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The Public Library

(Book)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Public Library
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"Many of us have vivid recollections of childhood visits to the public library: the unmistakable, slightly musty scent, the excitement of checking out a stack of newly-discovered books. Today's libraries also function as de facto community centers, and offer free access to the Internet, job-hunting assistance, or a warm place to take shelter along with the endless possibilities that spark your imagination the moment you open the cover of a book. There are more than 17,000 public libraries in America. Over the last eighteen years, photographer Robert Dawson has traveled the nation, documenting hundreds of these institutions--from Alaska to Florida, New England to the West Coast. The Public Library presents a wide selection of Dawson's photographs, revealing a vibrant, essential, yet seriously threatened system. Essays, letters, and poetry by a collection of America's most celebrated writers--including E. B. White, Isaac Asimov, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Charles Simic, Dr. Seuss, and Philip Levine, as well as the voices of dedicated librarians working today--are woven with photographs of the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library; the one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves, in Allensworth, California; the architectural wonder of Seattle's glass and steel Central Library; and the Berkeley, California tool lending library; among many others. A foreword by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett bookend this important survey of a treasured American institution"--
Statement of Responsibility: a photographic essay by Robert Dawson ; foreword by Bill Moyers ; afterword by Ann Patchett ; with reflections by Isaac Asimov, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Philip Levine, Dr. Seuss, Charles Simic, Amy Tan, E.B. White, and others
Title: The public library
Characteristics: 191 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Content Type: still image
text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: Includes essays, letters, and poetry by a collection of American writers and librarians
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 190)
Summary: "Many of us have vivid recollections of childhood visits to the public library: the unmistakable, slightly musty scent, the excitement of checking out a stack of newly-discovered books. Today's libraries also function as de facto community centers, and offer free access to the Internet, job-hunting assistance, or a warm place to take shelter along with the endless possibilities that spark your imagination the moment you open the cover of a book. There are more than 17,000 public libraries in America. Over the last eighteen years, photographer Robert Dawson has traveled the nation, documenting hundreds of these institutions--from Alaska to Florida, New England to the West Coast. The Public Library presents a wide selection of Dawson's photographs, revealing a vibrant, essential, yet seriously threatened system. Essays, letters, and poetry by a collection of America's most celebrated writers--including E. B. White, Isaac Asimov, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Charles Simic, Dr. Seuss, and Philip Levine, as well as the voices of dedicated librarians working today--are woven with photographs of the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library; the one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves, in Allensworth, California; the architectural wonder of Seattle's glass and steel Central Library; and the Berkeley, California tool lending library; among many others. A foreword by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett bookend this important survey of a treasured American institution"--
Subject Headings: Public libraries United States Pictorial works Public libraries United States Libraries and society United States Libraries and community United States Library users United States
Topical Term: Public libraries
Public libraries
Libraries and society
Libraries and community
Library users
Additional Contributors: Dawson, Robert 1950-
LCCN: 2013026827
ISBN: 9781616892173
161689217X
Branch Call Number: 027.473 P
Research Call Number: JFE 14-6282
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Aug 23, 2014
  • GuyN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The photos tell many stories. The Mark Twain Public Library speaks volumes. They and the text are likely to bring tears of joy and sadness to your eyes. A couple of quotes for you: "As the last truly democratic space in America, where there are no entry fees, judgments, or barriers, public libraries offer a tour of our society’s ills and ill. We library workers are, in practical terms, surrogates for shuttered schools, parks, hospitals, and homes." --Dorothy Lazard "We started stocking paperbacks, which kids can check out without a library card… Now no one has to leave the bookmobile without a book. That should be a librarian’s primary job: to get books in people’s hands." –Kelvin K. Selders (NE Nevada Bookmobile) In context, of course, they are far more meaningful. Don't miss Anne Lamott's account of the "emergency read in" by writers, poets, and locals. to forestall the closing of all 3 public libraries in Salinas, CA.

May 09, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A compilation of some wonderful photos and essays that celebrate American public libraries. My only complaint: I wish that this book included Canadian libraries as well.

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Jun 10, 2014
  • GuyN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"As the last truly democratic space in America, where there are no entry fees, judgments, or barriers, public libraries offer a tour of our society’s ill and ill. We library workers are, in practical terms, surrogates for shuttered schools, parks, hospitals, and homes." --Dorothy Lazard

"We started stocking paperbacks, which kids can check out without a library card… Now no one has to leave the bookmobile without a book. That should be a librarian’s primary job: to get books in people’s hands." –Kelvin K. Selders (NE Nevada Bookmobile)

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