Book Launch - The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson
The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert DawsonOn Wednesday, June 11, photographer and essayist Robert Dawson will lead a slide show and discuss his new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2014), with City Librarian Luis Herrera. The event will take place in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, at 6:00 p.m. An abiding love and respect for the role of libraries in the community is the central theme of the book. 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 forward by Bill Moyers and afterward by Ann Patchett. Other contributors include Amy Tan, Philip Levine, Barbara Kingsolver, Isaac Asimov, and San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera. These photographs address the changing role of the public library as non-commercial centers for information and resources that help us define what we value and what we share as communities and as a nation. Dawson's work focuses on this vibrant, essential, yet vulnerable aspect of our shared commons. Robert Dawson is an Instructor in Photography at San Jose State University and Stanford University. His other works include: Great Central Valley: America’s Heartland, written with Stephen Johnson and Gerald Haslam; Farewell Promised Land, written with Gray Brechin; and more. He and his wife, Ellen Manchester, recently received a Guggenheim grant to document library literacy efforts in Stockton, California. For more information, please call 415 557-4277.