Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Book Review - The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
About the Book
The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson ($35, April 2014). Over the last eighteen years photographer Robert Dawson has crisscrossed the United States documenting hundreds of public libraries, large and small, old and new, urban and rural, in poor communities and in wealthy ones. The Public Library presents a wide selection of Dawson’s photographs—from the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves. Accompanying Dawson’s revealing photographs are a foreword by Bill Moyers, an afterword by Ann Patchett, and essays, letters, and poetry celebrating libraries by Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Philip Levine, E. B. White, Isaac Asimov, Dr. Seuss, Charles Simic, and others. A gorgeous celebration of America's libraries.
My Take on the Book
My wife is a librarian and I was excited to be able to share this book with her. She was excited to be able to see all of the different types of libraries that are out there. There are so many beautiful libraries around the Unites States and the World and this book explores many of them. The essays themselves were instructive and explored history and current practices in libraries today. Even if you do not want to delve deep into these essays, the images alone were amazing, allowing the reader to see how literacy can be shared in so many shapes and sizes. While technology becomes more prevalent in society, information literacy continues to be so important and libraries provide this to our children. This book captures the magic and importance of libraries today and it should be shared widely.
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