Reviews and Awards
"A deeply researched, well-written, and solid contribution to library history literature that will not only interest members of the library profession, but also scholars and students of intellectual, cultural, social, urban, and print culture history whose own research has been heavily influenced by the rich collections Glynn discusses." -Wayne Wiegand, Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus, Florida State University.
"With humor and sensitivity as well as exemplary scholarship Tom Glynn vividly recounts the story of libraries open to the public prior to the creation of the New York Public Library, and of their readers. Throughout he explores major themes of republican values for reading and information, liberalism, shifting understandings of public and private, and the debate over fiction. By concentrating on New York, Glynn provides a nuanced interpretation of the development of public libraries in a city that holds a unique position in the national imagination, and in so doing makes a significant contribution to the histories of readers and reading, of libraries, and of American culture."--Christine Pawley, University of Wisconsin-Madison
" . . . Tom Glynn recalls how the libraries were transformed into a uniquely accessible resource through a public-private partnership made possible by Gilded Age philanthropy."--Sam Roberts, The New York Times
"For anyone studying the history of public libraries this will be an essential work of reference, but it is also full of interest for anyone wishing to know more of the social and cultural history of New York generally"--Ian McGowan, Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues
"Historians of cultural institutions generally and of libraries and readers in particular will find much to chew on in this thought-provoking work."--Journal of American History