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    Original Essays | July 14, 2015

    Joshua Mohr: IMG Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

    When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I... Continue »
    1. $17.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      All This Life

      Joshua Mohr 9781593766030


Place of Learning, Place of Dreams: a History of the Seattle Public Library


Place of Learning, Place of Dreams: a History of the Seattle Public Library Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Seattle Public Library's dazzling new Central Library, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, prompted international notice even before the doors opened to this $159 million showplace. Yet Seattle Public Library's new prominence came after more than a century of tumult with many heroic struggles, from its itinerant existence in a pioneer boom town to its wired wonders in a world technology center. In "Place of Learning, Place of Dreams John Douglas Marshall recounts the fascinating stories behind the books and buildings of Seattle Public Library. The suspicious Fire that destroyed the library's home in the historic Yesler mansion and led to a surprise rescue by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s. The library's efforts through world wars, earthquakes, epidemic, and Depression. The Red Scares that claimed the jobs of two loyal library employees. The library's stocking of a graphic sex education book that sparked a controversy reaching all the way to the U.S. Senate. The city book club born at Seattle Public Library and copied across the country. The landmark "Libraries for All" program to remake the entire Seattle Public Library system with a $196 million bond issue, the largest in American library history. Marshall also profiles many intriguing people who enlivened Seattle Public Library and its contributions to the city. Librarian Charles Wesley Smith withstood a charge that he set the Yesler mansion fire. Sculptor George Tsutakawa's first fountain, for Seattle's Central Library, led to scores of renowned fountains around the globe. Yesler branch librarian James Welch rescued a dying library in a black neighborhood with the help of activist Millie Russell. And maverickarchitect Rem Koolhaas won his important Seattle commission after a startling turnabout by library board members during a visit to Europe. "Place of Learning, Place of Dreams tells the human story of a beloved Seattle institution with drama, honesty, and flair.

Book News Annotation:

After an opening chapter praising the new building, Marshall, book critic for the begins with the founding of the Seattle Library Association in July 1868, when the town had a population just over 500. Natural disasters, financial plagues, controversies, programs and services, new technology, and other factors are part of the story.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Marshall, John Douglas
University of Washington Press
United States - 20th Century (1945 to present)
United States - State & Local - General
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Seattle Public Library - History
Public libraries -- Washington (State)
McLellan Book
Publication Date:
11.26x8.90x.82 in. 2.72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Types
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » United States » West
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Washington » Seattle
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Place of Learning, Place of Dreams: a History of the Seattle Public Library Used Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295983479 Reviews:
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