"There is a woman named Libby Hill who
is in love with rivers."
—Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune Magazine,
"Dream Rivers," November 12, 2000
Libby Hill grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore. Soon after college graduation, she met and married her husband, and they moved to Evanston, Illinois, where they have lived ever since. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.
In 1969, Libby received her graduate degree in library science from what was then Rosary College, now Dominican University, in River Forest, Illinois. Wanting to learn more about the natural world led her to a graduate degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University. She now teaches a course in that department.
Libby and her husband have always enjoyed travel. They love rivers and have sought out the headwaters of the Yukon, Mississippi, Missouri, and Suwanee, among others. She also loves searching for birds in the wild. Her ambition is to see every National Wildlife Refuge in the United States, a goal that’s always out of reach because, fortunately, refuges are being created faster than she can visit them.
The Chicago River: An Illustrated Program
Libby Hill brings the Chicago River alive in her public programs, telling its story with love, affection, and an insight born of exhaustive research. Her lectures appeal primarily to adult audiences, and they can be tailored for the needs and interests of different neighborhoods and organizations. The presentation includes use of overheads and maps.
Author, historian, and river expert Libby Hill has given a range of public and private programs on the Chicago River for libraries, historical societies, professional organizations, natural resources community groups, schools, and tourist events.
The Chicago River: A Natural and Unnatural History won a first place American Regional History Publishing Award (Midwest Region), a second place Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Award (History), and one of ten "outstanding nominations" for best new book in Public Works History. It has become known for debunking the persistent urban legend of the 1885 Chicago cholera epidemic.