Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library
Defying dire predictions that they would not survive the turn of the millennium, public libraries continue to thrive. Two out of three Americans visit one at least once a year, and nearly that many are registered borrowers.
In a discussion of his new book, Wayne A. Wiegand, an emeritus professor at Florida State University widely considered the “dean of American library historians,” explains why libraries remain one of the country’s most beloved cultural institutions. Not only are they places for accessing information, they’re also valued as social spaces for promoting and maintaining community. For many including Ronald Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, their impact has been transformative.