“Robert Dawson’s work is an irrefutable argument for the preservation of public libraries. His book is profound and heartbreakingly beautiful.” – Toni Morrison
Join us for a book launch event for Robert Dawson’s The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. Book talk followed by Q&A and signing.
Over the last eighteen years photographer Robert Dawson has crisscrossed the United States documenting hundreds of public libraries, large and small, old and new, urban and rural, in poor communities and in wealthy ones. This new book presents a wide selection of Dawson’s photographs-from the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves. Here you’ll find literary libraries, storm-damaged libraries, a haunted library, libraries as sanctuaries, libraries as art museums, and libraries as memorials. This beautiful collection documents our vibrant, essential, yet threatened library system as it undergoes profound changes in its identity and purpose-yet remains at the very heart of American civic life. As Bill Moyers notes in his foreword, “Robert Dawson shows us in this collection what is at stake: when a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.”
Accompanying Dawson’s revealing photographs are a foreword by Bill Moyers, an afterword by Ann Patchett, and essays, letters, and poetry celebrating libraries by Philip Levine, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, E. B. White, Isaac Asimov, Dr. Seuss, Charles Simic, and others.
About the Author
Robert Dawson’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, and the Library of Congress. He teaches photography at San Jose State University and Stanford University.
$10.00 Early Bird / $15.00 General Admission.
Presented by Princeton Architectural Press