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Other titles in the Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book series:

Reading Places: Literacy, Democracy, and the Public Library in Cold War America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)

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Reading Places: Literacy, Democracy, and the Public Library in Cold War America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book recounts the history of an experimental regional library service in the early 1950s, a story that has implications far beyond the two Wisconsin counties where it took place. Using interviews and library records, Christine Pawley reveals the choices of ordinary individual readers, showing how local cultures of reading interacted with formal institutions to implement an official literacy policy. Central to the experiment were well-stocked bookmobiles that brought books to rural districts and the one-room schools that dotted the region. Three years after the project began, state officials and local librarians judged it an overwhelming success. Library circulation figures soared to two-and-a-half times their previous level. Over 90 percent of grade-school children in the rural schools used the bookmobile service, and their reading scores improved beyond expectation. Despite these successes, however, local communities displayed deeply divided reactions. Some welcomed the bookmobiles and new library services wholeheartedly, valuing print and reading as essential to the exercise of democracy, and keen to widen educational opportunities for children growing up on hardscrabble farms where books and magazines were rare. Others feared the intrusion of government into their homes and communities, resented the tax increases that library services entailed, and complained about the subversive or immoral nature of some books. Analyzing the history of tensions between various community groups, Pawley delineates the long-standing antagonisms arising from class, gender, and ethnic differences which contributed to a suspicion of official projects to expand education. Relating a seemingly small story of library policy, she teases out the complex interaction of reading, locality, and cultural difference. In so doing, she illuminates broader questions regarding libraries, literacy, and citizenship, reaching back to the nineteenth century and forward to the present day.

Synopsis:

Examines the role of public libraries during a time of national anxiety

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558498228
Author:
Pawley, Christine
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Library & Information Science - General
Subject:
Libraries and community -- United States.
Subject:
Door-Kewaunee Regional Library - History
Subject:
Cold war
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Publication Date:
20100631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
325
Dimensions:
8.98x6.20x.81 in. 1.07 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Literary History » United States » 20th Century
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Bibliography and Library Science

Reading Places: Literacy, Democracy, and the Public Library in Cold War America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) New Trade Paper
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Product details 325 pages University of Massachusetts Press - English 9781558498228 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Examines the role of public libraries during a time of national anxiety
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