Part of Our Lives by Wayne A. Wiegand Book PDF Summary
Challenges conventional thinking and top-down definitions, instead drawing on the library user's perspective to argue that the public library's most important function is providing commonplace reading materials and public space. Challenges a professional ethos about public libraries and their responsibilities to fight censorship and defend intellectual freedom. Demonstrates that the American public library has been (with some notable exceptions) a place that welcomed newcomers, accepted diversity, and constructed community since the end of the 19th century. Shows how stories that cultural authorities have traditionally disparaged- i.e. books that are not "serious"- have often been transformative for public library users.