Historian Wayne Wiegand Visits the Chapman Branch Library

Sep 30, 2015, 7:00 pm

Historian Wayne Wiegand will visit the Chapman Branch Library to discuss the history of public libraries in America.

Despite dire predictions in the late twentieth century that public libraries would not survive the turn of the millennium, their numbers have only increased. Two of three Americans frequent a public library at least once a year, and nearly that many are registered borrowers. Although library authorities have argued that the public library functions primarily as a civic institution necessary for maintaining democracy, generations of library patrons tell a different story.

In Part of Our Lives, Wayne A. Wiegand delves into the heart of why Americans love their libraries. The book traces the history of the public library, featuring records and testimonies from as early as 1850. Rather than analyzing the words of library founders and managers, Wiegand listens to the voices of everyday patrons who cherished libraries. Drawing on newspaper articles, memoirs, and biographies, Part of Our Lives paints a clear and engaging picture of Americans who value libraries not only as civic institutions, but also as social spaces for promoting and maintaining community.

A bold challenge to conventional thinking about the American public library, Part of Our Lives is an insightful look into one of America's most beloved cultural institutions

Wayne A. Wiegand is F. William Summers Professor Emeritus at the School of Information, Florida State University. He now lives in the California Bay Area.

This event is made possible with support from the Salt Lake City Public Library and Utah Humanities.

Chapman Branch of the City Library

577 S 900 W
Salt Lake City , UT 84104-1302
Map [+]

Event Contact:

Michael McLane