Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and American Culture, 1890-1920 / Edition 2

Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and American Culture, 1890-1920 / Edition 2

by Abigail A. Van Slyck
     
 

Familiar Landmarks in hundreds of American towns, Carnegie libraries have shaped the public library experience of generations of Americans and today seen far from controversial. In Free to All, however, Abigail Van Slyck shows that the classical facades and symmetrical plans of these buildings often mask the complex and contentious circumstances of their construction… See more details below

Overview

Familiar Landmarks in hundreds of American towns, Carnegie libraries have shaped the public library experience of generations of Americans and today seen far from controversial. In Free to All, however, Abigail Van Slyck shows that the classical facades and symmetrical plans of these buildings often mask the complex and contentious circumstances of their construction and use. Free to All is the first comprehensive social and architectural history of the Carnegie library phenomenon, an unprecedented program of philanthropy that helped erect over 1600 public library buildings in the United States. Van Slyck skillfully untangles the overlapping and conflicting motives of the many people involved in erecting, staffing, and using the libraries: Andrew Carnegie himself; small-town civic boosters avid for new investment; metropolitan library trustees anxious to maintain the elite character of urban libraries; architects reacting to increased professional specialization; a growing number of female librarians; and the children and adults, frequently immigrants, who came to borrow books.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226850313
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Edition description:
1
Pages:
294
Product dimensions:
6.63(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Figures
Graphs
Table
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1Giving: The Reform of American Library Philanthropy1
Librarians vs. Architects1
Andrew Carnegie Enters the Philanthropic Game8
Carnegie's Reform of American Philanthropy19
Defining "The Modern Library Idea"25
Designing the Modern Library27
Carnegie's Reform of American Library Architecture33
Redefining the Nature of Library Use40
2Making: The Marketing of Library Design44
The Culture of Professionalism45
The Library Bureau and the Modern Library47
The Impact of the Carnegie Library Program55
3Taking: Libraries and Cultural Politics, Part I64
Cultural Politics in Larger Cities66
The Impact of the Carnegie Library Program76
Building the Central Library80
Building Branch Libraries101
4Taking: Libraries and Cultural Politics, Part II125
Cultural Politics in Smaller Towns125
Carnegie's Reception in Small-Town America133
Male and Female Visions of the Library135
The Temple in the Park137
5Working: The Feminization of Librarianship160
Engendering American Librarianship160
Engendering Library Design165
Transcending the Limits of the Gendered Work Station173
6Reading: The Experiences of Children as Library Users201
Coming of Age in the Small-Town Library203
Claiming New Space in Urban Branches210
Postscript217
Appendix 1: Notes on the Erection of Library Buildings221
Appendix 2: Carnegie Libraries Sampled in Table 4.1 and Graphs 4.1-4.5225
Notes227
Bibliography251
Index271

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