Category Archives: Public library history

The Greenville Eight – Integrating American libraries in the South

On the afternoon of July 16, 1960, eight African-American students bravely filed into the whites-only Greenville County (S.C.) Public Library and sat down in the reading room to look at newspapers and books. One of those students was a young … Continue reading

Posted in Public library history

Wayne Wiegand’s short article on the struggle of young people like Joseph Jackson to desegregate libraries in the South in 1961

Read the full article here, “Desegregating Libraries in the American South” Forgotten heroes in civil rights history” by Wayne A. Wiegand in American Libraries. At 11 a.m. on March 27, 1961, nine students from the historically black Tougaloo College walked … Continue reading

Posted in Public library history

Anecdotes about the power of libraries never stop coming

Growing up, Clementine spent much of his teenage years at the library, which became his sanctuary. He was taken by the writing of William Blake and Immanuel Kant, and was particularly interested in the work of the 17th-century philosopher John … Continue reading

Posted in Public library history

Libraries pass the Pritchett postulates of development test with flying colors!

From Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution:. After promoting women’s groups in West Bengal as a route to development a West Bengali woman asked Lant Pritchett: You all are from countries that are much richer and doing much better than our … Continue reading

Posted in Public library history | 3 Comments

Did the Civil War cause Americans to become readers?

I was skimming a fun book by library historian David Kaser Books and Libraries in Camp and Battle: The Civil War Experience where he suggests that in 1860 American men were pretty much 90% literate and books had become incredibly … Continue reading

Posted in Public library history