Chasing Ray blogger Colleen Mondor cites Robert Dawson’s The Public Library: An American Commons as one of the best, and most important books she’s read in 2014. While it may seem as if the book romanticizes the architecture of many of these bibliotheques––and many are quite beautiful in the classical, and modern sense––there are several sobering reminders about the importance of these structures. Libraries are not a luxury, they are a necessity and vital to the life of a community.
I know public libraries matter on many levels. My hometown library had a huge influence on my life and I know that sentiment is the same for a lot of other people. So I approached The Public Library expecting an appreciation and I certainly was not disappointed on that score. But there is a lot more going on in this book, in the essays (by Bill Moyers, Ann Patchett, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver and more) and the photos.
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