An abiding love and respect for the role of libraries in the community is the central theme of photographer Robert Dawson’s new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2014).
A project conceived here in the Bay Area, Mr. Dawson spent eighteen years documenting and photographing hundreds of libraries in 38 states across the country, large and small, urban, rural and remote, from the grand reading room of the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library. Essays, letters, and poetry by distinguished writers and librarians complete this impassioned tribute to a vibrant but threatened American institution, including a foreword by Bill Moyers and afterword by Ann Patchett. Other contributors include Amy Tan, Philip Levine, Barbara Kingsolver, Isaac Asimov, and San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera.
Robert Dawson is an Instructor in Photography at San Jose State University and Stanford University.
*Funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.