Libraries of Minnesotaby Doug Ohman (Photographer), Will Weaver (Introduction), Pete Hautman (Contribution by), John Coy (Contribution by), Nancy Carlson (Contribution by)
Doug Ohman, well known as the photographer
From cozy structures near small-town parks to impressive buildings in metropolitan downtowns, public libraries stand at the center of community and learning in Minnesota's landscape. Libraries of Minnesota celebrates these architectural icons and the joy of reading they have inspired in Minnesotans, present and past.
Doug Ohman, well known as the photographer for the Minnesota Byways series, now turns his camera to this most beloved institution. Over 120 exquisite interior and exterior shots exhibit a colorful survey of architecture, from a renovated liquor store to Carnegie libraries to the newest and most wired of information centers.
In powerful, funny, and heartfelt essays, seven of Minnesota's best-known writers for children and young adults testify to the special significance of libraries in their lives. Will Weaver sneaked five miles into town on his bicycle to visit the library when he should have been trapping gophers. Pete Hautman's mom hauled her seven kids to multiple libraries, "like a shepherd rotating sheep from one pasture to the next." David LaRochelle, facing the frightening prospect of junior high, found escape in the Pirate's Treasure Hunt summer reading club. John Coy, Nancy Carlson, Marsha Wilson Chall, and Kao Kalia Yang tell similar timeless stories of young people as they discover, on the shelves of local libraries, the world and all its wonders.
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Last night I went to Doug Ohman's presentation of his new book Libraries of Minnesota and I am just in awe. The pictures are just gorgeous and along with these vivid images are early childhood memories and history lessons from seven Minnesota authors, Will Weaver, Pete Hautman, John Coy, Nancy Carlson, Marsha Wilson Chall, David LaRochelle and Kao Kalia Yang. This book is close to my heart because I can still remember my hometown library and bookmobile. The excitement of story time and just the abundance of literature at my fingertips! Doug started his presentation with his memory of getting his first library card at the age of 6. His mother's only requirement was that he memorize his name and phone number and to this day he will take his library card to the grave with him, because you just don't know if you might need it on the other side. Doug provided insight into a few of the libraries history. Our very own library here in Detroit Lakes was originally a millinery shop that produced hats! Also I learned all about Andrew Carnegie and what he provided to Minnesota libraries...65 of 1,689 Carnegie libraries were built here. That is just amazing! As of today only 30 of them are left. Another interesting fact I learned was that the Dyckman Free Library in Sleepy Eye has a sculpture of Linus from the Peanuts comic strip out front. The reason is because creator Charles Schulz's roommate and best friend in college was from Sleepy Eye and his name was...Linus! Love it! The cover of this book features the Houston Public Library where the community painted the fantastic mural. A local artist came in and drew the mural and the rest of the town came in and did a paint by number to make the drab looking library look magnificent. I highly recommend Libraries of Minnesota to all book/library lovers. It encompasses all that we book bloggers are and started from. Who doesn't remember their first library? I sure don't and my life has been one adventure after another. Doug has also written many other books including Barns of Minnesota, Courthouses of Minnesota (I own this one too), Churches of Minnesota and others. There is a book for everyone.