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Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library

Part of Our Lives A People s History of the American Public Library Despite dire predictions in the late twentieth century that public libraries would not survive the turn of the millennium those libraries continue to thrive Two of three Americans frequent a public l

  • Title: Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library
  • Author: Wayne A. Wiegand
  • ISBN: 9780190248000
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Despite dire predictions in the late twentieth century that public libraries would not survive the turn of the millennium, those libraries continue to thrive Two of three Americans frequent a public library at least once a year, and nearly that many are registered borrowers Although library authorities have argued that the public library functions primarily as a civic inDespite dire predictions in the late twentieth century that public libraries would not survive the turn of the millennium, those libraries continue to thrive Two of three Americans frequent a public library at least once a year, and nearly that many are registered borrowers Although library authorities have argued that the public library functions primarily as a civic institution necessary for maintaining democracy, generations of library patrons tell a different story.In Part of Our Lives, Wayne A Wiegand delves into the heart of why Americans love their libraries The book traces the history of the public library, featuring records and testimonies from as early as 1850 Rather than analyzing the words of library founders and managers, Wiegand listens to the voices of everyday patrons who cherished libraries Drawing on newspaper articles, memoirs, and biographies, Part of Our Lives paints a clear and engaging picture of Americans who value libraries not only as civic institutions, but also as social spaces for promoting and maintaining community.Whether as a public space, a place for accessing information, or a home for reading material that helps patrons make sense of the world around them, the public library has a rich history of meaning for millions of Americans From colonial times through the recent technological revolution, libraries have continuously adapted to better serve the needs of their communities Wiegand goes on to demonstrate that, although cultural authorities including some librarians have often disparaged reading books considered not serious the commonplace reading materials users obtained from public libraries have had a transformative effect for many, including people like Ronald Reagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Oprah Winfrey.A bold challenge to conventional thinking about the American public library, Part of Our Lives is an insightful look into one of America s most beloved cultural institutions

    • Best Read [Wayne A. Wiegand] ñ Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library || [History Book] PDF ☆
      475 Wayne A. Wiegand
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      Posted by:Wayne A. Wiegand
      Published :2018-09-10T04:09:21+00:00

    1 thought on “Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library

    1. I didn't exactly expect this to be riveting but it was way more dry than I expected. In a general sense I was interested in this subject matter, but I can't think of how one would learn about this without being bored stiff.Also a little off topicn you no longer preview reviews? The button seems to have disappeared with the update.

    2. This was truly a fascinating read! I loved learning how the American Public Library got started & how it evolved over time according to society's needs. Today, Public Libraries continue to be valued at the center of our communities, as they facilitate learning & communication for ALL people.

    3. Like so many voracious readers with limited budgets and space can attest to, library has been instrumental in my autodidactic pursuits. It is a privilege to be able to utilize the resources and stacks of the tenth largest library company is US, not to mention it is one of the few things that stay free in the country where the cost of living increases regularly and disproportionately to the wages. In short, libraries are important, one of the few public services well worth the taxes and all aroun [...]

    4. When I pick up a “people’s history” of something I generally assume I'm in for popular-level social history, but this is decidedly not that. It was quite academic and hard to read, not in the usual way with big words in gigantic strung out sentences, but instead a very textbook style, where facts bombard you in an uncreatively flat strict chronological structure, written with as much flavor and panache as a Harbor Freight catalog. I think it would have been improved by a more topical organ [...]

    5. Part of Our Lives by Wayne A. Wiegand is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September, possibly to get back into an academic groove as the fall semester began.Though it's written very slightly like a reference book, it's incredibly inspiring and uplifting to learn about the civic, uniting aspects about early libraries.

    6. A fascinating and comprehensive account of public libraries in America from their earliest days to the present. As much a cultural history as simply a history of libraries, the book is full of anecdotes and personal testimonies, demonstrating how important libraries have always been and the vital role they have played in the nation’s development. Changing social attitudes, censorship, popular taste, the role of the library in the community, all these topics are explored here and it makes for s [...]

    7. Society does not value its public libraries in the same way as it used to; the library is being forced to change and seeks to remain relevant in today’s different world. Yet a good library, staffed by knowledgeable librarians, can still be important and they can still be part of our lives. They are just serving us in a different way than before.This book argues that the average American has not fell out of love with the library and that they are managing to survive; two out of three Americans [...]

    8. This is probably a 3.5 but I gave it the benefit of the doubt because I don't think I could have written it any better than Mr. Wiegand did. The main premise of the book is that people love their libraries. The book is overstuffed with statistics and snippets of stories to back up this claim. One might think there were too many and that was the downfall of the book. But I can understand the dilemma: which one would you leave out? Perhaps leave out some of the statistics? As a result of the overw [...]

    9. Part of Our Lives is a fascinating and passionate treatise on the history, culture and contribution of American public libraries by Wayne A. Wiegand.With a focus on the perspective of 'library in the life of a user' Wiegand explores the important role libraries play in the life of individuals: as distributors of information and education, as a source of fiction that entertains and enlightens, and as social community spaces, debunking the notion that libraries are, or have ever been, simply 'ware [...]

    10. Fascinating subject (to me anyway), but I wanted more in-depth stories about how individuals experienced the library through time, and fewer statistics on how many people attended what type of event at which specific library in which specific year. At times I felt like I was reading a truly epic Director's Annual Report. I would have expected a book with "people's history" in the title to be a book that at least a biggish subset of "the people" might want to read. Instead it was like reading the [...]

    11. Comprehensive and detailed survey of the history of libraries in U.S. Heavy focus on issues that have bedeviled public libraries since their inception: censorship, acquisitions, do public preferences trump recommended reading materials, and the evolution of libraries to accommodate technology. Contrary to expectations, libraries have continued to adapt and survive and still service diverse populations. They remain a vital center for community services and are the lifeblood of many small towns an [...]

    12. I finally finished this book! While the topic was interesting, the presentation was too scholarly to be read easily but too disorganized to serve as research material. I did find it intriguing that nothing int he library world is new as there were consistently recurring themes throughout the book: libraries as community space, immigrant and low-literacy learning, canoodling (and more in the stacks), borrowing more than books and media from the library, censorship, etc.Interesting, but skim it.Po [...]

    13. As a library worker, I enjoyed this book very much but readers need to be aware that it is an academic study so it can be a bit dry. It was always fascinating though. It has been the call in recent decades that "libraries aren't just about books anymore." Well, after reading this history of the American Public Library you quickly realize libraries have never been "just about books." They are repositories of information but they are equally social centers and safe havens for members of the commun [...]

    14. I was slowly slugging my way through this book and then started skimming. It is a subject near and dear to my heart, and the author did have some interesting details and historical perspectives - but it was dry and read like a textbook. However, if you want the big-picture history of American public libraries I'd recommend this book for a lookie-loo. Two words - Yay libraries!!!!

    15. A wonderfully detailed history of public libraries including patrons' points of view. This book also brings us to thinking about the function of libraries in our future. I was approved for this title via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

    16. An excellent history of American public libraries. Cogent, concise, insightful, and entertaining.

    17. Wayne Wiegand visited our library in August 2016, giving us a terrific synopsis of his research and this book.

    18. [Requested an advance reader copy of this title through NetGalley. I can't wait to read it! July 15, 2015]

    19. I have been reading this book since October, when I got it as an ARC via NetGalley. The beginning was just so dry; once I got into the early 1900s and beyond it picked up but man it take me a long time to get there. Full review to come.++++++++++++allthebookblognamesaretaken.blfacebook/AllTheBookBlogNamesAitter/SarahsBookNookRating: 3.5 StarsI received this book (an embarrassing amount of months ago) as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I know what you're thinking - how on ea [...]

    20. A dry, very academic history of public libraries enlivened by the all to in-frequent snippets of misremembered or misheard book titles or other anecdotes from working librarians. A useful book, but I'd rather read librarian memoirs such as Don Borchert's Free For All .

    21. Reading this book will give you a greater appreciation for the public library. Wiegand explores the morphing role of libraries within the community and US society at large in an effort to prove the staying power and adaptability of the American library.

    22. Fantastic cultural history of America's public libraries! So many times I found myself saying, "Yes, yes, yes" as I read Dr. Wiegand's observations. This is one I will refer to again and again when making decisions about our library.

    23. I am a sucker for books on the history of Libraries. This one might be worth a re-read. I cruised through it pretty fast and I'd like to get back into it. Good stuff!

    24. A good social history of the way people interact with my favorite civic institution. Although the style could have been more engaging, it was well researched, clear, and nuanced.

    25. I was a bit disappointed with how dry this book was. I think it could have been more engaging and lively, but nevertheless it was an educational book.

    26. An interesting literary, cultural and social history of the United States from the perspective of American public libraries. Modern public libraries function as civic institutions, but also as public community spaces for learning as well as for the pleasure of reading among others who enjoy it, too. Two out of three Americans visit a public library every year. Per capita circulation increased seventeen percent during the most recent ten-year period measured. Benjamin Franklin wanted his library [...]

    27. Wiegand aspires to "adopt a bottom-up 'library in the life of the user' perspective", taking his cue from Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. In many respects, as a grassroots, people's history, this is a great one. I thought Wiegand did an exceptional job illustrating how, from the 1700s to the present, libraries across the United States have simultaneously challenged and/or supported prevailing ideas, opinions, and stances about class, race, sex/gender, sexual preferences, a [...]

    28. It would be easy to pick up this book and see the subtitle “A People’s History of the American Public Library” and put it down again. It sounds dry and academic and yet it is anything but. If you put it down you would be missing a real treat. The book is an easy read, well written in a relaxed narrative style. Yes there are loads of facts and footnotes but if you so choose you can ignore them and read this as a piece of social history, covering psychology, emancipation, sociology, and the [...]

    29. Initially I found the book very interesting as it reviewed the long history of the debate between collecting books that people want to read versus the books that librarians think people ought to read. In the past many librarians have had a bias against novels and series fiction, and while fiction is an accepted part of the library collection, many librarians still maintain the thought that they know better.Wiegand correctly identifies the dilemma that librarians are often at odds with their comm [...]

    30. Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public LibraryWayne A. Wiegand"Indisputable fact—Americans love their public libraries." — IntroductionFull disclosure – I work in a public library, and so am coming at this book from a slightly different perspective than might a non-librarian. In light of this, the question arises: Will this book only be of interest to librarians? The answer, thankfully, is no. Author Wiegand certainly documents his work with academic thoroughness, but [...]

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