A video recording of Professor Wayne Wiegand’s September 15, 2015 presentation at the Library of Congress is now available online.
The public library is a “part of our lives,” argues a new book on the history of American libraries as told through the testimonies of those who use them.
In “Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library” (Oxford University Press, 2015), library historian Wayne A. Wiegand makes the case for why the library has survived and flourished in the 21st century, “despite dire predictions in the late 20th century that public libraries would not survive the turn of the millennium.”
“Part of Our Lives” traces the history of United States public libraries since 1850. Wiegand did research using newspaper articles, memoirs and biographies to present a picture of Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, and to show why they value libraries not only as civic institutions but also as social spaces for promoting and maintaining community. Much of his research was conducted at the Library of Congress.
Wayne A. Wiegand is the F. William Summers professor emeritus at the School of Information at Florida State University. He is one of the nation’s leading library historians.