Paperback Reading publics : New York City's public libraries, 1754-1911 / Tom Glynn.
Publication year: 2017
Publisher: New York : Empire State Editions,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9780823276813 (pbk.) :
On May 11, 1911, the New York Public Library opened its 'marble palace for book lovers' on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. This was the city's first public library in the modern sense, a tax-supported, circulating collection free to every citizen. Since before the Revolution, however, New York's reading publics had access to a range of 'public libraries' as the term was understood by contemporaries. In its most basic sense a public library in the 18th and most of the 19th centuries simply meant a shared collection of books that was available to the general public and promoted the public good. Tom Glynn's vivid, deeply researched history of New York City's public libraries over the course of more than a century and a half illuminates how the public and private functions of reading changed over time and how shared collections of books could serve both public and private ends.