Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Public Library, a Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson

Libraries Are Important
   What can be said about libraries?  They are depositories of great and not so great books, both audio and written. They hold CDs and maps. They seem to be the first to go when a b udget cut is proposed.
    Without the library the intelligence of the public would suffer.
    Libraries are open to everyone no matter what your social economic level. Yes, even to the homeless and mental handicapped individuals. Even when they disrupt the running of the system.
     Robert Dawson has traveled around the country taking pictures of libraries They have been housed in small quarters and large quarters. There is even one in Death Valley in a trailer.
    Somehow they survive. People want libraries in their neighborhood. Some have even started loaning libraries in their own yards. Borrow a book and rep[lace it with another. Simple to make and l,ow cost.
    "A free public library is a revolutionary notion, and when people don't have free access to books,  then communities are like radios without batteries." someone has said.
   This volume has great photos of existing and closed library buildings throughout the nation. They have been housed in various abodes. They have even been housed in libraries on wheels for areas that can't  afford one of their own.
    The history of libraries goes far back in our history. Ben Franklin started one and the idea seems to have caught on. Some library buildings are ornate. Others are plan. But knowledge is there for those who will seek it.
    This book has a forward by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett. There are small insightful essays sprinkled in between photos to inform the public of the great history and impact
the free system of information has had on our intellectual growth.
    I highly recommend this book.

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