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Free & Public

Free & Public

One Hundred and Fifty Years at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 1853-2003

Book - 2003
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For Outsiders the question is simple: Why on earth in Cincinnati? The answer is in this book, a colorful walk through 150 years at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, an institution ahead of its time in a city always ahead with its ambitions. The library was authorized in the mists of time, 1853, opened a reading room in 1856, and by 1870 its shapeless state mandate had been pounded into a tax-supported system with a professional librarian and America's most astounding library building. This incredibly early start put the Cincinnati Library well ahead and it has stayed ahead, playing in the public library big leagues right into the 21st century. John Fleischman's graceful style and nimble intelligence brings to life a startling and atypical cast of characters who built one of America's greatest library systems--from the acid-tongued librarian Thomas Vickers to trustee James Green, who took out a secret $180,000 personal loan to keep the doors open. Anyone who has ever held a library card anywhere will find Free &Public an unexpectedly entertaining story about a city that surprised even itself by building a world-class library.
Publisher: Wilmington, Ohio : Orange Frazer Press, c2003
ISBN: 9781882203918
Branch Call Number: 027.477178 fP976Zf 2003
Characteristics: xi, 141 p. : ill. ; 31 cm


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Author John Fleishman’s rendering of the surprising history of Cincinnati’s most notable public institution is wonderfully illustrated and conversational in tone. It tells a fascinating story of the people and circumstances that built this great public treasure.

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