Archive for the 'Libraries' Category

Music Lovers in the Library, 1978






The photos are from the 1978 World Book Encyclopedia entry on Library, courtesy of John Ronald/Flickr. If you care to read my cynical remarks on a culture that believes it no longer needs libraries, try here (and here, in much longer form).

Peter Max’s National Library Week Poster, 1969

Peter Max 1969

Peter Max is an extremely influential illustrator who became a pop culture icon in the late ’60s and early ’70s, appearing on the cover of Life magazine and making TV appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His distinctive psychedelic patterns are instantly recognizable and look sort of like Rorshach tests exploding with color and undisguised positivity.

Here, on the other hand, is the poster for Library Week, 2014.

Library 2014

Pardon me for saying so, American Library Association, but your poster sucks. Where are the books, American Library Association, or is that screwed shut lime-green rectangle supposed to be one? Where is the color and excitement and movement indicative of a commitment to reading, American Library Association? What we have here, aside from the death of inspirational illustration, is a fatalistic collapse of integrity in the face of peddling technophiles and politicians who believe, or claim to believe (so long as the checks are rolling in), that long reading is no longer “relevant” in the digital era.

Hell, I guess we get the Photoshopped culture we deserve.

(Images via Open Culture and American Library Association)

Kids Using Library Computer, 1982

Library 1982

Caption, from Bennett Martin Public Library volunteer Laura McKee, age 12, shows her cousin David Nolan, 7, how to use the computer in 1982.

The Bennett Martin Public Library is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dig that Lord of the Rings poster! It’s the Darrell Sweet cover for Ballantine’s Silver Jubilee Edition of The Two Towers (1981).

My mom took me to the local library once a week. I was that kid.




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