K–12 and higher ed), environmentalism, history of social thought (Plato, Hobbes, Mill, etc.), philosophy, politics, public policy, sociology, Soviet studies, and world history.
What about old academic journals? The short answer is yes, please send them. They can be bulky and some are available online, but some aren’t, many aren’t free, and we’re often struck by how good articles simply don’t come up in a Google or Google Scholar search but can be found paging through old issues of such journals. Please do not send old issues of popular magazines or movement journals, such as American Spectator or Reason, as we already have those. Displaying journals on shelves can be difficult without magazine boxes, so if your journals are currently in magazine boxes, please keep them in those boxes and ship them to us that way.
What about duplicates? We fully expect to get lots of “dupes.” We plan to stock two or three copies of a given book and then sell (for $1 each to college students or visitors to Heartland) or give away the rest. If you have two, three, or four copies of The Road to Serfdom or The Wealth of Nations — or a book about the book — and don’t have a good home for them, send them all to us! We’ll offer them to college students, interns, visiting scholars, and others who visit Heartland.
What about first editions and other collectibles? First editions, signed copies, and otherwise rare and valuable books should be separated from the rest of your collection and put in a separate box and plainly labeled. We will put such books on display in a more secure place in the library — and perhaps give them to speakers or other special guests, or sell them at auctions or online to raise funds to support our mission.
What if I've marked up my book? Many of us who love books write in the margins or take a highlighter pen to mark up key passages. That is a good thing! You're sharing with future readers of your books what you thought was worth emphasizing or worthy of comment — and that adds to their reader's experience. So if you have a "marked up" book about free markets and liberty, it will have a good home in Heartland's library.
What about furniture? Some donors have offered to donate bookcases, tables, and chairs. Used office furniture is very inexpensive and probably looks and performs better than most furniture you might donate, so generally speaking we do not want your old furniture. But we are open to suggestions. There is a thrift store just a few blocks from our new building, and its staff will send a truck over and take whatever we don’t want.
In conclusion ...
If you have books or a whole library you need to part with as you “downsize” or experience some other change in life, please consider donating them to The Heartland Institute. We will pay to have them packed up and delivered to our new home. We will produce a list you can use to claim an in-kind donation on your tax return. We will make sure the books are properly handled and used by scholars and the next generation of freedom fighters.
To make an appointment with our librarian, policy experts, or other Heartland staff, please contact Heartland’s librarian, Joe Davis, at email@example.com or 312/377-4000.