Although urban historians point to the creation of the American public library as one response to the chaos experienced by big cities at the end of the 19th century, this study shows that the library developed in the rural community of Hagerstown, Maryland, resembled its urban counterparts. Business elites, concerned about the image of the town, created a library as the first cultural institution in Hagerstown. This book traces the societal changes in Hagerstown from 1878 to 1920, examines the motivations of the businessmen for creating the library, and explores the changes in attitude of the librarian who spent her career there. By using the experience of Hagerstown as a case study, the author makes a valuable contribution to the history of rural librarianship and the place of the library in American cultural history.
Author: Deanna B. Marcum Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Published: 02/23/1994 Pages: 208 Binding Type: Hardcover Weight: 1.04lbs Size: 9.21h x 6.14w x 0.50d ISBN: 9780313286261
Review Citation(s): Library Journal 06/01/1994
About the Author
DEANNA B. MARCUM is Director of Public Service and Collection Management at the Library of Congress and president of The Council on Library Resources. An authority on library history, she was formerly the Dean of the School of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America.