The Public Library by Robert Dawson is photographic tribute to libraries all over the United States. Like any other fan group, literature enthusiasts are tied to together by a sense of community. Dawson's project takes an in-depth look at the range of architectural structures that foster this community.
If you have an idea in your mind of what the "quintessential library" looks like, you can forget it. Dawson proves that the library has many manifestations, from run-down, small-town hole-in-the-walls to cultural landmarks in major metropolises.
Far more than simply a building (or room) full of books, Dawson describes libraries as a place that can "mean different things to different people. For me, the library offers our best example of the public commons. For many, the library upholds the nineteenth-century belief that the future of democracy is contingent upon an educated citizenry."
'The Public Library' Honors Historic Book Homes
1. Library Revival - Dawson's photographic tribute to libraries could inspire a renewed focus on the library as a community hub.
2. Architectural Diversity - Dawson's project highlights the range of architectural structures that libraries can inhabit, creating opportunities for innovative designs to be implemented.
3. Beyond Books - Dawson's description of libraries as offering a public commons and promoting democracy paves the way for additional services to be offered in libraries, expanding their role beyond being solely a place to access literature.
1. Library Services - Libraries can take inspiration from Dawson's project to offer additional services, such as community events or educational programs, in order to become a more central community hub.
2. Architectural Design - Architects could be inspired by the variety of structures that libraries can inhabit, leading to innovative and unique designs that suit libraries' specific needs and purposes.
3. Community Development - Dawson's project highlights the importance of community in libraries, indicating that community development initiatives could be useful in revitalizing libraries and preserving their role as a symbol of democracy and public commons.