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The importance of public libraries (and paper again)

Wiegand, Wayne A. Part of our lives: A people’s history of the American public library. Oxford University Press, 2015.
        One of the articles I read recently really recommended Wayne Wiegand’s history of public libraries. Because I could not get it digitally, I opted for borrowing it in paper from my local public library. I buzzed through it in less than a week, completely enchanted. Among other things the author does an excellent job of addressing the racist history of public libraries in the south. This is a beautiful reminder of the unique mission of public libraries, please read it if you haven’t already.
       I was reminded of something I already knew. I love public libraries. They are a fundamentally important part of each community. When I retire, if I am well enough, I intend to volunteer at my local public library. I honor their mission.
       So two things I will leave you with. The best thing I can do for my public library today is contribute to their circulation statistics. I want to urge my readers to support your local public library. The other thing that has got a hold of me is starting to read paper again. All of the conversations about it being more tiring to read digitally have come back to me. I am making a habit of a paper book in the last hour before sleep. I seem to be sleeping better. This is my project for 2021.

2 thoughts on “The importance of public libraries (and paper again)

  1. Amy Beth says:

    It’s an exceptional read, and WW an exceptional library historian. I used this work in my dissertation. Had to resist the temptation to add more and more of his passages that so aptly illustrate enlightening and critical historic points.

    • Robin Brown says:

      I also have a copy of
      Wiegand, Shirley A., and Wayne A. Wiegand. The desegregation of public libraries in the Jim Crow south: Civil rights and local activism. LSU Press, 2018.
      I went to a presentation by Wayne and Shirley at ALA. I think it was at New Orleans Public Library.

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