New York : Princeton Architectural Press, 
191 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Formatted Contents Note
Foreword /Bill Moyers Introduction /Robert Dawson The American Public Library.The library spirit /Stuart A.P. Murray Economics.A country without libraries /Charles Simic ;All hail the public library /David Morris Civic memory and identity.What the library means to me /Amy Tan ;Letters to the children of Troy, New York /Isaac Asimov, Dr. Seuss, and E.B. White How Mr. Dewey decimal saved my life /Barbara Kingsolver Urban and rural libraries.The northeast Nevada regional bookmobile /Kelvin K. Selders ;Practicing Seva /Dorothy Lazard ;Spreading enlightenment /Luis Herrera Art and architecture Evolving libraries.Enriched by what we share /Chip Ward Literature and learning.Library days /Philip Levine ;Steinbeck country /Anne Lamott ;Maps and stats /Walker Dawson Afterword /Ann Patchett.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Includes essays, letters, and poetry by a collection of American writers and librarians.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (page 190).