Abstract

American librarians between 1890 and 1930 often used children's own words to document young readers' reading choices and library activities. These accounts, based on both surveys of and conversations with children, reveal the relationships children's librarians sought to establish with their young readers and often give some sense of the attitudes of children and their families toward the public library. In their professional reports, children's librarians typically recounted anecdotes, many of which reflected their attitudes toward children's reading habits, immigrant cultural practices, and the perceived need for children to meet middle-class expectations. The writings show that children's librarians struggled to make the library a welcoming place while enforcing rules, and that children were actively engaged with the institution of the public library.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 73-101
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-04
Open Access
No
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