- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Camden Public Library in Maine to Z.J. Loussac Public Library in Alaska, America's libraries are the heart of our communities. This wondrous collection of stories and photographs includes eighty libraries chosen from hundreds of nominations from across the United States and Canada.
The entries include large urban libraries like the Boston Public Library, with 6.1 million books, and The City Library of Salt Lake City, located in "Library Square," an entire city block occupied by the library, cultural organizations, a coffee shop, and deli. On the other end of the spectrum is the small but mighty Bayliss Library in Glenn, California – open just eight hours a week – where volunteers and professionals have saved their rural library from closing time and time again. You'll find stories from the oldest libraries in America, like the Sturgis Library in Barnstable, Massachusetts, as well as from some of the newest, such as the Desert Broom Branch of the Phoenix Public Library, built in 2005, and the Village Branch in Lexington, Kentucky, which opened in 2004 in a convenient storefront location.
Creative energy abounds throughout the book. The Aztec Library, for example, capitalized on an alleged UFO landing to raise the $2 million needed for an expansion. One library was a train station and another the home of the World War II journalist, Ernie Pyle. Many of the libraries are associated with famous authors such as Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor, and Kurt Vonnegut.
In these pages, you'll see the tangible beauty of libraries – their architectural grandeur and regional distinctiveness – as well as their intangible qualities – warmth, inclusiveness, and excitement about ideas and knowledge. Because the nomination deadline was Valentine's Day, the image of a chocolate box became an inspiration for the book's color scheme. You'll find these libraries to be a delectable collection, indeed.
The three hundred nominations for Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love ranged from single-page essays to bulging binders filled with newspaper clippings, annual reports, and color photos. They came from urban libraries that had been brought back from the dead, rural libraries that had recovered from tornadoes and fires, old libraries made totally modern while retaining a sense of historic continuity, and new libraries that blend into the physical environment with energy-efficient and water-saving features.
In addition, some of our favorite authors share their passion for libraries. Henry Winkler – the actor knows as "the Fonz" from Happy Days and today a director and children's author as well – writes about the excitement he felt every time he took out a book as a child. He closes with this advice: "The library is a living place – you have to visit it, use it, enjoy it to keep it healthy." Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series which features a mysterious heroine who is the librarian of Camelot, contributes an essay on the "Magic of Libraries."
This volume is a treasure trove of historical information, inspiring stories, and beautiful images, old and new. Join us in celebrating the libraries we love!