Wayne Wiegand

Johanna Lawshea

Wayne Wiegand is a library historian, author, and academic. Often referred to as the “Dean of American library historians,” Wiegand retired as F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies and Professor of American Studies at Florida State University in 2010. In 2006, he co-organized the Florida Book Awards, the most comprehensive state book awards program in the United States and until July, 2012, served as its Director. In Part of Our Lives (Oxford University Press), Wiegand delves into the heart of why Americans love their libraries. The book traces the history of the public library, featuring records and testimonies from as early as 1850. Rather than analyzing the words of library founders and managers, Wiegand listens to the voices of everyday patrons who cherished libraries. Drawing on newspaper articles, memoirs, and biographies, Part of Our Lives paints a clear and engaging picture of Americans who value libraries not only as civic institutions, but also as public places that promote and maintain community.