History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Businesses - Retail Establishments

The Lib Bookstore
Location: 601 N. 5th Street (at Michigan), Milwaukee


Business & Clientele:

Gay & Lesbian Bookstore
Male/ Female



The Lib bookstore first known appearance in local LGBT media was in 1979, when the GPU News printed an article about arrests made there. Advertising a year later still touted "50 peep shows". Advertising continued and the bookstore was still listed in directories of business in RAGG magazine as late as 1983 (but with an unlisted phone number!).

The location was the site of at least two other LGBT landmarks: the Loop Cafe in the 1960s, and then the New Yorker Lounge from about 1971-1972.

Any further information about this businesses is welcome.

Recollections: The following are recollections of others who have been kind enough to submit their personal memories to the webmaster. You are welcome to do the same! (Recollections collected and organized by Jamie Taylor.)

    ---> "The Lib on 5th and Michigan from '74 - '81 had a glory hole in the bathroom."
                                    - Josie Carter (July-2009)

Article: Five men arrested at bookstore, Sept. 1979
GPU News, vol. 8 no. 12, pg. 15
Advertisement, "We're Exposing the Best", artwork by Perry Edwards;
Dec. 1980
GPU News, vol. 10 no. 3, pg. 19
Advertisement of 50 peep shows, August 1980
Milwaukee Calendar, vol 3 no. 16, pg. 37
Advertisement for cards & calendars available at The Lib, Dec. 1980
Milwaukee Calendar, vol 3 no. 26, pg. 37

Article, source unknown
(courtesy Michail Takach)

Photo of bldg about to be torn down, late 1986
(phoot by Don Schwamb)

Credits: contents by Don Schwamb and Michail Takach.
Web site design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: Jan-2017.