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Grant number like: FA-53901-08

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Wayne A. Wiegand
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL 32306-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2008 – 7/31/2009

The Public Library in the Life of the American People, 1850-2000

For generations, American public libraries have done three things very well--made information accessible, provided cultural space for the construction of community, and furnished billions of reading materials. Yet for all those years, people in the library field have concentrated mostly on the first. I intend to write a comprehensive history of the American public library since 1850 that will take a "library in the life of the user" perspective. This study will harness newer humanities scholarship on the public sphere and the social nature of reading to demonstrate multiple roles these ubiquitous institutions have played (and continued to play) in their host communities.