Interesting Discovery in Public Library History


Nicolette Hall has sent us an interesting paper examining how budgetary limitations, saloons, an earthquake, and a highly-skilled but volatile library director figured into the history of the San Francisco Public Library.

Of special note, Ms. Hall discovered a study conducted by the library’s early founders, who had surveyed two hundred libraries in Europe and America about their development, services, and collections.  Henry George analyzed the results, and his conclusions are quoted in Ms. Hall’s paper:

These results provide an interesting snapshot of libraries of the 1800s.

Ms. Hall is a LIS graduate student at San Jose State University. She also holds an MA in Art History from San Francisco State University, where she received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Academic Excellence for her thesis and participated in the Western Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition.


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